An Arts and Crafts Coloured Glass & Ebonised Fire Screen

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Origin: English
Period: Arts and Crafts
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1895
Height: 29 inches
Width: 18 inches (Or 22 inches with feet)
Depth: 1 inch (Or 4.5 inches with feet)

Composed of an ebonised wooden frame with a stylised bead and reel moulded edge, with original metal handle at the top centre, resting on square geometric feet. The screen is divided into four geometrically designed leaded glass panels; each panel with hand-blown azure-blue glass corners in a floral motif, and a central border of cranberry glass, flanked by two orange glass sections, interspersed with colourless glass squares.

A colourful and authentic piece of period design, that really comes to life in front of a roaring fire, when the dancing flames beautifully illuminate the stained glass, causing the colours to move and flicker on nearby walls.The usefulness of a fire screen is threefold, they are used decoratively to hide an empty grate, they prevent flying sparks or embers jumping from the fireplace and entering the room, and they shield people from intense heat from the fire.

Examples such as this, with a wide screen resting on two feet, are known as cheval screens; other types are pole screens, which are smaller, adjustable, and are placed next to chairs to shield people from the fire. Stained glass examples are amongst the most decorative, other materials used in the nineteenth century are copper and brass; earlier examples were simpler and were often made of wood, sometimes decorated with needlework.

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