SalvoNews has a great article on An early 19th century fine and rare ‘sarcophagus’ fire grate restored and now for sale by Bathhouse Restoration [photo Bathhouse Restoration].
Somerset, UK – A small team of dedicated dealers from South West England has spent fifteen years restoring a very fine and rare ‘sarcophagus’ fire grate. Led by Bathhouse Restoration’s Peter Linnett and Paul McGowan, the dealers went to great lengths to find out where the grate came from. Mr McGowan says ‘Despite great efforts, we have been unable to ascertain the provenance of this example’. He explains how the dealers came across the grate. ‘It was painstakingly re-assembled from components trawled from architectural antique dealers across the South West of England over a period of almost 10 years, and is believed to have been previously stored, in pieces, with a large collection of antique ‘junk’ in farm buildings in Gloucestershire. Perhaps it was removed from a grand house for safekeeping during WWII… or rescued from a house destroyed by fire? If any historians out there have a viable theory, please get in touch!’
Part of the fire grate bring restored by Bathhouse Restoration [photo Bathhouse Restoration]
The sarcophagus grate measures a considerable forty two inches wide, is made of cast iron and bronze, and decorated with stylised sea-shell, seaweed motifs and sea lion masks. It has been attributed to M&G Skidmore of Holborn, London, and dates from c1820. A similar fire grate was manufactured for Attingham House, Shropshire, but is unfortunately in poor condition, and not currently on public view.
The story behind the grate’s restoration is an interesting one. The early 19th century grate was rescued from farm outbuildings in Gloucestershire. The decaying pieces had probably been stored there since before WWII. In the mid 1990s a barn was cleared for conversion to residential use. The ‘junk’ contents of the barn were sold to various architectural salvage yards in the South West of England as job lots.
Initially by sheer chance, then through meticulous research and trawling of salvage yards, Mike Kemp, Paul McGowan and Peter Linnett, at the time all associated with Walcot Reclamation, gathered components and the firegrate was re-assembled.
Read the rest of this amazing article via Rare sarcophagus grate restored to former glory – SalvoNews.com.