Designer / Maker
The design and manufacture attributed to Peter Waals (1870-1937)
Walnut, with calligraphic decoration
76.2 x 63.5 cm
English (probably Chalford), 1926
Signed and dated
PP [?] 1926, in script at bottom of panel (see right)
This ‘summer’ fire screen is embellished with a calligraphic rendering of Lady Celia Congreve (1867/68-1952), The Firewood Poem written in or before 1926:
Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year,
Chestnut’s only good they say,
If for logs ’tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold
Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
it is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke,
Apple wood will scent your room
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
Oaken logs, if dry and old
keep away the winter’s cold
But ash wet or ash dry
a king shall warm his slippers by.
This poem was published in the Times, 2 March 1930.