Pair of fire dogs
Designer / Maker
Designed by A.W.N. Pugin (1812-52)
Presumably manufactured by John Hardman & Co. (1838-1900)
Iron and brass
56 x 22 x 31 cm
English, circa 1850
Palace of Westminster; removed during refurbishment work, 1921 by a Clerk of Works; by descent until 2020
Elements of the design of these fire dogs can be seen in the plates of ‘Grand Irons’ published in Pugin’s Designs for Iron & Brass Work in the style of the XV and XVI centuries, London: Ackermann & Co, 1936, pls 6-9. Examples of fire dog designs for the Palace of Westminster are shown in M.H. Port, The Houses of Parliament, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1976, pl. 173.
The present fire dogs also have features in common with those supplied to Colonel Robert Myddelton Biddulph (d.1872) for the Bow Drawing Room, Chirk Castle (sold Christie’s, on the premises, 21 June 2004, lot 55).
Due to lack of access to archives over the past year, it has not been possible to establish any further details about these firedogs. However, based on their confirmed provenance and stylistic details, we are confident of the Pugin attribution.