Norman & Ernest Spittle copper fire kerb
An early and important copper fire kerb by Norman and Ernest Spittle, circa 1900.
In 1899 an article about the Spittle brothers appeared in a periodical called The Artist. It stated that “everything that Mr Norman Spittle and his brother sell is from their own designs and entirely made in their own works. One has but to look at the examples of their work which we show here to realise how entirely they appreciate the truest principles of this art. In grace of curve, in breadth of spacing, in softness of outline, in purity of idea, in thoroughness of workmanship, these objects in hand wrought metal are as good as anything that is being done today.”
The first object illustrated in the article is a near identical version of this fire kerb in brass. This design can be firmly attributed to Norman Spittle who was the primary designer at this time. The the distinctive mythical serpent head design appears on a number of designs by Norman Spittle from around 1900.
The fire kerb has repousse copper panels with riveted joins wrapped around a cast iron internal frame. It is in stunning original condition and likely would have graced an Arts and Crafts interior – my modern fireplace does not do it justice! The N & E Spittle fire dogs are shown alongside the fire kerb as they make a great pairing.
Dimensions: 50 1/2″ wide by 10 1/2″ deep and just over 6″ high
Condition: Good. Fairly recently polished. Some darker spots in the patina. Very minor dents and scratches.