James Smithies fire screen


A very nice small copper fire screen by James Smithies of Wilmslow, Cheshire, circa 1901.

James Smithies was born in Lancashire in the 1860s and initially trained as decorative painter and blacksmith before setting up his own business specialising in beaten copper and repousse work. His work was illustrated in various periodicals from the mid 1890s up until 1911. These included The Studio, The House and and the Magazine of Art. He exhibited at the Manchester Art Gallery and with the Northern Art Workers Guild. His work was frequently marked but there are also unmarked pieces and for a time at least he manufactured and retailed some of his work through Waring and Gillows. 

This particular fire screen, albeit with initials, was illustrated in Modern British Domestic Architecture and Decoration in 1901. 

The fire screen is quite simple in its construction with the repousse panel set into a simple wooden frame. The copper panel has a lovely fruiting tree design in repousse with Smithies signature heart shaped leaves. 


Dimensions:    27″ high by 15″ wide and 7″ deep

Condition:   Good. The copper panel is very slightly misshapen in places and the back has been discoloured through use. The wooden frame is held together by some simple metal connectors and there is one screw missing and some movement. One wooden leg is slightly out of shape. 

Price:   £595