Objects | Art/Craft/Design


Steel Fire Fender, 1892-3

Beamish, the North of England Open Air Museum, Durham


1800 – 1899

This fender was made by William Pattison Chrisholm, blacksmith at Coxhoe colliery. Fenders were placed around open fireplaces to stop the coals from falling out.

Made as a wedding present for his wife, the circular patterns are lovers’ knots, to show love never-ending. William took the best part of two years to make the fender and ‘tidy betty’ (a guard placed around an open fire to keep the ashes in).

Sarah, his wife to-be, was an excellent needlewoman and quilter and it is very likely that William used her template as his design for the fender.

This creative exchange of ideas demonstrates how people can be inspired by different creative works to make something unique and personal. It also captures creativity in the home, turning everyday practical items into something more special.

By William Pattison Chrisholm (1866-1942)

On display in the colliery cottages at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

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