Abney Hall Pokers
1852 - 1853
Set of two ornate, ornamental fire pokers with a brass and steel stand in the Gothic style made by John Hardman of Birmingham. There is a steel, inverted chevron design on the central column of the base, which is surrounded by four brass column supports in a quatrefoil fretwork design.
The pokers were part of the original fittings of Abney Hall, Cheadle
The famous industrialist, entrepreneur, and former Mayor of Manchester, James Watts lived at Abney Hall in the mid 19thcentury. During his ownership he commissioned a grand redesign of the whole interior.
To undertake this challenge he commissioned the English architect and designer, A.W.N. Pugin, alongside interior designer, J.G. Crace. These pokers were part of this decorative statement.
Although the design of the pokers show the style of Pugin, the design may well have been influenced by Crace. They were made by John Hardman of Birmingham. Hardman worked with Pugin on the Houses of Parliament and was part of the team that worked with him on the Medieval Court at the Great Exhibition.
The design is also reminiscent of the grand Pugin candelabra at the top of the stairs at Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster, London.