It’s time to set sail with this antique needlepoint fire screen. Hand-crafted in 1920’s England, the hand-stitched needlepoint design features a beautiful ship framed by solid walnut–perfect for any setting!
The screen itself shows a large, seafaring ship cast on the waves of the ocean. Such simple yet elegant motifs have long appeared in all types of English furniture, owing to the historically world-class British naval tradition. This particular screen was most likely stitched by the fireside on a cold night, then installed in the walnut frame behind a glass panel that has protected the fabric as the decades passed.
Traditional fire screen design
Fire screens like this one were originally designed to place around the fire to keep the individual from getting too hot, angling the heat in different directions. To warm the feet, fire screens are usually elevated like this one, which allows for heat to pass underneath. This charming combination of style and function has made the fire screen a popular accessory for hundreds of years. During the early Victorian period, when women often wore large hooped dresses, fire screens were useful for preventing dresses from igniting when their wearers came too near the fireplace. In the spring and summer months when fires weren’t needed, fire screens would be placed in front of the fireplace itself in order to hide the soot-black interior.
Antique charm meets modern functionality
Although originally designed for dispersing and shielding heat from the fireplace, fire screens like this one lend themselves quite readily to a number of modern-day purposes. While this piece would still be suited for use around the fireplace, it could also be used to hide subwoofers, wires, routers, outlets, and other less-than-beautiful conveniences of 21st century living. Certainly this antique needlepoint fire screen would make a fine addition to any English furniture collection!
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