Historical information

Fire screens were developed early in the 19th century to prevent sparks from flying into the room or logs rolling out when a fire was left unattended. They also served as ornamental or decorative items, particularly ones such as this fire screen made from beaten or forged copper. Their decorations often depicted rural scenes.


This item is representative of fire screens used in Australian homes to protect them from fire during the 19th and early 20th century when open fires were the main form of household heating.

Physical description

A fire screen made from beaten copper with a wooden frame. The screen design depicts a group of people sitting outside an Elizabethan building with a dog in the foreground and trees either side. The building is possibly a tavern as the people are seated on barrels. The frame is made from wood and has wrought iron legs screwed in place on either side and a handle attached at the centre top edge.