Festoon mantlepiece by Alfred Stevens

Stevens was not only an accomplished designer but also a painter and sculptor who moved successfully from high art to industrial design.


Cast iron
134 x 165 cm
Art Fund grant:
£1,750 ( Total: £2,800)
Acquired in:
Joanna Barnes Fine Art

He was an anguished artist whose pedantic nature would not allow him to release a piece of work until he believed his vision had been realised. The result is a limited legacy of extremely high quality. From 1857 to 1860, Stevens was employed by the Coalbrookdale Company, responsible for pioneering work in the use of iron, to design objects for manufacture. The Festoon Mantelpiece, a successful example of the coming together of artist and manufacturer, is a magnificent piece of artistry. Industrially produced, it successfully epitomises the spirit of the age when modern manufactured goods were given false histories through the use of a traditional iconographic language.

Artists include


Sotheby's salerooms; bought by Joanna Barnes Fine Art.

Venue details

Dorset County Museum High West Street, Dorchester Dorset DT1 1XA 01305 262 735 www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £6.35)

1 Apr – 31 Oct
Mon – Sat, 10am ​– 5pm

19 July – 13 Sept
Sun, 11am ​– 4pm

1 Nov – 31 Mar
Mon – Sat, 10am - 4pm

Closed 25 – 27 Dec