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

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.

Dorset County Museum

High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1XA
01305 262 735

Opening times

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

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