The Melchett Fire Basket by Charles Sargeant Jagger

The fire basket formed an integral part of an opulent interior designed for Mulberry House, the Melchett's home.


Cast iron
91.5 x 75.5 x 33 cm
Art Fund grant:
£25,000 ( Total: £66,000; Export stopped)
Acquired in:

It related directly to the relief 'Scandal' that hung above the fireplace, a humourous reference to the couples earlier 'menage à trois' with a writer. At the back of the fire basket, two snarling cats are depicted hiding behind female masks to signify the 'double face' and 'cattiness' of society gossip. In the centre is a macaw, a satire on the idea of 'parroting' phrases without thought for content or meaning.


Commissioned by Henry and Gwen Mond, Lord and Lady Melchett; by descent in the Melchett family until 1982; ....

Venue details

V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) Cromwell Road, London London SW7 2RL 020 7942 2000

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Daily, 10am – 5.45pm (Fri until 10pm)