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A large Regency “sarcophagus” cast iron hob grate
the pointed backplate cast in relief with an anthemion flanked by acanthine scrolls, the railed basket topped with spikes and flanked by scrolled tapered pilaster fronted hobs each topped with a lion en couchant and raised on lion-paw feet above a plinth base mounted on a brace of rollers,
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Lowther Castle was built in its current form by Robert Smirke between 1806 and 1814 for William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale. It was built as a dramatic English castle.
The Lowther Castle Estate was in a terrible shape by the end of the Second World War – the nadir of the English Country House. In 1947 the house was emptied and the contents sold at auction – ten years later the roof was removed from the castle leaving it to descend into ruination. In recent years the ruin has been transformed into a garden and both the house and garden is once again open to the public.
LASSCO acquired this firegrate from a couple who had received it as a gift, together with an oak settle, from a family member who had bought them together at an auction. The settle was certainly from the Lowther estate and it has always been maintained that the grate and settle were acquired together at the same disposal.
The firegrate is in fantastic condition – it seems to have hardly been used. The lions are an embellishment that marks it out as from a grand interior.
George Bullock is celebrated as a Furniture maker of the finest examples of cabinets and chairs in first Liverpool and then London – details of his colourful life can be found here.