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Pair of Gilt Bronze Regency Firedogs, Thomas Hope Attributed England, circa 1803

$45,000Asking Price


These firedogs (as they were referred to), while not really serving any utility, would have been used as decoration to enhance the visual aesthetics of the hearth, by being placed one to each side of the fireplace opening. I have attached 20 images to this listing. The last image shows how they would have been used in a fireplace setting. These highly ornate pair of gilt bronze firedogs are quite important and were, more than likely, the design of Thomas Hope (1769-1831), who created elaborate and innovative decorations whose features were influenced by his extensive travel through the Near East, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, and Europe, over a ten year period. He was the foremost interior designer during the Regency period and developed luxurious surroundings for his two lavish London residences during the early 19th century. They were decorated with items of his own design, along with those he had accumulated and collected during his travels. He introduced to the British aristocracy the term "interior design". In terms of collecting, and the acquisition of fine art and antiques, and generating wealth and real estate holdings, Thomas Hope was the early 19th century English rendition of William Randolph Hearst and J.P. Morgan 100 years later in America. A study of "Household Furniture and Interior Decoration" written in 1807 by Thomas Hope, shows that he liked decorative, gilt bronze because he thought it brightened up a room. In the French tradition, he especially liked to combine dark patinated bronze figures with gilt bronze, especially with chimney mount pieces and fireplace accessories. This was evident by the extensive decor on display at his house on Duchess Street, London. Egyptian influence was further inspired by his purchase in 1801 of what became known as "The Hope Lion"; a sculpted porphyry recumbent lion, thought to be a 2000 year old Egyptian artifact (see image). As in the artifact, the lions on these bronze firedogs also have a very slight green tint to the body. This pair of firedogs could well have been cast by his "in house" bronze maker from France, Alexis Decaix; well known in his own right for his quality workmanship. The identical recumbent lion was also used in an 1802 design on a settee, and used as the cover plate of the book "Thomas Hope Regency Designer" published in 2008 by David Watkin, who has spent much of his life in the study of the man (see image). The same settee with lion is also referenced and sketched by Thomas Hope in his "Household Furniture" written in 1807, Plate VIII. The firedogs measure: 13 3/4" long x 3" wide x 9 3/4" high. They are in exceptional original condition. They represent the style and decor of the Regency period and the elegant design of Thomas Hope, establishing them as a one of a kind, stand alone, early 19th century fireplace accessory. The interest in Thomas Hope, the "Regency Designer" is still recognized today, and his influence continues to inspire decorators, designers, and collectors alike, because of his innovative, yet classic design. Note: In the early 19th century Thomas Hope's brother, Henry Philip, acquired the famous "Hope Diamond" for the sum of $65,000, a high price to pay at that time. It remained in the family until 1902.


  • Attributed to
    Thomas Hope (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 9.75 in. (24.77 cm)Width: 3 in. (7.62 cm)Depth: 13.75 in. (34.93 cm)
  • Style
    Regency (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1803
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    Incline Village, NV
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU973210158433

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    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: Incline Village, NV
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Incline Village, NV
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