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  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (made)

  • Date:

    1627 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brass, raised, embossed and engraved

  • Credit Line:

    Duke of Kent Gift

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, Room 116, The Belinda Gentle Gallery, case 1

Curfews kept the fire embers smouldering at night ready for reviving the next morning. The name is a corruption of the French 'couvre feu' (fire cover). This is one of the earliest in brass to survive. The engraving shows the burning of Saint Laurence on a gridiron, his penalty for giving the Church's treasures to the poor rather than the Roman Emperor.

Physical description

Brass curfew, embossed with scenes from the lives of two saints: St Laurence and possibly St Francis.

Place of Origin

Netherlands (made)


1627 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Brass, raised, embossed and engraved

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed 'SLARENTIUS 1627'
'Saint Laurence 1627'


Height: 39 cm, Width: 54.4 cm maximum, Depth: 31 cm

Descriptive line

Brass, the Netherlands, dated 1627.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Patterson, Angus, "The Belinda Gentle Metalware Gallery at the V&A", Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, Volume 13, June 2005, p. 46, Fig. 7




Raised; Embossed; Engraving

Subjects depicted





Metalwork Collection

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