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Frieze section - Frieze section
  • Frieze section
    Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875
  • Enlarge image

Frieze section

  • Object:

    Frieze section

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1856 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875 (designer)
    Coalbrookdale Company (producer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster cast

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This section of a festooned frieze for the top section of moulding from a fireplace is cast from a sketch by Alfred Stevens and produced by the Coalbrookdale Iron Company.

A sculptor, designer and painter, Alfred Stevens (1817/18- 1875) rejected contemporary distinctions between fine art and design. From 1850 to 1857 he was chief designer to Hoole & Co., Sheffield, where he produced award-winning designs for metalwork, majolica, terracotta ornaments and chimney-pieces.

The Coalbrookdale Co. is known for its production of iron wares, ranging from railway tracks to garden furniture. It benefited from an ideal location, with a local supply of ironstone and nearby coal and water for fuel and power respectively. When Abraham Darby took over the works in 1708 the company produced mostly pots, pans and kettles. As new processes were developed, manufacturing methods improved, furnace capacities increased, and the Coalbrookdale Co. became one of the most important cast-iron manufacturers of the 19th century. It produced many architectural and domestic objects, making increasing use of cast iron rather than wrought iron as cast iron allowed repetitive patterns to be accurately reproduced at a fraction of the cost.
The Coalbrookdale Company was established in 1709 and ceased production in 1959. It originally specialised in the production of a range of cast-iron industrial products, diversifying in the nineteenth century to include more decorative items.

Physical description

Above a moulding is a panel of ornament consisting of labels, ribbon ornament and strings of beads suspended from circular bosses.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1856 (made)


Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875 (designer)
Coalbrookdale Company (producer)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster cast


Length: 39 cm, Width: 17 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Mrs Ada Gamble, 12 Stanlake Villas, Shepherd's Bush, London, together with a range of other objects by Stevens, for £175. Mrs Gamble was the widow of James Gamble, a pupil of Stevens, who had a large collection of designs and drawings by his former master.

Historical context note

For the top section of moulding from a fireplace produced by the Coalbrookdale Iron Company.

Descriptive line

Frieze section, model, plaster cast, top section of moulding from a fireplace, by Alfred Stevens, produced by Coalbrookdale Iron Company, English, ca. 1856

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

Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p. 373, cat.no. 572
Review of the Principal Acquisitions during the year 1911, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, published under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, pp. 6-7




Architecture; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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