Pair of andirons in wrought and engraved iron, with gilt bronze finials. Iron engravings depicting small spheres and stylized leaf elements. Support foot composed of an arch with architectural three-light window and wrought iron coat of arms of the noble family to which it belongs, today almost completely illegible.
Dimensions: 79 x 35 x 78cm
The andirons are tools created to support wood and facilitate combustion in the hearth. This utensil, from an initial primitive and rudimentary setting, changed shape when from the central hearth it moved to the fireplace leaning against the wall; then two were used, arranged parallel to the sides of the combustion material; consequently the two rear columns, having become useless, disappeared, and the two rear feet were reduced to one. Thus the andiron acquired its definitive form of tripod, which it retains with few modifications up to our age.
Our pair of andirons aligns, both structurally and as regards the decorative apparatus, with that typical layout of central Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly found in Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. Two interesting comparisons have been identified first in a pair of andirons from Emilia-Romagna, with which the structure and part of the ornamental motifs are fully shared, and then in a wrought iron ramp invitation from the Cathedral of Pisa, which stylistically validates the geographical area of relevance.
Finally, the presence, albeit of a reduced section, of the heraldic coat of arms of the noble family to which the andirons belonged, reflects their high level of patronage and manufacture.
• Pedrini A., Il ferro battuto sbalzato e cesellato in Italia, ed. Società editrice torinese, 1951, p. 134.
• Barbolini Ferrari E., Boccolari G., L’arte del ferro nel Ducato Estense. Decorazioni architettoniche e oggetti da collezione, (“Ricerche Storiche Emiliane”), ed. Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna, Ozzano, 1996, p. 99.