Thomas Jeckyll

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Thomas Jeckyll (1827-1881) was an architect and designer working in London and East Anglia. From the 1860s, he began experimenting with styles, namely Old English, Anglo-Japanese, and “Queen Anne”. His furniture designs were among the first in Britain to incorporate Asian influences, and he won prizes for his metalwork designs at international exhibitions.

Thomas Jeckyll worked closely with the Norwich iron foundry Barnard and Bishop, which later became known as Barnard, Bishop & Barnards after 1859. Their collaboration started with the design of an iron window frame in 1850, but his most renowned works rest with subsequent design work, particularly the Thomas Jeckyll Fire Grates.

In the early 1870s, Jeckyll began designing a series of Japanese-influenced fronts for slow combustion stoves. Barnard, Bishop & Barnards were manufacturing “Country Parson’s grates” or slow-combustion stoves, which were known for their efficiency and economy. The innovation in the design allowed air to enter via the narrowly proportioned grate through the front bars and not from underneath, restricting the air to the fuel and causing the fire to burn more slowly.

The stoves were exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1878; this was a huge success as he had created beautiful designs. In 1883, a reviewer for ‘British Architect’ noted, “The beautiful designs of the late Mr. Thos. Jeckyll are now pretty well known to most educated architects, and the stoves, grates, and other objects, which he so superbly decorated, have had a sale of almost unrivalled magnitude.”

An obituary in Building News described him as “an architect of considerable ability, and perhaps better known for his admirable skill in designing both wrought and cast ironwork,” solidifying his legacy in the realm of Thomas Jeckyll Antiques.

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