The footman served the same purpose as the trivet, but differed from it in having four legs rather than three. The heavily cast brass openwork top of this footman bears the legend AINSWORTH 19 WARRINGTON in reverse, i.e. on the underside. The iron frame has two linked hoops on which plates or a dish can be kept warm, and the legs terminate in shaped, ‘pressed’ flat feet.
’19’ may refer to a catalogue number. The surname Ainsworth is recorded with two different Christian names between 1781 and 1815, but as this footman was probably made after 1815, it must be assumed that the firm continued in business beyond that date. The firm’s records, and a recorded marked copper warming pan, reveal an interesting diversity of trades, from bellfounding (1) to brass casting and sheet copper work. Ainsworth is listed variously in the street directories of the time as ‘brazier’, ‘tinman’ and ‘file and tool maker’.
- (1) Walters, H.B., Church Bells of England , Henry Frowde 1912
- Butler, R., Butler, V., Bollen, N., & Green, C., 2001 A Study Collection of Marked Domestic Brass and other Base Metalware c.1600 – c.1900. Privately printed exhibition catalogue, p 8, no 5