17th Century Brass Fire Shovel

Material: Copper alloy: yellow brass
Dimensions: Length: 58.4cm / 23in, Blade width: 17cm / 6 ¾in
Place of Origin: England
Date: 1650 – 1700
Maker or Retailer: Unknown
Present Location: Private collection


This brass fire shovel, a typical good quality example of its period, has a deep, bell-shaped blade and its shaft is decorated with bands of ring moulding.

The blade is heavily cast, with a socket into which the shaft fits, probably by means of a screw thread. The shaft is of slightly oval section, which suggests that it, too, was cast rather than lathe-turned. Its upper end, incorporating the ball finial, is cast separately and brazed to the rest of the shaft just above the uppermost moulding.

The shovel has survived in unusually good condition, so that the traces of hand-finishing can still be clearly seen, particularly on the blade.


  • For a virtually identical shovel bearing the maker’s mark CA, see Roderick Butler, A Study Collection of Marked Domestic Brass and Other Base Metalware c.1600 – c.1900, Marwood House, Honiton, Devon, 2001, p. 21, fig. 31

Leave a Reply

error: This content is copyright and protected !!