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Norman Shaw fireplace advertised for sale on ebay

A buyer is being sought for an extraordinary marble fireplace originally designed for Dawpool, one of Cheshire’s finest country houses.

The vast inglenook fireplace is the work of the celebrated Victorian architect, Richard Norman Shaw and was commissioned to furnish the dining room of Dawpool, a country house at Thurstaston on the Wirral peninsula.

Dawpool was considered to be one of Norman Shaw's finest country houses and was described by Country Life as ‘an acknowledged masterpiece'. Sadly the house lasted less than 50 years and was demolished in 1927. Two lavish fireplaces survived the demolition; one can be found in Portmeirion and the other marks the entrance to a cabaret restaurant in Birkenhead.

Now the restaurant's owners are keen to sell off the fireplace. It's currently listed on ebay with a starting bid of £20,000.

'This wonderful fireplace with its solid marble columns is part of Merseyside's heritage and deserves to remain intact and in the Wirral,' said Chris Costelloe, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'It would make a splendid exhibit in a local museum, as an enduring reminder of Dawpool house and of the achievements of a Liverpool shipping magnate.'

The fireplace is being marketed as a unique piece of Titanic memorabilia as Dawpool was commissioned in 1882 by Thomas Henry Ismay, founder of the successful White Star Line, which later built the fated ship. The house remained the Ismay family home until the early years of the twentieth century.

Mr Costelloe added: 'It would be tragic if this unique fireplace was broken up or sold abroad.'

The Victorian Society has written to Wirral Council, the Liverpool Museums and to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London urging them to secure its future.


Wednesday 18 January, 2012

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