Cast-iron enclosed heating stove, in a corner of Frederic Lord Leighton's Winter Studio at Leighton House Museum, Kensington, London. This antique stove is an elegantly cast but not overly elaborate one, probably by a European maker — it was a later acquisition by the Museum to replicate the kind of work with which the distinguished artist would have surrounded himself. Even the most functional pieces would have been bought for their quality of design. Coal or possibly wood would have been put into the upper drawer, and ashes removed from the bottom drawer. A pipe (just visible in the left-hand photograph) would have drawn the rising smoke to a flue. This kind of enclosed stove was a step forward from open coal fires, but it was just a start: "[g]as and electricity ... were in very limited domestic use in Victoria's reign" (Gergits 379).

Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.


Gergits, Julia M. "Housework and Domestic Technology." Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Sally Mitchell. New York & London: Garland, 1988. 377-79.

Created 23 October 2022