LONDON, UK.- Arts Minister, Estelle Morris, has placed a temporary export bar on a cast iron fire basket, designed by Charles Sargeant Jagger for the financier Henry Mond. This fire basket, which is signed and dated 1930, is the only known utilitarian piece of ironwork to have been designed by Jagger, one of the pre-eminent British sculptors of the early twentieth century.
The object is a highly original work of art and rich in symbolism. It formed an integral part of an opulently decorative interior, designed in 1930 by the architect, Darcy Braddell, for Mulberry House, home to Henry Mond and his wife Gwen. Jagger depicted a parrot flanked by two snarling leopards hiding behind female masks to signify the “double face” and “cattiness” of society gossip. Henry and Gwen Mond had commissioned the fire basket, and a gilt relief featuring them standing naked before outraged onlookers, as a humorous reference to their ménage à trois with the writer Gilbert Cannan.
The Minister’s ruling follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art. The deferral will enable purchase offers to be made at the following agreed fair market price:
A cast iron fire basket, 1930, by Charles Sargeant Jagger, deferred at the recommended price of £66,000 (exclusive of VAT), until after 1 May 2005 with the possibility of an extension until after 1 July 2005 if there is a serious intention to raise funds with a view to making an offer to purchase.
Anyone interested in making an offer to purchase the fire basket should contact the owner’s agent through:
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street