MOLINEUX ANDIRONS WITH MATCHING TOOLS
John Molineux (active 1806 – 1829)
Camden, Maine 1811-1815
Brass shaft with “lemon” finials on a square plinth above cabriole legs with spurs at the knees terminating in slipper feet, conforming-shape brass log stop and iron billet bar. Each bearing the foundry mark MOLINEUX/CAMDEN.
Height: 19½” Depth: 20½” Tools Height: 32½”
A virtually identical pair is pictured in Donald L. Fennimore, Metalwork in Early America, (Winterthur: The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1996), pl. 69, p.149. Fennimore notes one pair of andirons marked “CAMDEN” is known.
First appearing in the Boston Directory in 1805 in a partnership, “Molineux and Cook” are listed as a hardware firm. From 1806 though 1809 Molineux appears alone but is still listed on Union Street in the hardware business. He is listed as “Founder” from 1810 until 1821 and then until his death he is listed as “Brass Founder”. From 1811 to 1815 Molineux also operated a shop in Camden, Maine. In 1818 he moved his business from Union Street to 8 Marshall Lane where he remained until his death. He is known to have made at least six basic styles, more than any other founder. Marked MOLINEUX andirons are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Detroit Institute of Art, and Winterthur Museum.