Brass Fire Tool Set
(Shovel: 27"x5.5"x1.5" Prong: 27.5"x1.5"x1.5")
This 19th-century English fire tool set features an ash shovel, coal tongs, and a fire poker. All objects are made of fine brass and steel, and are in good condition. The ash shovel is decorated with an imprint of swirling leaves on the front and back. The handles of all three objects are finely rendered with smooth spheres atop delicately curving rectangular prisms. At the time, these tools were used to maintain a fire, making it easier to clean and control. By using fireplace tools, you can take proper care of a fire without having to worry about burning yourself. The shovel is used to pick up ashes, hot coals, and burning embers. By moving around ashes, smoke production is reduced. Coal tongs are used to grab logs or pieces of wood, and help break up burnt wood to give the fire more oxygen. The poker, which is a long metal rod with a pointed tip at the end, is the most widely used fireplace tool. It is used to stoke or move burning wood. These tools would add an aesthetic touch and a cozy ambiance to your fireplace.
At this time in the United Kingdom, the Potato Famine, or Great Hunger, occurred in Ireland between 1845–1852. The tragedy began when a fungus-like organism spread rapidly throughout Ireland, poisoning the potato crops, which were an extremely important source of food for the many tenant farmers throughout the country. This infestation ruined half of the 1845 potato crop, and approximately three-quarters of the crop over the next seven years. Before the famine ended in 1852, roughly one million Irish died from starvation and its related causes. At least an additional million people were forced to leave the country as refugees. The Potato Famine spurred a century-long population decline, and caused permanent changes to the Irish cultural and political landscape.