21 July 2016

The Great Fire of London

Fire! Fire! is a new exhibition showing at the Museum of London this summer, which documents life in London before, during and after the Great Fire of 1666. It will run from 23 July 2016 until 17 April 2017.

Great fire of London

The Great Fire of London started on Sunday the 2nd September 1666 in the bakery of Thomas Faryner - the King's baker - on Pudding Lane near London Bridge. It didn't take long before 300 houses had collapsed and the strong east wind spread the flames even further.

By the 4th of September half of London was in flames, and it would take another whole day before the fire, on the 6th of September, had been extinguished altogether. By this time, only one fifth of London was left standing.

The fire is estimated to have destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants, destroying 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul's Cathedral, and most of the buildings of the City authorities. The fire threatened but did not reach the district of Westminster, Charles II's Palace of Whitehall, and most of the suburban slums.

Many artifacts were found after the fire giving clues to what happened. For example, a melted piece of pottery that can be seen on display at the Museum of London, was found in Pudding Lane, showing evidence that the temperature reached up to 1700 °C.

Below we have on offer historical items from around this period, available at Grays.

16th century Bill style edged blade with curled beak & wrap around socket. The shaft is decorated with leather & lion studs, with a crimson velvet tassel, available from Leons Militaria.
Rare slide of the monarch Charles II with botanical enameling to reverse. 17th century, available from Rowan & Rowan.
A rare 17th century wriggled-worked plate by a London pewter, available from Jane Stewart.

Late 16th century halberd with 18th century spike. The blade & beak has re-enforced points & traces of etched decorations, available from Leons Militaria.

A silver brush with the top hallmarked London 1695 and engraved with a armorial, available from P & R Szuhay.


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