Victoria and Albert Museum (fire insurance plaques)

Date: 1700s-1800sExtent: 100 objects
fire insurance metal plaque in Victoria and Albert collection
Fire insurance plaque. MERL 70/28

Fire insurance plaques are embossed metal signs, which were placed on the front of buildings indicating they were insured against fire. The fire services then knew which houses were insured by them and therefore which ones to save. The fire marks were provided by the insurance companies and appeared on buildings from 1710s onwards.

This collection consists of 100 different fire marks from around England. The collection came from the Victoria and Albert Museum as a permanent loan and ownership was transferred to the MERL in 1987. The Victoria and Albert Museum is the UK’s leading museum of art, design and performance. Its collections contain examples of human creativity in almost every medium.

More Information

The objects are catalogued on the online database. Search using the phrase ‘fire insurance’

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