Terminology of antique fireplace mantels. In her majesty’s English.


Terminology of antique fireplaces commonly used in the English language
Antique fireplaces have always been the essence of the English period interior. The popularity of antique fireplaces may have been due to our famously unpredictable weather, but that does not mean they are all English. Indeed, continental antique fireplaces are among the most popular, with the fabulous Baroque and Rococo products of France and Italy among the most sought-after. No wonder why those styles and school of carving have found their way into to family of English fireplace mantles. The fireplace in the English language took up various terms that basically meant the same thing. We would like to examine those terms closed and while at it show you some very unique British fireplaces in the process.

Antique Reclaimed Victorian style Marble Mantle from Portugal
Antique Reclaimed Victorian style Marble Mantle from Portugal

http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Reclaimed Mantles English The Georgian
Reclaimed Mantles English The Georgian

 http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Reclaimed Mantles English Victorian
Reclaimed Mantles English Victorian

Antique fire surrounds
Antique fire surrounds make an excellent focal point for the interior designer. Many period homes lost their interiors completely during the centrally-heated second half of the twentieth century, when so many antique fire surrounds were removed from their original homes. Carefully chosen antique fire surrounds will provide that creative spark to bring character back into a ruthlessly modernized interior.

The word surround depicts the skirting material generally stone since stone was noncombustible and a bad heat conductor so someone touching the surround wouldn’t suffer from 3ed degree burns!

Antique reclaimed medieval fireplace mantle from Ireland
Antique reclaimed medieval fireplace mantle from Ireland

http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

An antique reclaimed Tudor Gothic fireplace mantle by Ancient Surfaces
An antique reclaimed Tudor Gothic fireplace mantle by Ancient Surfaces

http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed Fireplace Mantle in an Old English Manor by Ancient Surfaces
Antique Reclaimed Fireplace Mantle in an Old English Manor

Antique mantels/mantles
Antique mantels are the elegant suits our forebears chose to clothe their otherwise utilitarian fireplaces in. The term “mantel” is a variation of the word “mantle”, meaning cloak or coat, and it is true that the best antique mantels lend style to a room just as a well-cut bespoke suit adds style to a man. Funny enough the term bespoke that originated in the 17th century originated in tailory and fond its direct secondary use in mantel making. Today the terms ‘mantel’ and ‘mantle’ are totally interchangeable and receive about equal Google fits amongst people searching for fireplaces.

Antique English Fireplace Mantel
Antique English Fireplace Mantel

http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed English Mantel Tudor style
Antique Reclaimed English Mantel Tudor style

http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique reclaimed English Tudor mantel
Antique reclaimed English Tudor mantel

Chimney-pieces/Chimneypieces
Chimneypieces are the heart of the home. Well-used chimneypieces become part of the family. Early in the evening as its flames are first kindled its flames leap high and it blazes brightly, accompanying the chatter and conviviality of a pleasant evening in. As the evening strolls on the jumping flames become lazier, receding into a radiant glow, while the entire chimneypiece becomes hot to the touch. As the last person creeps up the stairs to bed, the final embers glimmer in the hearth and the warmth of the chimneypiece is spread around the whole house.

Antique reclaimed English Mantel 'The Study'
Antique reclaimed English Mantel 'The Study'

http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Reclaimed English Gothic Revival stone fireplace mantle
Reclaimed English Gothic Revival stone fireplace mantle

http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique reclaimed stone fireplace mantle from Malta with an English influence
Antique reclaimed stone fireplace mantle from Malta with an English influence

Antique mantelpieces
Antique mantelpieces are somewhere for showing. Clocks, photographs, ornaments, how many people display their most precious memories on an antique mantelpiece? Everyone who has one!Antique mantelpieces are somewhere for inspiring. We’ve all read in front of the fire, occasionally glancing up to revolve our thoughts in the changing shapes and shadows of the flames. The depression of dark Winter nights is transfigured into nostalgic reflections by the glowing optimism of the open fire.

Antique reclaimed marble mantle English Victorian in style
Antique reclaimed marble mantle English Victorian in style

http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique reclaimed English fireplace mantle carved out of stone
Antique reclaimed English fireplace mantle carved out of stone
Two Tudor antique reclaimed mantel tops sitting in our salvage yard
Two Tudor antique reclaimed mantel tops sitting in our salvage yard

Reclaimed fireplaces & Original fireplaces
We specialize in the salvage, restoration and supply of reclaimed fireplaces. Why settle for new fireplaces when you can get reclaimed fireplaces? Bring character and history into your home with our reclaimed fireplaces. These original mantles can reinvigorate almost any room, while also providing light and warmth. Reclaimed fireplaces are restored by us to the highest standard, with an unprecedented level of care taken over every part of the restoration of these original fireplaces. We work in conjunction with many privately and publicly preserved estates. We are also a member of many Guilds.

Antique reclaimed English fireplace mantel with Gothic Tudor Rosettes carved on its front
Antique English fireplace mantel with Gothic Tudor Rosettes carved on its front
An Anglo-French mixed style antique stone fireplace mantle
An Anglo-French mixed style antique stone fireplace mantle
An antique reclaimed Norman era stone fireplace mantel
An antique reclaimed Norman era stone fireplace mantel

To learn more please visit our Website at:  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

or call our sales office at: 212-461-0245

Our other Blogg with BloggerOur Facebook pageOur Twiiter page

Our online catalog:

http://issuu.com/ancientsurfaces/docs/ancient_surfaces_online_catalog

Ancient Fireplaces in Situ Part 2


fireplace mantle before reclamation

This stunning French limestone fireplace mantel was realized in the directoire style  and was the main feature of this frugal French farmhouse in Provence. Visible are the 3 layers of paint on top of the stone that had to be partially cleaned as part of the labor of love (painstaking at times) restoration efforts needed to render this splendid piece of art back to its former glory. To learn more about this and other pieces visit our fireplace page on—>  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique countryside stone fireplace mantel in a ruinned Provence farmhouse photographed in the late 1940's
Antique countryside stone fireplace mantel in a ruined Provence farmhouse photographed in the late 1940's

For more about our antique stone mantles visit this page—>  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique countryside stone fireplace mantel in a ruined Provence farmhouse photographed in the late 1940's
Antique countryside stone fireplace mantel in a ruined Provence farmhouse photographed in the late 1940's

Antique countryside stone fireplace mantel in a ruined Provence farmhouse photographed in the late 1940’sFor more about our antique stone mantles visit this page—>  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique reclaimed English Bolection mantle Circa 18th century
Antique reclaimed English Bolection mantle Circa 18th century

Reclaimed English Bolection Fireplace Mantle By Ancient Surfaces. For more about our antique stone mantels visit our fireplace page on —>  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Bolection frame English Fireplace Mantle Circa 18th century
Antique Bolection frame English Fireplace Mantle Circa 18th century

This simple yet elegant in design Bolection frame fireplace mantel has its roots in the English fireplace making tradition of the 18th and 17th centuries. Its classical simplicity speaks volumes about the period in which it was conceived. to learn more about this and other unique reclaimed fireplace mantlepieces stop by—>   http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Ancient Fireplace in Situ in a 16th Century Italian Renaissance Villa
Ancient Fireplace in Situ in a 16th Century Italian Renaissance Villa

Italian Renaissance fireplace mantels are today’s  rarest finds in the world of reclaimed fireplaces. Back in the 16th century they were the most desired and most common features of Italian homes and villa, and despite the fact that they were expensive, they were bought by nearly all the social classes. Hand carved primarily out of limestone, these mantels were often grand and elaborate, and their grandness depended on people’s different classes (wealthier people had more sumptuous ones, whilst poorer classes mantles were often far simpler). The best designers and sculptors in Italy often produced grand and beautiful fireplaces for some of the most important noble families of the time. Even though these mantels were used as a source of heating one’s home, many were actually used simply for decoration purposes. We offer a few breathtaking 16th century Italian renaissance fireplace shown on our blogs & website including ones in our private inventory accessible by invite. To view our regular fireplace mantels inventory please visit our website at —>   http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Ancient Reclaimed Italian RenaissaneMantel circa late 15th century
Ancient Reclaimed Italian Renaissance mantel circa late 15th century

For further information Please visit our fireplace page on—>  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Ancient Reclaimed Italian Renaissance Mantel Circa late 15th Century
Ancient Reclaimed Italian Renaissance Mantel Circa late 15th Century

For further information Please visit our fireplace page on—>  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Reclaimed Italian Mantel with Middle Keystone
A reclaimed Italian Mantel with Middle Keystone

For further information Please visit our fireplace page on—>  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Reclaimed Italian Renaissance fireplace mantel during installation
A reclaimed Italian Renaissance fireplace mantel during installation

This splendid Italian 16th century stone fireplace mantle has been restored sold and shipped to the Americas were it was installed by a team of professional master masons that have perfected to installation process down to a science. Additionally this mantles features a firebox that is lined up with rows of running bonds of reclaimed limestone of Oolitic nature strong enough to stand up to direct flames of several hundred degrees. This Ancient Biblos Limestone is only available thou us and could be found on this page—>  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Biblos-Stone.html

Antique limestone Louis XV fireplace mantle in Situ
Antique limestone Louis XV fireplace mantle in Situ

A stunning antique limestone Louis XV fireplace mantle in Situ as shown in an old French Parisian villa prior to restoration and reclamation. This black and white pictures dates to after the second world war right around 1947 during the major reconstruction of Europe following WWII. To learn more about other antique Louis XV style fireplace mantels  please visit our website or Facebook page —> http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

A splendid reclaimed fireplace mantels Louis XV Style
A splendid reclaimed fireplace mantels Louis XV Style

This is a unique Louis XV limestone fireplace from Provence dating back to the 17th century. It’s a recent acquisition and has not yet entered our inventory database. For other similarly beautiful and unique Fireplaces please visit our fireplace page on—>  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Parisian stone Fireplace 'Cheminée antique parisienne en pierre' Louis XV
Antique Parisian stone Fireplace 'Cheminée antique Parisienne en pierre' Louis XV

To learn more please visit our Website at:  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

or call our sales office at: 212-461-0245

Our other Blogg with BloggerOur Facebook pageOur Twiiter page

Our online catalog:

http://issuu.com/ancientsurfaces/docs/ancient_surfaces_online_catalog

Antique Fireplace Mantels: What style to choose from?


Reclaimed Limestone Fireplace Mantle Salvaged from Belgium
Reclaimed Limestone Fireplace Mantle Salvaged from Belgium
Antique Reclaimed Fireplace Mantle in California
An Antique fireplace mantel is possibly the most important piece of furniture that you’ll purchase for your house because it’s a permanent fixture that will survive the perpetual remodeling(s) and style changes a home will have to endure over its lifetime. This mantle above was salvaged from France and was raised by a hearth to be custom fitted for an existing fireplace box in California. Most antique mantles could benefit from a hearth or surround stone pieces that will position them better with their boxes and rooms they are in for more information about our antique fireplaces visit: http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html
Antique Reclaimed French Fireplace Mantle in the Backyard
Antique Reclaimed French Fireplace Mantle in the Backyard

They project a classic look to a living room, warmth and coziness in a bedroom, or a meditative and unwinding therapy by the poolside patio. Running Bond Reclaimed Limestone inside the Firebox. These mantels have stood the test of time unlike their brand new counterparts. A good antique reclaimer would also offer an arsenal of refurbished antique accessories to complement the whole antique mantels ambiance that you’re trying to create in your home. Such items include ancient metal gates, antique herringbone bricks used to line the insides of the fireboxes, to the simple yet elegant hearth & surround stones, classic andiron, fire backs and baskets all salvaged from the 17th to the 19th century. Please visit our fireplace page for more information—> http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed Italian Countryside Fireplace
Classic timeless pieces from the Norman and Medieval, Italian and French Renaissance or Edwardian and Victorian eras are some of the best fireplace school of styles to choose from. This fireplace above was reclaimed from Italy and is of a classical Medieval Italian countryside design. See more at—> http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html
Antique Reclaimed French Fireplace Mantle with a Bolection Simple Frame

While picking from a variety of ancient hand carved stone mantels, generally, those offered by dealers are mainly simple with the occasional corbel legs to them like the French countryside fireplaces, or simple English Jacobean mantels with a nice bolection frame common during that era. To learn more about those types of simple fireplaces please visit our website at—>http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed French Fireplace
Antique Reclaimed French Fireplace
Various kinds of stone such as dolomite limestone, brecciated marble or even basalt rock in some instances were used by past carvers to create some of Europe’s most elaborate fireplace mantels for the past ten centuries. The best kind of stone to carve fireplaces out of in Limestone. Uncontested, it helps provide mantles with an eternal beauty and great heat conductivity while achieving a legendary level in hardness and durability. It’s no surprise that most well-preserved stone fireplaces in the world were once carved out of this highly prized natural sub-class called ‘Oolitic Limestone’ also known in French as ‘La Pierre Froide’. http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html
Antique Fireplace 'A Clef Vouttee'
Antique Fireplace with the Keystone

As for the style of mantles goes, the most popular kind of fireplace mantel today are South European or the Tuscan or French Bastide and Normandy style that are based on one simple philosophy of the simpler the better as long as that simplicity didn’t stand for losing the fireplace’s personality and character like few minimalistic modern design suggest today. http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed Louis XV French Fireplace
Antique Reclaimed Louis XV French Fireplace

Mostly sculptures realized in this style were a way for lesser wealthy individuals to afford a hand carved stone fireplace which still struck a chord with its viewing audience. They still offered a perfect balance of design and proportion based of the utilization the ‘Golden Ratio’ and ‘Golden Mean’. For example look at the fireplace mantle named AF-1100 shown above. http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Fireplace Cared Using the Golden Ratio
Antique Fireplace Cared Using the Golden Ratio

You can feel and see its beauty and proportionality despite the simplistic carving lines it features. This is because it was design and engineered hundred of years ago by a French master carver who planned every ligne, every curvature , and every proportion using specific geometric formulas that puts any modern university math professor to shame!http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Mantle in a French Abbaye
Antique Mantle in a Medieval Manor

Many European master carvers during the late Medieval and Renaissance periods utilized many other carving and visual techniques such as the play on the visual perspective, ‘Chiaroscuro’ shade manipulations, ‘Foreshortening’ the play with lines, and ‘Sfumato’ which consist on blurring or not fully carving a section to give it a perception of distance. http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed Fireplace with Vegetation and Leafage Carvings
Antique Reclaimed Fireplace with Vegetation and Leafage Carvings

Just as in paintings all European eras have been splendidly depicted in these hand carved mantels that speak volumes of Europe’s glory days & fall from grace. If anyone desires to design a house keeping a particular style in mind then European mantels offer such a versatile outlet for you. http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed Medieval Mantle

The earliest known mantel piece is the one in the Kings House in Southampton. It was carved in the 12th century and is a classic example of splendid old masters craftsmanship. A very wonderful example of the early Renaissance style fireplaces is the mantelpiece of the ‘Palais de Justice at Burges’ or the main fireplace mantle at the Versailles castle. http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed English Mantle with an Italian Influance

Seventeenth century English era saw the introduction of pure Italian style of fireplace mantel pieces. These mantels were very simple in style but had an elegant look. It was only in the latter part of the 17th century that bolder and molding styles were introduced. http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed 18th Century French Fireplace with Trumeau
Antique Reclaimed 18th Century French Fireplace with Trumeau

In the 18th century the rise of French style of architecture was seen and the designs of the mantels too were influenced by the French style. http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique Reclaimed Fireplace Mantle from the 17th Century
Antique Reclaimed Fireplace Mantle from the 17th Century

The other different but very elegant styles of fireplace mantels include the Classic Tudor, Jacobean, Victorian, Georgian, Gothic, Louis Style, Pompadour, Directoire… Antique fireplace mantels of the above mentioned eras and designs have gained a lot of popularity nowadays.

To learn more please visit our Website at:  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

or call our sales office at: 212-461-0245

Our other Blogg with BloggerOur Facebook pageOur Twiiter page

Our online catalog:

http://issuu.com/ancientsurfaces/docs/ancient_surfaces_online_catalog

Antique Fireplaces: A salvager’s dream come true


Salvaging isn’t only a happening kinda think that started in the last few years with the rise of the global green conscience… It’s a bit early than that.

Well OK let’s go WAY back here… Back to 3500 B.C. or 5500 years ago to the first recorded human battle: “The Battle for Hamoukar” story has it that an early city army in what is known today as modern-day Iraq invaded the city of Hamoukar in modern-day Syria and took it over. Researchers tell us that clay pots, massive mills and grinding wares from one culture were used by the conquerors far after they’ve won the battle. Evidence shows that cooking utensils from the conquered city kept on being used for at least a few more generations! In essence early reclamation was inseparable  from conquest and keeping the spoils of war. Visit our website at: http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Reenactment in utilization of ancient cooking tools and techniques
Reenactment in utilization of ancient cooking tools and techniques. Similar cooking tools were salvaged by humans and reused from one culture to the next.

Today reclamation and salvaging  have undoubtedly become part of our human psyche and daily lives, developing into the skillful art of re-purposing a once neglected and discarded item into a functional and lively ‘ object d’art ‘ of  intense beauty and a colorful past. Visit our main website at: http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

A 200 years old ruined dtone farmhouse in the American Midwest
A 200 years old ruined stone farmhouse in the American Midwest

Even though the basic building materials have always been the same: stone, cooked earth and lumber, the items salvaged from two rundown farmhouses in provenance for example could differ vastly in salvaged content. Age and village being the same, style, level of craftsmanship, size, attention to details, color and current condition play major roles in determining the items final public appeal and therefore cost of an old fireplace from another. For more information visit our website at: http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Salvaged Twice!
Salvaged Twice! one as a fireplace the second as an entryway.

For the reclaimer the fireplaces or what is normally left of them are the “Pièce de résistance ” in an old home. On average only one in five reclaimed structures offers unique original fireplace mantles that are significant enough to be refurbished and restored back to their former glory. This entryway to a private Italian villa shown in the picture above, was once a vibrant fireplace mantle of another structure that was demolished a couple of  hundred years ago. Reclamation is no different from coal mining you just never know when you might find a hidden diamond! For more information visit our website at: http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Another Architectural gem nestled between overgrown shrubs in Europe
Another Architectural gem nestled between overgrown shrubs in Europe

It’s more like a diamond in the rough really. It takes time, skills and passion in locating all the missing pieces and finding out how they all fit into this massive jigsaw puzzles called antique fireplaces. If you like to see more of our reclaimed mantels please visit our website at:  http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Ancient Reclaimed Medieval Walk-in Mantel
Ancient Reclaimed Medieval Walk-in Mantel
An Antique Stone Fireplace with 3 Layers of Paint, Missing its Top Shelf.
An Antique Stone Fireplace with 3 Layers of Paint, Missing its Top Shelf. Image taken prior to reclamation.

More time then often all the original pieces of a fireplace are not all found so a substitution of a few pieces are deemed necessary to complete the transition from the mount of broken terracotta floors, stone walls and piles of foliage and dirt into a fireplace in a lucky client’s living room! For more information about our reclaimed antique fireplaces please visit our website at:  www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Antique fireplace mantel getting reclaimed in Corsica
A French Antique fireplace mantel getting reclaimed with the help of a hydraulic crane. Step-2-

Eventually everything in this ruined farmhouse gets saved and reused from the old wood beams, the stone walls, the ancient furniture and the limestone floors all get a second chance in other people home. For more information about our reclaimed antique fireplaces please visit our website at:  www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

A French Antique fireplace mantel getting reclaimed with the help of a hydraulic crane
A French Antique fireplace mantel getting reclaimed with the help of a hydraulic crane. Step-3-

In a way the memory of this farmhouse, its walls, floors and fireplace will live on for centuries to come  giving a new meaning to the term reincarnation. Please visit our website at:  www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Installed ancient fireplace mantle in a French Provance style home
Installed ancient fireplace mantle in a French Provence style home

A similar fireplace from the same age and provenance as the reclaimed fireplace above shown installed in a French provincial style home. For more information please visit our site at:  www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Covered with layers of moss, barnacles and traces of ancient paint every single stone piece is a gem by itself reveling interesting clues of what life looked like just a few hundred years back in farmhouses across the south of Europe and on the Mediterranean coast. To learn more please visit our site at:  http://www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

Architectural Digest Magazine April 2011
This Antique fireplace mantle was showcased in a Malibu house half way across the world from where it was originally reclaimed and restored from. For more information about our reclaimed antique fireplaces please visit our website at:  www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html
Architectural Digest Magazine April 2011. An antique reclaimed fireplace mantel in Malibu, CA
Architectural Digest Magazine April 2011. An antique reclaimed fireplace mantel in Malibu, CA

This beauty feels right in home with its surroundings in sunny Malibu, California. For more information about our reclaimed antique fireplaces please visit our website at:  www.AncientSurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

The Antique Mantle prior to installation as featured in AD 2011 April edition
The Antique Mantle prior to installation as featured in AD 2011 April Edition

To in involved in this reclamation process is nothing short of a spiritual experience were one painstakingly rediscovers the lost and narrow path to redemption and enlightenment trough hard labor, vision and determination.

To learn more please visit our Website at:  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

or call our sales office at: 212-461-0245

Our other Blogg with BloggerOur Facebook pageOur Twiiter page

Our online catalog:

http://issuu.com/ancientsurfaces/docs/ancient_surfaces_online_catalog

Ancient Fireplaces in Situ Part 1


Antique Fireplace Prior to Reclamation in an Old Italian Mansion
Antique Fireplace Prior to Reclamation in an Old Italian Mansion

We do get asked a good question that we feel the need to address: Why not restore the structures and preserve this history within them for generations to come? And the simple answer to that question is that its impossible to restore every single structure ever built until the last century!

Cinque Terre May 26th 2011- A new meaning for people living on top of each other.
Cinque Terre May 26th 2011- A new meaning for people living on top of each other.

Both private and public owners around the world are constantly facing that same dilemma, to make the tough choice between what to restore and what not. As demand for the existing land slowly overtakes the preservation needs of earlier structures, (built-in the last few hundred years) the unfortunate choice becomes more obvious as a triage approach becomes necessary. The bright side to this story is that nothing gets wasted nowadays.

Antique Fireplace Mantle Prior to Reclamation
Antique Fireplace Mantle Prior to Reclamation

The image of a wrecking ball destroying great-grandpa’s cottage is a thing of the past. Thanks to the public awareness of multiple millions of professional and armature reclaimers alike, more people from around the world have developed a passion in reusing and restoring every single old fragment that gets demolished: from this old nails to that old wallpaper!

Ancient Farmhouse in Europe
A stunning antique fireplace in an ancient farmhouse in Europe

There are interesting stories to each reclaimed mantle because they usually capture the essence of the ancient structures they once came from.

Antique fireplace mantle in a french villa in Avignon Circa 1610 A.D.
Antique fireplace mantle in a french villa in Avignon Circa 1610 A.D.

Even when the fireplace origins are unknown it could still shed a bit of light about its lineage.

Reclaimed Mantle Avignon
Reclaimed Mantle Near the Town of Avignon

By knowing what to look for and paying attention to every minute detail within the mantles one can start understanding the hidden markers.

Reclaimed Mantle Maltese Stars
Reclaimed Mantle Maltese Stars

Just like in humans were the eyes could be the window to the soul, as they say, the mantle midsection could carry a ton of information on who the mantle owners were and what they held dear to their harts.

Ancient Limestone Lintle of an Antiqur Fireplace Mantle
Ancient Limestone Lintel of an Antique Fireplace Mantle with a French Coat-of-Arms

From a scribbled date or a capitalized initials, to a carved cote-of-arms or an angle cut of a keystone may be found and maybe indicative to the origins of each piece.

Reclaimed Mantles in situ in an Old coastal European private villa
Reclaimed Mantles in situ in an Old coastal Italian private villa

The general rule of thumb is that the more unique and individual an antique mantle was, the more pivotal the villa or mansion it must have been in.

Ancient Fireplace Reclaimed from Spain installed in a castle in California Circa 1650
Ancient Fireplace Reclaimed from Spain installed in a castle in California Circa 1650

Notably, as time went on, the stone fireplace mantle became a defining marker of nobility and a Status symbols in all European countries and kingdoms with no exception.

Reclaimed Mantle Villa Benata
Reclaimed Mantle Villa Benata

It became so much so ‘the’ status symbol that it was were many European families chose to carve their Heraldic arms and last names on, which in itself was the most important socioeconomic marker of the 13th century and still is in some ways.

Ancient Norman era fireplace mantle with a threatening coat of arms
Ancient Norman era fireplace mantle with a threatening coat of arms

To learn more please visit our Website at:  http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

or call our sales office at: 212-461-0245

Our other Blogg with BloggerOur Facebook pageOur Twiiter page

Our online catalog:

http://issuu.com/ancientsurfaces/docs/ancient_surfaces_online_catalog