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!
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.
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!
There are interesting stories to each reclaimed mantle because they usually capture the essence of the ancient structures they once came from.
Even when the fireplace origins are unknown it could still shed a bit of light about its lineage.
By knowing what to look for and paying attention to every minute detail within the mantles one can start understanding the hidden markers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To learn more please visit our Website at: http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html
or call our sales office at: 212-461-0245
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