Antique Fireplace Mantels as Traditional Pieces of Furniture

A 12th Century antique Stone fireplace salvaged from the South of France and installed in a Colorado compound.

Antique fireplace mantels are important pieces of furniture. They provide a classic look to the living room, warmth and coziness in the bedroom, or a meditative and unwinding therapy by the poolside patio.

Chateau Lyon, Lake Norman. By Ancient Surfaces, Barry Dixon 2008.
Chateau Lyon French Countryside Castle on Lake Norman. By Ancient Surfaces, Barry Dixon 2008.

These mantels have stood the test of time unlike their brand new counterparts. Also, a good antique reclaimer might offer an arsenal of refurnish antique accessories to complement the whole antique mantels ambiance that you’re trying to create in your home.

Private home with an Ancient Fireplace Mantle in Paradise Valley Arizona, Fireplace originated from Ancient Surfaces.
Private home with an Ancient Fireplace Mantle in Paradise Valley Arizona, Fireplace originated from Ancient Surfaces.

Such items include ancient metal gates, antique herringbone brickletts used to line the insides of the fireboxes, to the simple yet elegant and classic andiron and baskets that are salvaged from the 18 an 17th centuries.

Antique Stone Fireplace by Ancient Surfaces As featured in Luxe Magazine 2012, Florida.
Antique Stone Fireplace by Ancient Surfaces, Luxe Magazine 2012, Florida. Thin Herringbone firebox.

Classic timeless pieces from the Norman medieval, Italian and French Renaissance or Edwardian and Victorian eras are the best options to choose from. While choosing from a variety of ancient hand carved stone mantels, generally, those offered by dealers are mainly simple with the occasional corbeled legs to them like the French countryside fireplaces, or with a nice bolection frame or picture frame looking mantles that were common during the late British Imperial era.

Reclaimed Medieval era antique stone fireplace installed in an outdoor open patio, Coastal California.
Reclaimed Medieval era antique stone fireplace installed in an outdoor open patio, Coastal California.

Various kinds of stone such as dolomitic limestone, brachiated marble or even basalt rock in some instances were used by pas carvers to create some of Europe’s most elaborate fireplace mantels for the last ten centuries.

Elaborately hand carved antique marble fireplace, restored by Ancient Surfaces.
Elaborately hand carved antique marble fireplace, restored by Ancient Surfaces.

So what is the best kind of stone to carve mantles out of? This stone remains uncontested since it grants mantles an eternal durability while allowing them to age gracefully. It’s a great heat conductor yes soft and textured to the touch.

An Antique French limestone fireplace acquired by the current owner of this Mediterranean Countryside style home in Orange Country, California.
An Antique French limestone fireplace acquired by the current owner of this Mediterranean Countryside style home in Orange Country, California.

This stone is seen in the most well preserved fireplaces in the world that were once carved out of. It is called the ‘Oolitic Limestone’ and its raw blocks are highly prized by master stone carvers from around the world.

French Limestone Fireplace Mantle with Trumeau by Ancient Surfaces in a Renovated Countryside Vacation House
French Limestone Fireplace Mantle with Trumeau by Ancient Surfaces in a Renovated Countryside Vacation House

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 styles that are based on one simple philosophy of simplicity equals beauty, as long as that simplicity didn’t stand for losing the personality and historic characteristic that defines that particular fireplace and help set it apart from its counterparts.

A Simple and Clean Line Antique Fireplace Mantle by Ancient Surfaces.
A Simple and Clean Line Antique Fireplace Mantle by Ancient Surfaces.

Mostly sculptures realized in this style were a simple way for countryside residents to have functional yet elegant hand carved stone mantle that resonated with the simple countryside way of life.

Simple countryside hand carved fireplace mantle out of Oolitic Limestone by Ancient Surfaces.
Simple countryside hand carved fireplace mantle out of Oolitic Limestone by Ancient Surfaces.

They still offered a perfect balance of design and proportion based of the utilization the ‘Golden Ratio’ and ‘Golden Mean’ and by utilizing many other carving and visual tricks like 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.

Limestone Entryway in a National Landmark. Height and width designed and carved using the golden ratio proportions.
Limestone Entryway in a National Landmark. Height and width designed and carved using the golden ratio proportions.

All European regions are splendidly depicted in the mantel designs that originated from them. They speak volumes of the old continent past vestige and it’s timeline. When designing a house selecting the style of the fireplace will help you define the overall type of the home you want to build and live in.

Hand carved limestone fireplace mantle. The 19th Century Italian Librarian style.
Hand carved limestone fireplace mantle. The 19th Century Italian Librarian style.

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 12th Century antique Stone fireplace salvaged from the South of France and installed in a Colorado compound.
A 12th Century antique Stone fireplace salvaged from the South of France and installed in a Colorado compound.

A very wonderful example of the early Renaissance style fireplaces is the mantelpiece of the ‘Palais de Justice at Burges’. Seventeenth century English era saw the introduction of pure Italian style of fireplace mantel pieces.

Antique Reclaimed 12th century Limestone Fireplace in its final home in Colorado.
Antique Reclaimed 12th century Limestone Fireplace in its final home in Colorado.

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. 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.

A reclaimed 18th century French Fireplace Mantle from Burgundy. Reclaimed by Ancient Surfaces sold by dealer to current owner.
A reclaimed 18th century French Fireplace Mantle from Burgundy. Reclaimed by Ancient Surfaces sold by dealer to current owner.

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

A reclaimed 17th century French Fireplace Mantle from Aix-En-Provence. Reclaimed and sold by Ancient Surfaces.
A reclaimed 17th century French Fireplace Mantle from Aix-En-Provence. Reclaimed and sold by Ancient Surfaces.

There’s a good chance that most antique fireplaces you purchase on the market today would have originated from France or Italy where a bulk of architectural antique salvaging, acquisition, sale and storage reside.

A reclaimed French Fireplace Mantle from the South of France. Reclaimed and sold by Ancient Surfaces.
A reclaimed French Fireplace Mantle from the South of France. Reclaimed and sold by Ancient Surfaces.

In recent years a sensational thirst for rare and unique stone elements have surged all around the English spoken world from England to the United States and from Australia to Canada.

A reclaimed Italian Fireplace Mantle from the North of Italy. Reclaimed by Ancient Surfaces and sold to clients through a local dealer.
A reclaimed Italian Fireplace Mantle from the North of Italy. Reclaimed by Ancient Surfaces and sold to clients through a local dealer.

This recent spike in demand had put the pressured on supplies of genuine antique stone elements especially on one of a kind antique fireplaces. To learn more about those fascinating and unique architectural gems as well as their hand carved exact replicas feel free to please contact us through our website at Ancient Surfaces.

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The Golden Ratio in Fireplaces and other Architectural Stone Elements


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The Classical system is influential because the ideals and philosophy behind the system is not only based on what’s practical but is also geometrically sound, attractive to the eye and functional engineering wise. One can only say that the Classical orders are orders of visual splendor and cohesion.

THE CLASSICAL ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE

The Greeks and in later centuries the Romans used the human body as their proportioning system for their buildings and architectural creations. So what is that system? For each style: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian the proportions are based on each type of body. The male body inspired the Doric order, the female body the Ionic order, and the young maiden’s body the Corinthian order… nowadays any good architect/Geometer can create their interpretation of one of the three main orders as seen below

columns

This is how this works for each order. In the Doric order the column’s ratio is 1:7. When the column’s diameter is 1′ wide at its base, the column’s height should then be 7′. Take an entire Doric structure like the Greek temple at Tholos for example; the 1:7 ratio is evident as all the building elements are in a 1 to 7 proportional relationship with one another. Even the window openings the spacing between each column and the ceiling carved motifs are all in 1:7 proportional relationships with the columns. Same goes for the Ionic and Corinthian order as well as all later orders. 1732941262_eb917d6fac_o

The beautiful thing is that when using the Classical system these proportions and ratios encompass the entire building. Thus all the architectural elements, moldings, windows, doors, fireplaces, etc., would be tied in some way to the building’s order. What this means is that it was a pure and holistic system of building. Conceivably, if an owner requested a church to be built using the Ionic order, then with slight adjustments the master builder knew a great deal about the building, level of ornamentation, placement of windows, etc. Chasely Jeans

This idea brought great comfort to the Greeks. It was the Greeks that produced the greatest society of thinkers; Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the mathematicians like Euclid for geometry and Pythagoras for math. There was no culture as obsessed with beauty and math and the sciences as the Greeks. They found inspiration in the human form, but it was not narcissistic attention to self that caused them to make the human form as a model. Untitled-1

They discovered as they dug deeper that the parts and pieces of the human form are mathematically pure as well; mathematical patterns that repeated themselves in trees, leaves, shells, bird and rock formations even. This hidden code was deified and was connected with the secret code of creation of everything living and inert. This mathematical miracle of sorts was rightfully called the golden mean.

 THE GOLDEN MEANUntitled-1

The golden mean is seen most clearly in its geometrical form, the golden rectangle. This rectangle with a short side of 3 and long side of 5 give us the mathematical ratio of 5:3. This ratio is represented by the irrational number 1.6183… This number, whether represented geometrically or mathematically, holds some divine attributes. AF 1110-sm-Golden-Ratiob

The Renaissance mathematician Fibonacci reveals some of the magic of this number in his famous sequence, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, etc. Known as the Fibonacci sequence, it mathematically represents the divine ideals of the golden mean. If we divide a lower number say, 55 into 89, it equals 1.618. This sequence of numbers is in turn tied to the proportions of rectangles found in the golden rectangle. This ratio has inspired and mystified scholars for years. Imagine the look of the Greek mathematicians faces, when they started seeing this golden mean all over nature, in the growth of a pine cone, in the face of a sunflower, in the nautilus shell and of course the human body.

The Golden Ratio on a Human Scale

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This 5:3 ratio is found all over the human body. Leonardo da Vinci spent a great deal of time measuring all parts of the human body and comparing them to one another.

An Antique Fireplace Mantle Hand Carved in the 16th century Using the Golden Ratio Harmonic Equation.
An Antique Fireplace Mantle Hand Carved in the 16th century Using the Golden Ratio Harmonic Equation.

He found this ratio again and again. It is thought by some to have helped define the face of Mona Lisa herself. This proportional ratio is found when we compare our overall height to the height of our belly button, in the hand to the forearm. It is like we have God’s fingerprint all over and throughout nature.025-pokliop- golden ratio-4

The Greeks certainly saw this as an important ratio, and we see it throughout their famous temples as an overriding organizational tool.COL-37-01-CO-227-e

It is this ability to organize, harmonize and beautify buildings and architectural elements such as fireplaces according to a universal ideal that enthralled the Greeks. Beauty for them was order, balance and harmony.An Antique Fireplace Mantle Hand Carved in the 16th century Using the Golden Ratio Harmonic Equation.

An Antique Fireplace Mantle Hand Carved in the 16th century Using the Golden Ratio Harmonic Equation.

It was only natural that the math and order it wrought gave them such satisfaction. In order for us to build a timeless house, we must use these same rules, principles and proportions in our designs that were cherished by the early Greeks and Romans. BEST-74-golden ratio-4

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7 Simple yet Elegant Antique Stone Fireplaces


A simple fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone brick inlay into the firebox.
A simple fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone brick inlay into the firebox.
This simple limestone carved fireplace is Tuscan in design installed with a thick stone hearth ad terracotta bricks. Running bond brick are inlay inside the firebox.
This simple limestone carved fireplace is Tuscan in design installed with a thick stone hearth ad terracotta bricks. Running bond brick are inlay inside the firebox.
A simple French fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone firebox bricks.
A simple French fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with horizontal and vertical running bond firebox bricks.
Another Italian inspired simple fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with a benched raised stone hearth.
Another Italian inspired simple fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with an inserted, benched, raised stone hearth.
A simple Tudor fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone bricks lining the insides of this gas burning firebox.
A simple Tudor fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone bricks, lining the insides of this gas burning firebox.
This Italian countryside fireplace was hand carved out of hard limestone installed with an interesting herringbone firebox and running bond brick lines.
This Italian countryside fireplace was hand carved out of limestone & installed with an interesting crisscross herringbone pattern.
The Mariana Fireplace
A unique hand carved limestone fireplace coupled with its own custom seating bench. Ideal for outdoor settings, and family rooms. The middle Floral is an old European symbol of the Virgin Mary, is carved and mounted on a the middle keystone.
The Mariana Fireplace
Side profile of the same hand carved limestone fireplace shown just above.

We still consider ourselves apprentices who are in constantly pursuit of perfecting our craft by learning more and more about our past and how to better merge it with our present contemporary setting because once you stop learning about your roots and origins you stop caring about your future projection and stop growing as a company or as individuals.

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

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The Perfect Feng Shui stone fireplace by Ancient Surfaces


A simple Antique Old World Stone Fireplaces, with the Om yoga sign carved and etched on the center of its keystone by Ancient SurfacesTo learn more please visit our Website at: http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

fb01852d6d8c213182a5880dd62488d98 Our deep knowledge and experience in hand carving, sourcing and installing antique limestone fireplaces isn’t restricted to European style fireplaces.

Fireplace-01 Gothic Tudor style fireplaces that contain very little to no decorative carvings are perfect candidates for any Asiatic, Feng Shui Style home.

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Norman 'Solar' Mantle-2

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Modern Rustic Bedrooms Fireplaces


we wanted to shine some light on these beautiful bedrooms inspired by the same classic styles of Architectural Digest Magazine and Veranda Magazine. Only this time the subtle and sophisticated take on modern classic decor is distinguished and gives us a glimpse of hope in making this beautiful era relative to our contemporary and multi-cultural lives.

some of their furniture shown in those images only appears ancient because of the antique aging process and hand-waxed lacquer finish but the detail in craftsmanship is undeniable so we won’t hold that against them. Using metallic fabrics and bold color in unexpected places while remaining true to the idiosyncratic fashion of the old world is simply a great combination for any period room. Wouldn’t it be grand to wake up in one of these royal-sized beds with the sun shining into your massive french windows as you examine the finishing touches of such flawlessly elaborate architecture and ponder the meaning of life? We’d like to think so…

Here you will see Baroque and Medieval inspired bedrooms with a modern flair. We only hope you come back to reality soon enough to enjoy our next post!

Luberon Fireplace Mantle in a master Bedroom 16th Century
Luberon Fireplace Mantle in a master Bedroom 16th Century
Beautiful Architectural Bedroom Fireplace
Beautiful Architectural Bedroom Fireplace
Glamorous bedroom ornate fireplace
Glamorous bedroom ornate fireplace
Antique Italian Fireplace
Antique Italian Fireplace
Master bedroom fireplace
Master bedroom fireplace

 

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

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Reclaimed Mantles English The Georgian
Reclaimed Mantles English The Georgian

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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

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

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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

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

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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'

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Our online catalog:

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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

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Our online catalog:

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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

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Our online catalog:

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