A solid stone mantle adds many factors of interest to a house. Providing not only a source of warmth, but style, beauty and value. Ancient surface’s antique custom designed fireplaces are guaranteed to make your home the place where everyone wants to be. It easily becomes the centerpiece of your house, drawing both friends and family together around its warm glare.
These stone fireplace design ideas from our past projects will inspire a space you’ll never want to leave. Let it rain snow and hail outside so our mantels can warm you up with style. There is nothing better than a cup of hot coco in front of a warm fire after a long day in the cold!
Our fireplaces are custom-designed to accommodate you and your loved ones. Thinking about having some peace of mind and a good read? Where else then around a stone state of the art fireplace.
Scroll through the different fireplace designs and let yourself fall in love in our stone mantels, guaranteed to keep you warm.
French Rustic mantel fireplace vignette in an exposed wood ceiling living room.
A French-Victorian mix design will throw your heart and mind into a wonderful world of “make believe” right in your own home.
A roaring fire warms up the living room, with green and white detailed throw pillow as a compliment to the glowing embers. Limestone Coats of Arms emblems, antique limestone flooring, renaissance painting and classical Provence furniture were all enlisted for this ‘job well done’ design.
This French heavy carved majestic fireplace is the focal point in this master bedroom.
Rustic Provence look. Each architectural element in this picture has a story of its own and has witnessed a different angle of our rich human history.
The Combination of antique chairs, basalt table and stone fireplace seem to just work flawlessly together. The various indoor plants next to the mantel look perfect in their weathered urns.
A simple and clean line Antique Fireplace Mantle with Over mantle by Ancient Surfaces.
Old World Mediterranean, Italian home decor with a wide open indoor outdoor setting.
A Beautiful Architectural Bedroom with an Italian Fireplace in a Laguna Beach Master Bedroom.
Gorgeous, cozy Italian Villa lounge room with a fully carved Italian fireplace that makes you want to just sit there and marvel.
Hand carved French limestone fireplace mantel from the 17th Century. This small whimsical side fireplace nook makes you wonder how much attention to details has gone into the meticulous design of this beautiful and time honored estate.
Are you having problems coming up with the right design ideasfor your outdoor stone fireplace?
Do you feel like what’s out there on the market looks so cookie cutter and low quality that it could cheapen instead of enrich your backyard experience?
If you are hoping to include a unique looking stone fireplace into your wild outdoors you just might be in luck.
Installing a real elegant stone fireplacecould be a step in the right direction. Tired of the same ole copy paste Slam Depot stacked stone ‘fireplace kits’ that are “so easy you can install them yourself”?!
They are quite frankly the saddest thing to look at and are littered across the dot-com world that import all sorts of substandard goods guaranteed not to impress you nor enrich your outdoor living experience.
Poof! So glad we got that out of our system for a change. So now back to our regular dose of kumbaya and political correctness…
Here are some real Outdoor Stone Fireplace Masterpieces that deserve to be in your Backyard and should be worthy of setting the stage for your upcoming best memories you’ll be creating with your love ones.
Sometimes functional items are designed so beautifully that they blur the line between architecture and art. The stone fireplace surrounds in our collection are beautifully hand carved ancient works of art.
As the evenings growing colder, no wonder many of us start turning on the glow of their beloved fireplaces. Many of us think that it might be a little too late to remodel their fireplaces and replace them with the real deal. Well, think again! With some extra motivation fueled by your desire to enjoy your winter season in a European flair, you can have your own masterpiece.
Here are the top 10 most beautiful, inspiring, ancient and cozy fireplaces that maybe still within your grasp:
They say nothing lasts forever, but we all know that one can own a few items that may last for generations to come. No, we’re not talking about a girl’s best friend to quote Marline Monroe. Even though our stones can’t be worn on your wrists or fingers, they still can be a crowd pleaser none the less. Installing an antique limestone fireplace in your family room can be the one design element that everyone in your family agrees with and is comforted by especially when it starts raining or snowing outside.
Pedigree (History and Provenance) of the fireplace aside, what design elements one should consider when selecting a fireplace that may last you a lifetime in some cases?
You always need to keep in mind that your fireplace selection will have to be a permanent fixture in your home and is supposed to live through any design change your room or home will be going through in the future. What would you rather go for? A well carved fireplace or a simply hand carved one? Let’s consider the positive aspects of both choices and see how they may pertain to your taste buds.
Fully carved stone mantles:
When considering a fully hand carved limestone fireplace close your eyes and think of a complex and rich multi-layered ‘Taurasi’ wine blend from ‘Campania’ that’s been well aged in oak barrels.
What nuances would your eyes savor? Can you envision tasting the Southern Italian Baroque acanthus leaves free flowing on this mantle corbeled sides or the rich and velvety pallet of the sprawling and spiraling vined foliage that can grace the front face of your unique fireplace?
Can you imagine the glowing heat radiating from inside the stone built firebox of such a captivating mantle? The reflected shadow of the flame dancing on the medieval carved limestone coupled with the intoxicating sound on the flickering burning wood becoming one with the melody of slowly decanted bottle of Barolo from Piedmont…
If you picture yourself in that frame, allow yourself to be captured by an antique well carved limestone fireplace that’s been salvaged from centuries old Renaissance or Baroque castles by Ancient Surfaces.
A fully carved fireplace of that era will define the look of your entire room and anchor your whole house with an authentic design persona.
Simple carved Fireplace:
Simply carved fireplaces allow visual evenhandedness between styles, finish patina and shade of the room and the stone of the fireplace. In a simple fireplace the design focus shifts from the carving to the actual antique limestone itself as it becomes the predominant design feature of the mantel instead of its minimal carved elements.
When it’s simple it goes with everything else right? Well yes that is true, but one has to be careful that going with everything doesn’t turn into a disappearing act where the mantle itself totally blends with its environment in the same way a window frame blends with the wall.
Simple architectural fireplaces when realized symmetrically and when created and carved under the golden ratio and the golden mean will carry more of a creative punch than most of its other ornately carved counterparts. Minimalism when portrayed in well-defined and harmonic ratios, guarantees you a powerful visual output and a soothing organic feel that will satisfy your design vision for that space.
With a simple yet elegant antique hand carved fireplace you’ll be looking more at the architecture, structure and patina of the fireplace and how its various component simply integrate together with your space.
As a wise man once said: “the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.” William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347)
This Online catalog selection featuring some of our captivating antique limestone fireplaces were taken from our own printed fireplace catalog from 2011 to 2016.
One of a kind antique limestone fireplace hundreds of years old reclaimed and restored by hand, shipped from Spain to a French castle in the Dordogne region close to the Limousine national forest.
A captivating antique Limestone Fireplace that features an over mantle or a ‘trumeaux’ as its called in French.
A lovely antique stone fireplace with an etched Cross motif on its midsection. This Cross is known as the Maltese Cross.
A finely carved crest of two lions flanking a Medici vase is the main characteristic of this antique 15th century fireplace.
A beige limestone antique fireplace dating back to the 17th century. This lovely stone mantle was restored to its formed glory by the capable hands of our professional artisans who had to change and beef up its top shelf and extend its legs.
This antique Italian beige limestone fireplace was supplied, restored and installed for this charming private Italian Villa. Over the years, the list of our clientele has grown into the thousands and reads like a Forbes 500 list.
Both our clients and competitors admire the rarity and uniqueness of our one of a kind Antique Fireplace Mantles that we salvage and carefully (and sometime painstakingly) restore back to their original splendor without defacing the time honored patina that those pieces have acquired during their temporal journey since their hand carving centuries ago.
We are trying to move with the times by making our entire Yard stocks becoming digitally available for online viewing.
This massive undertaking required tens of thousands of man hours worth of documentation, data entry, archiving and classifications.
We’ll be keeping everyone updated on this herculean undertaking as the months or even maybe years role by!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.