There were often several fireplaces in a home, but the most showy and stylish designs were saved for the rooms guests would most often see.
Take a look back at this collection of beautiful antique Victorian fireplaces — mantels and grates — each with a uniquely elegant style to suit homes of the late 1800s.
Fireplaces as art (1882)
From by J.L. Mott Iron Works – Beekman Street, New York City
The fire place, in these days of our modern renaissance, is one of the most, if not the very most, important feature in the decoration of our homes.
Appreciating this fact, and being fully alive to the refining influences of art and the manifest desire of our people to surround themselves with things that are really beautiful, we have ventured, at considerable outlay, to place before you a book which we may truly call a work of art.
The designs are the original creations of the most talented of our decorative art workers, while the work itself beatrs the impress and finish of the very best of handicraftsmen.
We repeat, that this is somewhat of a venture on our part, still we are not without faith, strengthened by our past experience and surrounded as we are with the evidences of the growth of art amongst our people, but what our efforts will meet with due appreciation.
In this work, we have endeavored not only to illustrate what is truly artistic, but have striven to present a variety, both in style and price, large enough to enable the buyer to make suitable selections for any class of work.
We have also endeavored, and we think with considerable success, to give each design a distinctive character as a work of art, free from the conventionalisms and incongruities that have hitherto characterized this class of work.
Victorian fireplaces & mantels from 1880
Fireplaces are used in connection with the Peerless Grate consists of five pieces of tile, which rest upon the outer or stationary frame of the grate. They are so constructed as to admit of their being set only at a certain angle which we have determined as best adapted for the proper radiation of the heat.
The back tile has a series of notches or openings at the top through which a current of hot air is admitted to the rear of the fire chamber for the more thorough combustion of the smoke and gases.
Through the same openings, the dust, caused by the agitation of the grate, is discharged into the fire chamber, passing up the flue in the rear of the tile, thus effecting perfect cleanliness.
Victorian fireplaces – #347: WALNUT, CHERRY OR OAK
MANTEL — 4 feet high, Opening 41-3/4 inches wide
TOP — 3 feet 2 inches high. Beveled German Mirror, 30 by 24 inches, and two French Plate Beveled Mirrors, 8 by 10 inches, above Side Shelves
FACING — Embossed 6-inch Tiles
HEARTH — 5 feet by 20 inches, Enameled Tiles with Embossed Tile Border
FIREPLACE — 2-inch Embossed Brass Frame (antique finish)
Polished Straight Front Basket and Screen, Dump Bottom
Victorian fireplaces – #332: CHERRY OR OAK
Beveled French Plate Mirrors
FACING — Opaque, Enameled 6 inch Tiles, Spanish Onyx
HEARTH — 5 feet by 24 inches, and Back Hearth Opaque, Enameled Tiles
FIREPLACE — 3 inch Cast Brass Frame (antique finish)
Nickel Plated Portable Basket 22 inches, Iron Fire Place Lining – Leaded, Brass Curtain Rod, Brackets and Rings
Victorian fireplaces – #329: CHERRY OR OAK
TOP — 4 feet 8 inches high, Beveled French Plate Mirror, 42 by 44 inches
FACING — Embossed 6-inch Tiles, “Cupid and Rose”
HEARTH — 5 feet by 24 inches and Back Hearth, Enameled Tiles with Embossed Tile Border
FIREPLACE — Cast Brass Frame with Cast Brass Scrolls (antique finish)
ALSO SEE: 25 fantastic old-fashioned fireplaces
How to use these antique Victorian fireplaces – About the standard grate
Attention is respectfully called to the Standard Setting, feeling satisfied that upon examination you will be convinced of all that is claimed for it, and that it stands far in advance of any and all other Grates in point of excellence, simplicity, appearance, comfort, cleanliness, and economy.
Some of the advantages over other grates are:
1st. The arch connected with the tile rest or support prevents the burning of the enamel on the upper part of the grate frame.
2d. The damper is so arranged that it can be held at any desired point, enabling one to regulate the draft, which gives the fireplace intense heating capacity, while the combustion is always under absolute control, and the strictest economy in the use of coal insured.
3d. When the fireplace is not in use, the damper can be closed, thereby avoiding the nuisance of stuffing the flue with rags and paper to keep the soot from soiling carpets, etc.
4th. The jamb plates are set so as to leave an air space in the wall opposite the basket, thereby preventing the burning or defacing of the frame.
5th. The grate basket has a corrugated bottom, forming air passages or ducts under the fuel, thereby producing a more perfect combustion, and will, from its peculiar construction, free itself from ashes more readily than any other grate.
6th. The basket hangs on the jamb plates two inches back of the grate frame opening, thereby obviating the annoyance of smoke and ashes from side drafts, and enables the summer front to be put in at any time without removing the basket.
Benefits of these fireplace grates
More heat from a given quantity of fuel than any other grate. Durability and simplicity of construction. No light castings. No complicated machinery. Adaptability to any kind of fuel. The greatest economy. All the solid fuel and a large portion of the smoke and cases being consumed.
7th. The ash screen is hinged to the basket and never needs removing while in use, and effectually hides all ashes from view.
8th. Since our Mr. D. K. Innes invented the Radiant Grate, we have found that to the many good qualities possessed by that grate, it was yet susceptible of further improvements, which we have accomplished in the Standard Grate. Innes & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio.
Antique fireplace screens and accessories from 1882