M. Markley Antiques



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French Antique Fireplaces


For prices, additional photos, and more information about each item, CLICK on the photo, plus check out our page of Recent Arrivals.

For more information about the history of fireplaces, scroll down below the photo gallery.

#4110 Gothic Fireplace (Mantel)
#4110 - Walnut Gothic Fireplace

 #3230 Gothic Fireplace (Mantel)
#3230 - Walnut Gothic Fireplace

#1030 Renaissance Style 19th Century Fireplace (Mantel)
#1030 Walnut Renaissance Fireplace

About Fireplaces

Antique fireplaces made of wood are difficult to find and expensive to acquire.  There are several reasons for this.  First of all, unlike other items of furniture such as cabinets, armoires, etc., fireplaces were commonly made of stone rather than wood.  Secondly, removing a fireplace from a building is tricky because they were designed and built in-place.  Frequently, the only way to remove them is to destroy them in the process.  As a result, we rarely see fireplaces come on the market and so we have fewer to offer than in other furniture categories.

Not only are wooden fireplaces rare, but those in the styles we favor - Gothic, Renaissance, Louis XIII and Louis XIV - are rarer still.  The underlying reason could be the lack of fireplaces from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to inspire 19th century designers.  During those earlier centuries, fireplaces would have been made exclusively from non-combustible materials such as stone.  But since 19th century enthusiasts of the Gothic and Renaissance styles wanted contemporary pieces evoking design elements of the earlier periods, some fireplaces were made during the revival of interest in things Medieval and Renaissance.

The fireplaces we have offered as part of the Château des Bois CollectionTM have been made of walnut and hand-carved in what the French describe as the Henri II style - combining elements of both Gothic and Renaissance vocabularies.  Characteristics include architectural features such as columns and arches as well as fanciful creatures such as lions and grotesques.

For modern buyers of 19th century fireplaces there is not only the problem of scarcity but size.  Custom-built wooden fireplaces were designed with one location in mind and can create challenges when needing to accommodate the fire-box of a modern edifice.  While we recommend that clients acquire the fireplace before the construction of a fire-box, this is not always possible.

With all these limitations in mind, we continue to search for fireplaces, especially those with armorial features and additional pieces above the mantle.  Such fireplaces create a commanding presence in a room while enhancing the warm and inviting atmosphere created by a roaring fire.






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