An Italianate cast iron and glass mantel, perfect for cool autumn evenings. Cast iron was the plastic of the Victorian age. Its ability to be cast into forms both functional and ornamental led to its widespread use. Combined with advances in transportation (steam ships and railroads primarily), it was made its way into homes all across the nation.
This fireplace mantel is made of cast iron with panels of reverse-painted marbleized glass. It has a coal grate (incongruously containing several birch logs in the photo). The hearth is real marble. Such fireplaces can still be used for supplemental heating, and ambiance, burning coal or converted to gas for convenience. With a vent-less gas “coal” grate, it could be useable even if the historic chimney flue is unlined or has been repurposed for a modern boiler in the basement.
Chapter 8 of Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners discusses historic heating systems and delves into appropriate options for modern and efficient HVAC systems that don’t distract from the historic character of your home.
The 720 page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book is available in bookstores and from online retailers (it is currently 32% off on Amazon! http://ow.ly/N7ba50y4PSL).
Signed and personalized copies are available directly from the author from this site, click here: https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.
Your local bookstore can order copies from W.W. Norton.
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