Thursday, May 5, 2016

About Early Victorian Fireplaces

Victorian fireplaces were initially made of marble or slate but later cast iron frames became popular and had colorful tile insets down either side and a decorative mantelshelf made of slate or pine.
Early Victorian fireplaces had floral patterns in the iron casting but by late Victorian times the iron fireplaces were plainer with simple lines.
Cheaper homes had mantels made of wood or slate and had them painted to look like marble in order to impress visiting guests.
Generally Victorian fireplaces reflected the style of the home, with grander houses having some very ornate and lovely fireplaces.

Furnishings and architecture during the Victorian era gradually changed and became Gothic Revival and this also influenced the style of fireplaces.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

History of Chinese Folding Screens



History of folding screens starts in China, where they appeared in the VII century. These sophisticated pieces of furniture were made in wide range of sizes, from extremely large oversized folding screens that were used in spacious palaces, to miniature decorative screens that could comfortably fit on a tabletop. 

folding screens used as room dividers was constructed from several panels attached to each other. The most popular in VII century China room dividers were six or eight panels folding screens. Chinese masters are famous for their complex ancient lacquer application techniques. 

Most known technique used in creation of folding screens - "naciju" - is a labor intensive multi layered lacquer application technique with gold leaf inserted into the lacquer on the different levels. Masters applied up to 30 layers of lacquer and each level had a unique gold leaf pattern. As a result - a magically glowing surface of the screen that exudes energy. Another popular unique decorative technique used by Chinese artisans in creation of folding screens is dimensional carving on the clay surface.

Folding screens that are made by using this method are known as
 Coromandel screens. Each panel of coromandel screens was made from wood and covered with many layers of soft clay followed with multiple layers of lacquer. Then opulent designs with landscapes, flora and fauna motives, and calligraphy writing, were skillfully engraved in a different relief (high and low) into the screens panels, creating a breathtaking three dimensional effect. The Coromandel screens were then painted and embellished with gold or silver leaf. 

The unique screen making techniques passed from generation to generation and are widely used and popular today.


Benjamin Franklin and fireplaces

Benjamin Franklin  played an important role in the invention of fireplaces. He discovered that fireplaces lost a tremendous amount of heat through the wall. This inspired him to create the first freestanding firebox, which became to be known as the Franklin stove. Trying to find ways to best heat a room, he placed the first stove in the center of the room. The result was that the entire room was heated thoroughly and evenly. His other discovery was that by using heavy cast iron, even when the flames went out, the heat continued being produced.

Even with all his great discoveries, Benjamin Franklin's first attempt had a flaw. Because smoke was vented from the bottom, air could not be drawn in. A man living in Philadelphia by the name of David Rittenhouse decided to use Benjamin's creation but now add an L-shaped stovepipe as a way of moving the air through the fire and then vent the smoke out through a chimney. This addition proved quite successful and by the late 1700s, these freestanding stoves were being used throughout the country. Although David Rittenhouse made the stove a success, the name Franklin stove is what stuck.      

HOME & GARDEN Add warmth to your fireplace July 14, 2005 | Lisa Boone, Times Staff Writer For better or worse, a living room often is designed with the fireplace as its focal point, giving a utilitarian niche an incredible amount of design clout. Describing the expanse over the fireplace as "one of the most important spaces in the room," Los Angeles interior designer Mark Cutler says it should go beyond decoration. "It's such an opportunity to create a statement about what it is you want the room to be," he says, "or what your values about your home are."

For better or worse, a living room often is designed with the fireplace as its focal point, giving a utilitarian niche an incredible amount of design clout. Describing the expanse over the fireplace as "one of the most important spaces in the room," Los Angeles interior designer Mark Cutler says it should go beyond decoration. "It's such an opportunity to create a statement about what it is you want the room to be," he says, "or what your values about your home are."

Victorian era Fireplaces

The Victorian Era


The Victorian Era was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 – 1901, currently the longest reign in British History. Fireplaces from this period can be categorised into two main sub styles, the early and mid Victorian fireplaces and the late Victorian fireplaces. Early and mid Victorian fireplaces are typically very ornate with intricate designs focusing somewhat on a more floral pattern to the casting. This design has proved to become very popular in modern day reproduction fireplaces as they take their inspiration from these original antique fireplace designs. During the mid to late Victorian period in the fireplace industry, the styles became a little more geometric than floral, preferring a much cleaner and simpler look, but all the same these antique fireplaces still look excellent in their fully restored state. Additionally antique marble fireplaces and antique wood fireplaces with their floral and geometric designs are exhibitions of the standard these craftsmen worked to at the time.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fire screen desk

Thursday, April 21, 2016

types of fireplace screens

Types of fire screen

The three-panel fire screen, which covers the fireplace almost completely, has two side panels angled away from the central panel. It is an effective way of providing decoration in a room.

The horse screen, or cheval screen (cheval is the French word for horse) was in common use from the 18th century. It is a wide screen having two feet on each side, the arrangement of the feet giving the screen its name. Placed in front of the unused fireplace, the decorated screen improves the appearance of a room.[1] Screens are decorated with embroiderypapier maché, painted wood or perhapsstained glass; the frame and feet might be carved.[2]
The pole screen also began to appear in the 18th century. It is a smaller screen placed on a vertical pole which is mounted on a tripod; placed between a lit fire and an occupant of the room, the screen can be adjusted up or down to shield the person's face from the heat. The screen might be rectangular or a more decorous shape, and is decorated perhaps with embroidery, lacquer or paint.[1][2]
The banner screen is similar to a pole screen; instead of a solid screen there is a loose piece of silk or embroidery, weighted with tassels on the lower edge;[2] like a banner, it is supported from the top edge by a crossbar connected to a pole.

Some antique fire screens