The andirons

Necessary for the good combustion of fire since the early Antiquity, the firedogs, or andirons, are placed under the logs and allow the circulation of the air. It is certainly their role as “guardians” of the fire that earned them the name derived from the word “dog” since the Middle Ages. First made of wood, they are quickly designed in wrought iron.

The decorative heads of andirons, symmetrical and made of copper, developed in the Renaissance and in the 17th century, are often adorned with a ball. However, it was with the gilt bronze of the 18th century that andirons models multiplied, becoming real sculptures: animals and chimeras guarding the hearth, scenes of gallantries or elements of architecture.

The Louis XV and Louis XVI style models have invaded all the Châteaux and Mansions, including the Versailles Palace, and have remained sources of inspiration for the 19th century. The latter will be particularly interested in this medieval object, the rustic iron manufacture of which he also rehabilitated, and that it coated in Neo-Gothic fantasies.

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