Antique Fireplace Mantels...
Gilded Age Glory!

Antique fireplace mantels from Europe were highly prized and much sought after by affluent Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries -- an era whose ostentatious displays of wealth earned it the title of The Gilded Age.    Used to furnish the newly built mansions of the rapidly rising upper class, many of the imported chimneypieces were as  extraordinary  as  the mansions were extravagant!

biltmore house

Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina


And no one in America did it with as much zeal and passion as the de-
scendants of shipping and railroad magnate, "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877).   From the late 1870s to the 1920s, his heirs employed America's finest Beaux-Arts architects and decorators to erect an unprecedented succession of New York townhouses and East Coast country homes in the United States.

His grandson, George Washington Vanderbilt II (1862–1914), constructed Biltmore House, pictured above, left, in Asheville, North Carolina between 1889  and  1895.    With 250 rooms, it is the largest home in the United States.  

Another grandson and namesake of the "Commodore," Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843-1899),  built The Breakers (pictured below) in Newport,  Rhode Island between 1892 and 1895.   Generally considered the grandest of all Newport "cottages," the library chimneypiece pictured below, right, is an antique Caen stone mantel imported from France.

the breakers
antique fireplace mantels

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island              Library Chimneypiece



From the end of the Civil War to the beginning of World War I, the  U.S. experienced a spectacular period  of growth, change,  and  opportunity. American energy, expansion, and industrial might were unparalleled in the history of the United States. The urban population grew nearly fivefold in the years 1870-1910, from nine million to fory-two million.

Cultural striving, always present, became the great passion of the period, 
and the rapid rise of industrial and banking fortunes enabled the newly rich to indulge in a way that had previously not been possible.    Feeling that America was simply not grand enough to match their aspirations for it, many of them roamed the European continent and imported pieces of Eu-
ropean history, including lavish antique fireplace mantels,  to  create  a dreamworld of European culture on American soil.

Since  that  time, the demand for antique fireplace mantels has risen and fallen with changing tastes in architectural styles. With the trend in recent years toward old world, 
European inspired fireplaces,
  the  demand
for antique mantels is high once again.


antique fireplace mantels


Antique Fireplace Mantels

A Broad Range of Period Styles

From a finely carved English pine mantel with a broken pediment,
circa 1720 . . .

antique fireplace mantels



to a 1750 giltwood Rococo chim-
neypiece with a marble surround.



antique fireplace mantels



From a large and elegant -- albeit simple -- Egyptian Revival mantel
in Sienna marble, circa 1820 . . .



antique fireplace mantels



to a striking 1840 carved mahog-
any chimney piece with exquisitely detailed lions' heads.

antique fireplace mantels



From an imposing French Gothic Revival walnut chimneypiece with hooded overmantel, circa 1850 . . .



antique fireplace mantels



to a grand Venetian Baroque carved giltwood and marble surround from the same era.



antique fireplace mantels



From a large hooded Arts and Crafts chimneypiece, circa 1850, finely carved in oak . . .



antique fireplace mantels



to a monumental carved oak surround with a sandstone insert, circa 1855.



antique fireplace mantels



From a magnificent late 19th century Palladian carved oak chimneypiece with mirrored overmantel . . .



antique fireplace mantels



to a unique 1890 Art Nouveau 
chimneypiece decorated with
marble mosaics and burnished wrought iron work.




antique fireplace mantels




From a superb example of a 1920s English Art Deco fireplace made
from polished stainless steel and three different types of marble . . .

antique fireplace mantels



to a beautifully detailed Italian Art Deco surround of travertine stone 
inlaid with Sienna marble, circa 1930.



antique fireplace mantels


Whether your tastes harken back to medieval Gothic, 14th to 17th century Renaissance era design, or roaring 20s Art Deco, you have an  incredibly wide and varied selection of antique fireplace mantels and surrounds to pick from.    In addition to European made chimneypieces,  you'll find an exciting array of American-made antique fireplace mantels dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Please check back often or subscribe to our RSS feed,  as  we  fre-
quently add new images of antique hearths to our site.






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