The striking Art Nouveau fireplace mantel featured here is, as its name implies, derived from a style that was highly popular in many parts of the world -- particularly in Europe -- between about 1890 and 1910. Created by Michael Evans Design, a custom furniture maker in Unionville, Indiana, USA, the mantelpiece is an artistic present-day adaptation of the style, as well as a beautiful example of exceptional craftsmanship and detailing!
Above: Antique Mantel from Westland London
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied and decorative arts that reached its apex at the turn of the last century and subsequently declined as World War I approached. How- ever, it is slowly but steadily making a comeback in recent years, as we renew our appreciation for the sinuous and sensual curves for which the style is noted.
Historically, the Art Nouveau style drew its inspiration from natural -- albeit frequently stylized -- organic forms such as plants and flowers. Pictured above is an antique French Art Nouveau fireplace mantel, circa 1900. Crafted of ceramic, it is available from Westland London.
Though a contemporized version, the Art Nouveau fireplace mantel pictured below has many of the hallmarks of its predecessors. Deriving its influence from the curvaceous designs of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), as well as the angular designs of Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) -- both prominent leaders of the Art Nouveau style -- this fireplace mantel design combines the best of each!
Curving upward and outward, this stained mahogany beauty features an angular cut to the ends of its ebonized mantel shelf, as well as the projecting ebonized right-angled "cross members" just beneath the gracefully curved brackets (also ebonized) supporting the mantel shelf.
It provides a fitting "frame" for the stained redwood burl panel and curvilinear mahogany cutouts just above the firebox opening . . . . .
. . . a close-up of which is shown below.
Though dimensions vary, this Art Nouveau fireplace is approximately 66 inches wide x 70 inches tall x 10 inches deep. What does not vary, though, is Michael Evans' commitment to quality craftsmanship and the use of superior materials. With more than a quarter century of experience building finely crafted custom furniture and cabinetry, it is hardly surprising that Michael Evans is well versed in his craft . . . and the striking fireplace mantel pictured above clearly exhibits that. What IS surprising, however, is that he can build one for you for only about $1,500 to $3,000 -- a tremendous bargain for this level of quality and craftsmanship in today's mass produced, throw-away society! Kudos to Michael Evans Design!
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