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February 21, 2010

For your château? Andiron

Pierre Gouthière.  Andiron, c. 1770/80.  Gilt bronze.  The Detroit Institute of Arts.

Here are a pair of andiron, made in France by Pierre Gouthière, when the new monarchs took the throne.  Gouthière worked in Paris and received many commissions from Marie Antoinette, he was simply one of the best! The term andiron originated in the thirteenth century and now we also refer to them as firedogs.  They are metal stands which are placed in a fireplace to hold logs. 

Elegant in style, this pair was designed with architecture in mind.  It would sit in the fireplace as we see it here. The logs lay across supports behind the gold banister, as if to represent keeping the fire within.  I particularly enjoy the exaggerated and billowy flames bursting from the two vessels on either end. But how about you? Would you use these in your fireplace?

4 comments

  1. Although I am not always a fan of gold decor and just love the sculpted flames and think this would do wonderfully in the fireplace!

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  2. *sigh* yet another reason I need a palace...or a chateau. Just a little one! I don't know, maybe 12 or 14 bedrooms? (I'm a fan of even numbers and symmetry). Yup, I'd have those in my dining hall :)

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  3. I cannot really see using this for its intended purpose. I imagine the gold might melt off!

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