ART NOUVEAU, ART DECO AND ARTS & CRAFTS ANTIQUE FIREPLACES
Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Arts & Crafts antique fireplaces, chimneypieces and mantels with examples in a range of marble, wood, cast iron and other metals and including ceramic and mosaic pieces.
Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Arts & Crafts fireplaces
Our collection of antique Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Arts & Crafts fireplaces features chimneypieces in marble, wood, metal and ceramic. Any of our antique fireplaces would bring fresh design and a unique focal point to both period and modern rooms.
Art Nouveau: an entirely new style
Art Nouveau emerged in the early 1890s as a reaction to the academic art of the 19th Century. Decorative, sensual, and entirely new, it took inspiration from the natural world, particularly the curved forms of flowers and plants. Characteristic motifs include swirling lines, delicate tendrils, exotic figures and elaborate geometry.
Art Nouveau furniture tended to feature complex designs with curved shapes, and a high-quality finish, like varnishing or polishing, was considered essential. It didn’t replace other styles of furniture, but was regarded as an expensive ‘art furniture’ category. Art Nouveau remained popular until the First World War, but then fell out of style in favour of Art Deco and Modernism.
Art Nouveau fireplaces
Art Nouveau fireplaces had their own unique style. They often featured organic elements, such as stylised flowers and swooping, swirling vines, giving the impression they were ‘growing’ up the sides of chimneys. As well as these natural flourishes, Art Nouveau fireplaces tended to accentuate geometric shapes and vertical lines. Tile inserts were another common element, and ‘tube lining’, a technique which created raised lines on the surface of a tile, was used to make the decorative, whimsical designs appear more prominent.
The arrival of Art Deco
Art Deco first appeared in France just before the First World War, and lasted throughout the roaring 20s and the Depression-worn 30s. It was characterised by an energetic eclecticism, simultaneously drawing on tradition and celebrating modernity. It was influenced by the vibrant colours of Fauvism, the geometric shapes of Cubism and the artistic stylings of Japan, China, India, Persia, ancient Egypt and the Maya civilisation.
Art Deco furniture combined exotic and rare materials, like ebony, mahogany and mother of pearl, with fine craftsmanship, and represented luxury, exuberance and glamour. It featured bold geometric shapes, clean lines and rich colours. Furniture was usually polished to a very high sheen, which added to its opulence.
Art Deco fireplaces
Art Deco fireplaces were no exception to the trend for luxurious, extravagant design, combining understated lines with spectacular flourishes. In the 1930s new materials came into use, including stainless steel and chrome. These materials were redolent of the modern, mechanised world that Art Deco celebrated. Many Art Deco fireplaces made use of these sleek, reflective materials, combining them with highly lacquered wood to striking effect. The 1930s also heralded new mass production techniques, which brought Art Deco fireplaces and furniture to the middle classes instead of just the fabulously wealthy.
The Arts & Crafts movement
The Arts & Crafts movement began in Britain around 1880 and became popular in Europe and North America until 1920, before emerging in Japan as the Mingei movement. It was one of the most far-reaching and influential design movements in modern history. It developed in response to the effects of industrialisation and the perceived impoverished state of the decorative arts.
Arts & Crafts fireplaces
The Arts & Crafts movement championed traditional craftsmanship and simple forms, and often featured romantic, medieval or folk-inspired decoration. As such, many Arts & Crafts fireplaces were handcrafted, and, like the Art Nouveau fireplaces that came after them, were influenced by natural forms. They featured a variety of different materials, including brick, stone, cast iron, terracotta and tile.