This impressive antique fireback is made of thick cast iron and is in the form of a “Chapeau Gendarme”. This term was first used by carpenters and wood workers in the early 1800 to describe furniture crowns and architectural motifs that are curved upwards along the center line, resembling the old hats worn by the Gendarmerie of Napoleon’s army. The motifs of this fireback, executed in deep relief, depict The Allegory of Winter, as represented by the two angels warming themselves next to a flaming cassolette.
Firebacks have been used for roughly 500 years, with most of the first models bearing the Coats of Arms of the family. They were used in fireplaces to radiate heat into the room. Now, in addition to use in fireplaces, they can be used as ornamentation on stone walls, above stoves, or as a decorative accessory.
CONDITION: Good condition with some wear and rusting as seen in photos.