Illustrated Architecture Dictionary ....................... Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary

Fireplace Terms

"The castle was a vast stone and timber building that evolved from one large room, the great hall. Until the introduction of the fireplace in the fourteenth century, fires were made on the stone floor with an open window providing ventilation. To safeguard against the risk of fire, ceiling heights exceeded twenty feet, a characteristic that endures as a symbol of greatness and wealth." - Treena Crochet, Designer's Guide to Furniture Styles," pub. 2204, p. 135

Even after the fireplace was made technically obsolete by the widespread use of the stove and by central heating, it retained a symbolic and decorative importance. Moreover, an open fireplace was a sign of wealth.

Click on illustrations for larger size
Chimneyboard - a board, usually painted, fitted into the opening to stop draughts when the fire was not in use, especially in the summer

Illustration:
MacKay Homestead, Genesee Country Village, & Museum

Chimney breast - the stone, brick or cement structure that projects into a room and contains the fireplace flue

Illustration: Richmond-Lockwood House

Other examples:

Coal scuttle - a box or bucket used as a coal receptacle. Sometimes made of brass and ornamented.

Illustration:
Private collection, Orchard Park, NY

Dog grate - a freestanding basket grate intended to hold wood (vs. hob grate)

Illustration:
Metcalfe House

Other examples:

Entablature, including frieze - In classical architecture, the top of an Order, horizontally divided into cornice (top), frieze (middle), and architrave (bottom)

Entablatures are supported by columns, or, in the case of fireplaces, sometimes by ancones (in the illustration to the left) or pilasters

Illustration: Miller House

Other examples:

Fender - a low, metal guard made of iron and/or brass, used to protect the rug or floor from flying embers or sparks from the fire.

Fireback - a thick iron plate placed at the back of a hearth to protect the wall and reflect heat into the room.

Illustration: Spencer Kellogg Jr. House

Other examples:

Firedog / Andiron - one of a pair of supports for logs in a fireplace

Illustration: Richmond-Lockwood House

Other examples:


Fireplace - an opening at the base of a chimney, usually an open recess in a wall, in which a fire may be built; a structure surrounding a fireplace.

Illustration: Philip Smith House / College Club House

Other examples:

Fire screen - Any screen set in front of a fireplace to prevent flying sparks or embers from entering the room

Illustration:
Cheval screen - Stella Lowry House


Gas logs - A gas burner designed to look like a log for use in a fireplace.

Illustration: Hewitt House/Inn Buffalo

Gas radiant heater

Illustration: 143 Linwood Avenue

Other examples:

Grate - a metal open basket in which coal or wood is burned in a fireplace.

See
dog grate above and hob grate below


Hearth - floor of the fireplace, usually extending into a room and paved with brick, flagstone or cement

Illustration:
Lafayette Presbyterian Church

Other examples:

Hob grate - A cast-iron grate in which the fire basket is supported off the ground, between two flat hobs (sidepieces). Intended for charcoal

Illustration:
Ansley Wilcox Mansion / Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site

Jamb - One of a pair of vertical posts or pieces forming the sides of a door, window frame, or fireplace

Illustration:
Electric Tower / Niagara Mohawk Building

Other examples:

Mantel / mantle - all the work or frame around a fireplace; often used to denote just the protruding shelf (mantelshelf, mantelpiece)

Illustration: Seymour H. Knox House

Other examples:

Mantelpiece/ Chimneypiece - a fireplace surround and its overmantel

Illustration: Lockwood House

Other examples:

Overmantel - space above a mantelshelf, or the front of a chimney breast; a decorative panel often incorporates a mirror or painting

Illustration: Ansley Wilcox Mansion / Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site

Other examples:

Slip - a horizontal strip, often marble or tiles, set into a fireplace surround

The tiles in the illustration also extend downward into the "cheeks" (sides) of the surround

Illustration: Ansley Wilcox Mansion / Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site

Other examples:

Summer piece - a decorative piece, probably made of steel for lightness, that could be placed in front of the grate when not in use


Illustration: River Lea

Surround - an encircling border or decorative frame

Illustration: Seymour H. Knox House

Other examples:



Photos and their arrangement 2003 Chuck LaChiusa
..| ...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index...| ...E-Mail ...| ..

web site consulting by ingenious, inc.