Blog: A little Georgian history

A little Georgian history

A little Georgian history

A little Georgian history

Seeing beautiful fireplaces on a daily basis and talking to our customers about the fascinating provenance surrounding some of them has made us think about sharing a little history with you. And, as we are showcasing a Georgian fireplace today, that seems like a great place to start.

Fireplaces at the beginning of the Georgian period were typically designed to be the focal point of the room and could be something of a status symbol. Designers such as the eminent English architect, William Kent, were commissioned by the wealthy to provide very grand and sumptuous fireplaces which were often immense and overtly ornate creations characterised by the imagery of classic Greek Mythology.

Later though, around halfway through the century, there was a transition to more subtle and classic designs courtesy of Robert Adams, who became one of the most successful and fashionable architects and designers in the country, holding the post of ‘Architect of the Kings Works’ from 1761 to 1769.

Adams was responsible for the new, more subdued elegance of the fireplace, with surrounds becoming lighter and not so heavily ornate. They displayed finer and sharper carving with prolific use of inlaid coloured marble as a contrast to the statuary marble of the main body.

The fire surround pictured, with inlaid Sienna marble and high relief carving of a classical female figure in a garden, is typically Neo Classical in design and a fine example of surrounds from the later part of the Georgian era that went on until the Victorian era brought a more geometric and simple look to the fore.

Of course, the opulent Georgian fire places we are referring to were the privilege of the few, as the land based farmers and Yeomans who made up the bulk of the population had much more utilitarian fireplaces. Many of these are still evident in old cottages today, and have a certain rustic charm of their own.

View the product here.

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