1920's to 1930's Antique Fireplaces
The turn of the Twentieth Century marked a period of the emergence of a plethora of fireplace designs. Still popular were the heavy neo-Gothic styles of the mid – Victorian period but the emergent new industrial middle classes were turning to the more modernist powerful design form of the Art Nouveau movement. This new art form and design style lifted the mass-produced and until then more utilitarian cast iron fireplace closely associated with the growth of town living and industrialisation into the modern era by adding sinuous relief designs and introducing the now so familiar tile sliders. This yearning for modernist designs which unified the twin aspects of work and leisure within the new social fabric poured over into Art Deco design which became prominent in the mid-1920s. The traditional middle class sought to gentrify their homes with mock Tudor influences and inglenook fireplaces in the William Morris style often introducing over mantles which would never have been part of the original Tudor design. Whilst the intelligentsia and more artistically inspired new middle classes were drawn to the Art Deco influences of the rejection of history for modernity, the sacrifice of decorative detail for function, and the adoption and adaptation of industry in its design. Art Deco relied on traditional fireplace materials but the materials were used in a much more spectacular way. The avant-garde was the order of the day Art Deco characterised by simple understated lines was highlighted by the use of reflective chrome, highly lacquered woods and tiles to create a thoroughly modern sense of design.