Austen Arts and Crafts style mantel
An Edwardian Arts and Crafts style mantel with hand carved flower detail typical of la belle epoque.
Free standing square section columns taper to square capitols which then join to the main mantel body. Together with a pelmet they support a deep, moulded top shelf. There is a useful demi-lune shelf above the fire opening on the recessed frieze. This mantel shelf echoes the shaping of the pelmet and is supported on a single central bracket.
This fireplace mantel is a faithful copy of an original mahogany mantel dating from around 1906. Mantels of this type were popular throughout the Edwardian period, and continued to be manufactured well into the 1920s. The later ones that we have come across have generally had little or no carving detail, and the Art Nouveau style certainly was out of fashion before the start of the World War in 1914. It would perhaps be typically found in homes with higher ceilings than those inter war Art Deco homes .
The Edwardian style tiled arch insert sits well with this elegant design, but it would equally commonly be found with a cast iron tiled insert. It would normally have some form of tiled hearth, and often a raised fender.
The quality of the wood, and the quality of the workmanship would be paramount with a piece like this. We would hope that we were staying within the Arts and Crafts tradition, in that barring the carving , the mantel is taken from rough sawn timber to finished product by one person, who selects the wood, machines it and assembles the mantel.