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The fireplace, still interesting without a fire!

Chers Amis de L’Ecole du Bon Goût, Bonjour!! The fireplace hearth may not be where your eyes are naturally drawn in the middle of the summer, but even a fireless hearth can be a focal point of decorative interest given the right accessories.

Every fireplace hearth previous to the twentieth century’s use of fire bricks” came equipped with a cast “pig iron” fireback which both protected the soft bricks of the rear wall and also functioned to radiate the heat from the fire into the room.

The French craftsmen who made them could not resist making them decorative works of art. Using a “sand casting” method, the decorative possibilities were endless but most often used mythological and architectural motifs, or the name of the commissioner of the “plaque de cheminée”, the year it was created, or Christian and secret Cathar symbols.

On my spring buying trip in Provence, I was fortunate to collect 7 very interesting firebacks as well as three pairs of the best and largest hand wrought iron 17th c andirons I have ever had come my way. These “pyrotechnic accoutrements”, added to the current stock here, makes possible choices for your fireplace giving it as much interest in the summer as in the winter season.

The new container of antiques is at sea today but will be arriving in July, so please plan a visit to the shop in person or visit our website at

Mes Amitiés,
Robert E. Smith

Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)
Mes amitiés,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852
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