Archive for the ‘Antique Fireplace Bellows’ Category
Someone could tell that a fireplace bellows England from its ‘coat of arms’ or crest engraved on the wood panels of the bellows. Sometimes there are other intricate details that give away the origin of the fireplace bellows such as a nautical, ship or maritime theme.
Fireplace bellows England are made similarly to other bellows from around the world in that they have two pieces of flat wood that are usually decorated, carved or embellished with a symbol or design that signifies it’s origin; there is a ‘bladder’ or the part where the air is stored and then released and the (usually) brass values in which the air is forced out of and onto the fire. Sometimes the two pieces of wood are held together with a thin piece of leather and the bladder is adorned with brass nails or ‘buttons’ for more of a decorative look. And of course there are the two long handles to help open and close the ‘bladder’ which helps to suck the air into and out of the ‘bag-like’ portion before it is forced into the fire.
Fireplace bellows England were not the first to use fireplace bellows. Fireplaces in parlors around Paris, the United States and Australia were also known to have fireplace bellows among their accessories.
Antique fireplace brass could encompass fireplace bellows which have brass valves in order to push the air out of onto the fire or antique brass copper andirons which set inside the fireplace to help hold the wood up off the fireplace floor.
Other antique fireplace brass accessories include fireplace grates, fireplace coal or ash buckets of various sizes and styles, fireplace screens, fireplace tool sets, wood holders, wood carriers, fireplace hearth fender, fireplace log holders, fireplace log pokers, a brass ‘tidy set’ and fireplace bellows in addition to the fireplace andirons.
The use of brass in antique fireplace brass accessories is because brass holds up well to the extreme and intense heat given off by the fire. It also allows one to clean up the black soot that is left behind on these accessories to be easily wiped clean with a dampened wash cloth or other cloth. There are special brass cleaners on the market that will help restore an antique fireplace brass accessories to it’s original shine, however they could be toxic and may not mix well with fires so read the label before applying these or any product to a brass fireplace antique.
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Fireplace bellows were usually made by brass candle-stick makers, local copper or tanners. Antique bellows could now be located in many antique stores or from an online dealer; however some of the original pieces may have been replaced. For example, leather dries and hardens over time, wood cracks and breaks and nails rust and sometimes falls out completely. If you are looking for an antique bellow, make sure you are getting the real thing, not a rebuilt original.
Decorated wood boards, protective handles and cast-brass nozzles are usually always original to the antique bellows. The other pieces may have been removed or restored by a professional restorer.
Early 19th century antique bellows are distinguishable by their colored paint. An expert on antiques could tell the real thing from a restored bellow from the age of the paint, if the boards were stenciled or ‘free-handed’, the age of the wood and the originality of the decoration on the boards. Many dealers of antiques, whether they are antique fireplace bellows or antique chairs, depend on their extensive knowledge of simply handling the items over and over again and getting to know different brands or manufacturers of the items.
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About the same time man discovered fire, he discovered that a small gust of wind, usually made by his lungs, helped encourage larger flames. He soon tired of this and invented another way to blow air on the flames, a bellow. Anthropologists believe these early bellows to be nothing more than a bag fastened out of animal skins in which they could force the air out onto the fire, once they had blown the air into the ‘bag’. Each subsequent model would be fashioned in a similar way with something that would be able to collect the air and then force it out through a narrow passage way or valve. Many English fireplace bellows were intricately decorated and detailed with carvings and jewels as were the early American brands.
Rarely do people find early American fireplace bellows that are dated past the 18th century, and most are from the 19th century. Made of leather, wood and brass, many of the antique fireplace bellows found today have seen better days. This is because they have been used for their given purpose and the leather dries out, the wood cracks and the nails rust and fall out.
This old fireplace bellows is 20″ long and 7-1/2″ wide. It is painted with stylized flowers and leaves and has a copper tip and white leather bladder (I propped the handles apart so you can see this a little better) and decoration with brass studs. It has been around a while and there is some chipping around the edges. Otherwise, it works very well.
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A bellows fireplace is a fireplace whose fire is treated to a nice gush of air that is concentrated to the spot where it is needed to keep the cozy fire going. Today though fireplaces are used for heating the home, they are normally an auxiliary heat source. So these days a bellows fireplace is more of a luxury than a necessity; it is there for romance, charm, and the beauty of the roaring fire for people to enjoy with the lights out. The bellows for a bellows fireplace are definitely a practical tool that everyone tending the fire should have handy.
New in Box. Free Shipping. Deer standing in the woods is carved on the wooden sides, it has brass nails and trim. 18.5 x 8 inch. Great for decoration. Works good to start a fire also. Remember free shipping.
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