What’s the right age of antique fireplace for your home?

Houses with chimneys

The idea of finding an antique fireplace that’s contemporary with your home is an appealing one. The fireplace is such an integral part of the design of a building that installing one from the same period can give a room a real sense of integrity. If you have other original features, finding the right vintage fireplace would be the […]

Our romantic Georgian fireplaces

1759 painting by William Hogarth, entitled The Lady's Last Stake

Along with sharing Champagne by candlelight, the warm, welcoming glow of a real fire is one of the essential ingredients for a romantic Valentine’s night in. However, looking closely at Thornhill Galleries collection, it seems that there’s more romance to a fireplace than the flickering flames… Our forebears added a touch of romance into the designs of […]

Two famous fireplaces: the White House and Number 10

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the White Room, No. 10 Downing Street 19 July 19, 2016. Photo: US Dept of State

When our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, met US Secretary of State John Kerry a few days ago, they were photographed in front of a fireplace in Number 10.  Across the Atlantic, important meetings also often end with a photo call in front of a White House fireplace. Here we take a closer look at two of […]

Faces in the fire – caryatids and other carvings


We see several recurring motifs in our fireplaces, and one of the most fascinating and compelling designs is that of the human face. Caryatids, putti, and masks are popular neoclassical features – and here are a few of our favourites. A caryatid is a supporting column in the shape of a woman, seen most famously […]

How the fireplace made the modern home


The development of the fireplace changed our lives in more ways than we can imagine. As well as making the home safer, warmer, more comfortable, and much less smoky, the twelfth century invention of the chimney and fireplace changed the very structure of our houses. Here are some examples of the way the fireplace revolutionised […]

Finding inspiration for your fireplace


How do you find inspiration for your new fireplace? We asked our clients, and these are some of their suggestions… Television and Film Television and cinema, especially period drama, can be a great source of inspiration for antique and reproduction fireplaces. We’ve just written about the gorgeous fireplaces in Downton Abbey  – and translating screen […]

The fireplaces of Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle

The final series of Downton Abbey came to a close last night, with the nation collectively gasping “Lady Mary!” on more than one occasion. We’re all going to miss it. As well as the stories, and the characters we’ve all come to know and root for, the house itself (played by beautiful Highclere Castle) has […]

An antique French fireplace with a fine vintage


For any wine lover, this could be the perfect fireplace. Recently reclaimed from a wine house in Beaune is this petite Louis XVI stone fireplace. The wine capital of Burgundy, Beaune is an ancient town with a rich historical and architectural heritage, with a range of architecture through the medieval, renaissance and later periods. This […]

Art Nouveau and Antique Fireplaces


Art Nouveau has become one of the most strikingly recognisable art styles in history.  It is emulated by modern day artists and designers and recreations appear in the decorative schemes of homes and businesses the world over.  It was a movement that covered all art and design techniques, ranging from furniture, to fire surrounds and […]

Louis XVI and the Rise of Neoclassicism

Louis XVI

Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antoinette have become the most recognisable names of the French Monarchy. Despite presiding over the advent of the French Revolution and losing their lives to Revolutionary France, their reign oversaw one of the most notable and influential developments in art and design – the shift from Rococo to Neoclassicism. It […]

An Introduction to Antique Fireplaces

Carrara French Louis XVI

The world of fireplaces can be a complex one. Historically it was the mantelpiece that defined the architectural style of the interior of a room, whether it be neo-classical, Italian Renaissance, French, Victorian or Gothic. But with such a variety of antique and restored fireplaces on offer how does one begin to distinguish one’s Art […]

The Effect of The Renaissance on Carved Italian Chimneypieces


Following the instability of the Middle Ages the Renaissance (literally ‘rebirth’) marked a transition to a period of intense learning and cultural development, inspired by a love of classical art and architecture from ancient Rome and Greece.  It was a time that saw marked developments in art, literature, politics, learning, architecture and interior design. Thought […]

Robert Adam and his Influence on Antique Fireplaces Today

Robert Adam

When looking at the architecture of post-Enlightenment Britain, there is evidence of the influence of certain masters all around us. One key figure in establishing British architecture on its own merits was Robert Adam whose legacy still resonates today and is prevalent in many of the antique fireplaces and mantels within the Thornhill Galleries collection. […]