Discover the Fascinating History of Antique Fireplace Screens

In historical times, fireplace screens were used to keep the area near a fire from being too warm, and since they were always on display, many homeowners chose highly decorative designs. Those who style their home with vintage decor will appreciate the elaborate designs and beautiful shapes of these furniture pieces. Many of the items found on eBay were made with such fine materials and attention to detail that they can be an excellent addition to any serious antiques or art collection.

What types of fireplace screens are available?

There are many great vintage fireplace accents to pick from when you are shopping on eBay. Here are a few common styles:

  • Metal mesh: This style uses a fine mesh of brass or other metals to create a delicate panel that is see-through but still blocks some heat from the fire.
  • Carved wood: Wooden styles were carved with beautifully elaborate designs.
  • Fabric: Many older frames are decorated with a panel of embroidered or woven fabric.
  • Wrought iron: This type often has elaborate scrolls, curlicues, and other flourishes.
  • Cast metal: Brass, bronze, or other materials are used to cast beautiful designs and shapes.
Can you safely use an antique object near a fire?

This style of panel was originally used to control the temperature near the fire, but not all of them were made of fireproof materials. Placing a wooden or cloth item next to a fire may potentially damage it, and soot from the fireplace can discolor brass and other lighter metals. Whether or not you place the item near the fire will also depend on its age and condition. Pristine antiques made centuries ago will need to be treated with care, while a previously used item from a few decades ago may still be functional enough to put near a fire.

What is the difference between cheval screens and folding screens?

Cheval is a French word for a common type of vintage design. It essentially translates to mean "horse-screen," and it gets its name from its shape. This is a classic antique style that consists of a flat panel supported with two legs on either end. A folding style does not have legs. Instead, it consists of two or more hinged panels that stay upright when they are folded outwards.