All of our fire grates and mantel accessories are foundary made, incorporating hand crafted techniques such as forging and engraving based on the finest antique originals. None of our fire grates are pastiche and all are created for the burning of solid and bio ethanol fuels and can be converted to gas.
The collection includes register grates, baskets and andirons, also known as dogs, in brass and steel, specifically made to compliment our mantels. All of our metal work can be professionally aged and distressed to any preference.
In conjunction with your chosen mantelpiece, you can choose from three different combinations for the chamber. A register grate creates a more polished look which must be fitted to exact chamber measurements at the same time as the mantel is fitted. A basket is free standing and is more versatile. The fire dogs and swans nest on which the fuel rests is the simplest design of burning area and is ideal for smaller chambers. There is a myraid of different combinations and the Jamb sales team have years of experience and excellent technical knowledge and are happy to ensure that you have the best aesthetic and functional result.
To explain in more historic detail, when the earliest traditional chimneys were constructed, the hearth was provided with andirons, to support the wood. Basket grates were only introduced during the Tudor period when coal was first used. By the early 18th century, the free standing basket was backed by a cast iron fire plate, or fireback, which rested on wrought iron struts, with sides of cast iron and a grid through which loose ash fell. This was to oxygenate the fire and improve burning. Decoration was confined to the front, and was composed of three fire bars and a fretted apron with cheeks ending in ornamental legs. In the 18th century, these were called stove grates, and various metals were used to construct them including steel for the front fire bars, apron, legs and ornamental embellishments, while finials, of brightly polished steel or brass, were often engraved.
From around 1750 the design of these ornamental embellishments became increasingly elaborate, often embodying Gothic, Rococo and Chinoiserie styles following the prevailing taste of the times. With the introduction of basket grates, the size of chimneypiece openings was reduced to concentrate the updraft, however, if this proved too strong, vast quantities of expensive coal were consumed with the heat going up the chimney. Conversely, if it was too weak, smoke would billow into the room. An attempt was made to rectify this by enclosing and framing the grate with steel or brass slips which filled the whole opening. These register grates regulated the updraft to solve the problem.