Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Enchantment of Fireplaces

   Chers Amis de l’Ecole du Bon Gout!,     With the fall air promising winter is on its way, I would like to address the timely subject of fireplaces and their multiple uses and connotations.  Ever since the invention of the fireplace some 900 years ago, it has had a very central role in indoor human life.   It is where your eyes gravitate to first when entering a room and this alone gives you an idea of its importance!

   The area surrounding it, and particularly  its top shelf becomes a veritable family “altar” displaying family portraits as well as decorative objects communicating taste, wealth and social standing. ( All modern gods???)  The worship of fire is almost as old as the human race, so this “altar function” is just a modern continuation!!   It is also where magical things take place: remember Santa Claus only comes down the chimney!!

   I have often thought that the hypnotic spell TV holds for many, has its power rooted in the ancestral memories of humans watching for centuries, the flickering fireplace, long into the night!  Note that the proportions of the TV screen and that of a fireplace hearth opening are quite similar as well as the original placement of the TV set, at its outset, down close to the floor!   All this can be pondered, but to me the most important reality of a fireplace chimney is that it is THE most powerful opportunity to enliven and energize a room and your life in it with Bon Gout!!

   The first photo shown here is of a wall of a client’s salon before and then 1 month after the installation of a splendid Louis XIV style mantle and assorted decorative items from Au Vieux Paris Antiques.  The room went from being a totally boring blank box to what you see in the second photo, a salon fit for a lux Parisian town house!

   Following these are four photographs showing totally "new" installations, all sourced from Au Vieux Paris, followed by photographs of some of the nine fireplace mantles and many other related objects which are now in stock and ready to come together in your own personal creative installation.

   Please call with your questions ( 337 332 2852) or come for a visit and see for yourself in person,  or visit our website at

Merci cordialement,  Robert Smith

Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852