Guardians of the Fire




Andirons epitomize Renaissance Revival aesthetic.

Thank you for sending me an image of your fabulous dragon andirons. They are a terrific pair and a telling example about the history of andirons.

Andirons (also known as firedogs) were created purely for utilitarian purposes in the 14th century to raise logs from the fireplace floor to more easily start a fire and to prevent the firewood from rolling forward into the room. Originally made out of iron bars, andirons were sometimes fitted with an area for a spit for roasting meat. As skill in metalwork developed and consumers desire for ornamentation grew, andirons became more elaborate and decorative.

Your andirons are signed B&H, standing for Bradley and Hubbard, and date to the late 19th century. Bradley and Hubbard was founded in 1852 in Meriden, Conn., right before the Civil War. The company was first known for making clocks and in the 1870s shifted production to oil and kerosene lamps. As they continued to grow, Bradley and Hubbard diversified into decorative and practical ironwork. From fences and elevator enclosures to bookends and doorstops, Bradley and Hubbard prospered and was renowned for creating quality products.

The Charles Parker Company, known for its manufacture of guns, wanted to broaden its scope to household goods and purchased Bradley and Hubbard just prior to the onset of World War II. Sadly, during the start of the war, the company shifted all production to the war effort and disbanded the Bradley and Hubbard name.

Your wonderful andirons are probably from the 1880s and certainly epitomize the Renaissance Revival aesthetic. I have seen this model before, but not with the gilded highlights, nor with the remaining log bar. They appear to be in overall very good condition with one replaced screw. Certainly any fire would roar with this pair of fire-breathing dragons in your living room.

I would value this pair of andirons at $2,000.

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Marvelous Mead
    Where to try locally made mead, including the Sap House Meadery, Moonlight Meadery and the new...
  2. Remarkable Women 2018: Persistence
    Fearless women like Marilla Ricker fought the status quo and launched women to the heights of the...
  3. Exploring What It Means to Lead "Intelligent Lives"
    A local filmmaker teams up with a Hollywood legend to challenge conventional notions about IQ.
  4. The 2018 Excellence in Nursing Awards
    The inaugural Excellence in Nursing Awards honor 13 unsung heroes of the state’s medical...
  5. Guide to Brunch
    Whether you’re looking for a little hair of the dog via bloody mary or an elegant buffet with...
  6. How to Create Your Own Small Space Garden
    The basics of designing a garden for tiny spaces.
  7. Discovering Stark
    Don't miss out on inns, bridges and waterfalls in Stark.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags