Photograph by Alfonso Surroca

By Bonnie Joy Flamm @

Fireplace accesories are — like cabinetry hardware — the “jewelery” of the fireplace. These include grates, pokers, tongs, andirons and even the racks which lift the firewood off the ground to help with oxygen circulation. All of these accessories command attention as the “focal point” of the room and can be very ornate and expensive!

As an example, andirons are often elaborately decorated because they face the inside of the room. In fact, one set manufactured in 1905 in the Arts and Crafts tradition old for a record amount at an auction in 2008. This particular set had an extremely rare, copper-plated finish.

While collectors might account for the priciest acquisitions, most buyers purchase “antique” fireplace accessories intending to put them to work. As functional tools, rather than pieces of art, they naturally are much less expensive. And all fireplace accessories deserve a special place in our hearts because they look so good and yet they do a dirty job.