Our customers love our beautiful cast stone overmantels so much that we’re extending our special for another month. Add this eye-catching feature to your living room or bedroom hearth before the end of July and you’ll save 10%. You can pair our overmantels with any of our cast stone fireplace mantels. We’re happy to modify them for the width and height your home needs. And remember, we now offer three colors: cream, buff, and our newest addition, white.
History of Overmantels
In keeping with our celebration of overmantels this month, we thought we’d focus on the history of this stunning home feature. Overmantels were popular in Europe dating back to the 1500s. Early overmantels could be made of stone or wood. Sizergh Castle and Garden, an English estate located in Cumbria, boasts an ornate carved wood overmantel dating back to 1569. In nearby Scotland, the National Museum owns a stone overmantel from the early 1600s depicting the courtship of Atalanta and Hippomenes from Greek mythology. This hefty piece weighs over 600 pounds! At Old World Stoneworks, we believe one of the best reasons to visit Europe is to tour historic homes and catch glimpses of old, amazing hearths.
Overmantel mirrors were all the rage by the early 1800s. Architects began to lower fireplace mantels to make room for ever-larger horizontal mirrors. Often these were enhanced by gold frames, elaborate carvings, wall sconces, candelabras and additional smaller mirrors.
Overmantel mirror and fireplace
Wealthy Americans also embraced overmantels. The British-born amateur architect Peter Harrison helped spread their popularity. After his early years as a sea captain, he settled in Newport, Rhode Island in 1740. Many of the buildings he designed around New England had ornate carved overmantels, such as the Bowler House in Newport, which features a broken ogee design. Some of his other best known buildings include the Touro Synagogue, Christ Church in Cambridge and King’s Chapel in Boston.
Are you convinced of the power of the overmantel? These stately works of art draw viewers’ eyes heavenward, becoming the focal point of any room. However, at Old World Stoneworks, we move with the times. Therefore, our overmantels are more understated than what you see in 18th century British homes or the National Museum of Scotland. Instead, they fit nicely into the modern home while hinting at the elegance of a bygone era.
Need a little more elegance in your life? Call us today.