The Adams' Dog Grate - Renaissance Grates - Hob Grates - A Grate for Anthracite Coal - The
Use of Dutch Tiles - Economical Heating
This is not only true of the chimney-piece, but of the grate itself, of which the type and ornament should, on no account, strike a note of discord with the style in which the furniture and hangings of the room are carried out, whether these be according to some bygone period or in the modern manner of which William Morris was the most celebrated exponent.
Then, again, as to the type of grate, we may choose a standard grate, which has been very much used of late years, or we may have an enclosed register grate. The latter, though, of course, a comparatively modern innovation, can be decorated in the style of any period or country, as the Tudor, old Dutch, old Spanish, Flemish, and so on.
Fig. 1. An exact reproduction of an elaborate dog grate by the great decorator Adams', who first devoted attention to this feature of a house Thos. Elsley. Ltd
Adams' was the first of the great decorators to give his attention to this household detail, and there are many beautiful examples of his work now extant. Exact reproductions of his dog grates can also be bought, but in the more elaborate designs these are decidedly costly (Fig. 1).
A simple grate of this description (Fig. 2) is, however, to be pur-chased for a matter of about six guineas. In the old days these grates were placer1 in an open fireplace, with cast-iron backs giving the arms of the owner, and these likewise are being copied. If preferred, the recess can be lined with tiles. This is frequently done.
From the purely artistic point of view, there is no doubt that nothing compares in beauty of effect to the large open fireplace with one of these grates in it, hence, probably, their present popularity. Another advantage of dog grates is that they may be tenants' fixtures; indeed, they were formerly so regarded, and moved with the rest of the furniture.
On the other hand, the later register grate is an eminently practical thing, and can be purchased very inexpensively. As has been said, also, the decoration of the canopy and surround may be selected to harmonise with a room furnished in some past period. Many noted architects of to-day are designing grates of this type. In Fig. 3, for example, is shown one in the Renaissance style by Mr. T. Colcutt, who built the Imperial Institute.
Modern Grates An instance given of a register grate in the modern style of decoration is very interesting, on account of being the work of a lady,
Mrs. Thack-ery Turner, the wife of another well - known architect
(Fig. 4). There is, of course, no reason why a dog grate should not be used in a purely modern room; but it must be specially planned on the old model, yet with suitable design (Fig. 5), as it would be entirely out of keeping to put a characteristic Chippendale or Adams grate into a room with simple modern oak furniture and "Liberty" curtains. Hob grates are also coming very much into fashion; but these, again, like the dog grates, are apt to be rather expensive, as they mean more work. So much for the grate from its decorative aspect. There are, in addition, several points regarding the question of heating that should be considered by the householder. A very great revolution has been effected during the last thirty years by the introduction of fireclay backs to take the place of those made of cast-iron. They are even fixed into the dog grates. The cast-iron absorbs the heat, whereas the fireclay radiates it. The fireback is generally arranged to slope slightly forward, so as to throw the heat as much as possible out into the room.
Fig. 3. A modern grate, designed in the Italian Renaissance style by Mr. T. Colcutt design. In the original grates the arms of the owner appeared on
Fig. 2. A simpler pattern of grate, adapted from an old Adams the iron back of the grate
Of recent times there has been a tendency to use barless grates of various kinds. One type, which is very much liked, is simply built with a slightly sunk cavity, lined with firebrick and surrounded by tiles, and has no metal accessories of any description. This simple arrangement defied every supposed law governing the domestic fireplace. As the fire is actually below the level of the floor, casual observers were impelled to think that, being without a draught, it could not possibly burn properly. Quite the reverse, however, has proved to be the case, and it will burn for five or six hours without requiring re-stoking, and therefore effects a considerable saving in the coal bill. This is a convenient grate for flats or houses where there is only one servant, as there is practically no cleaning to be done, the ashes being merely swept up out of the cavity.
Work • a design by Mrs. Thackery Turner for
Fig. 4. An interesting example of modern a register grate design, suitable for a room furnished in corresdonding style
Fig. 5. An excellent example of a standard grate in modern
Thos. Elsley, Ltd.
With reference to the matter of fuel, there is also a grate specially designed for the use of anthracite coal (Fig. 6). Here a good draught is essential, and this is obtained by means of a second narrow flue behind the back firebrick, which can be opened or shut in order to regulate the fire by pulling the canopy out or pushing it in. A novel point about this grate is that it has bars mounted on a pivot that automatically remove the dust, the weight of it causing them to tip slightly first one way and then the other as the fire sinks. The benefit of anthracite, or smokeless, coal is that it keeps the rooms so much cleaner. This grate can be arranged in conjunction with a system of radiators for heating other rooms, or with a boiler for a bath-room, the idea being to make double use of the sitting-room fire, and thus economise fuel, a notion which is gaining ground.
A room furnished in antique style
Fig. 6. A grate specially designed for the use of anthracite coal in
London Warming and Ventilating Co
A vast amount of heat is wasted at the back of a fire, and another very clever invention has been brought out called a "ventilating" grate, by means of which this superfluous heat is employed to warm air which is passed into another room by means of ventilators. This looks just like an ordinary grate (Fig. 7), and is quite moderate in cost.
Another method of heating that has always been in vogue on the Continent, and is yearly coming more into fashion here, is the closed stove. There was at one time a good deal of prejudice against it on account of its appearance, but this has been much improved. An architect has even designed one in cast-iron in the Adams style to go in a room decorated after this period. There is also a charming Georgian design. These stoves cost about five or six pounds each. Another simple model has blue Dutch tiles in it, and looks very well placed in a dog grate opening lined with tiles in a similar style in a Dutch room. The advantage claimed for a stove is that none of the heat goes up the chimney. It saves work, and is economical. It is calculated that the cost of keeping a stove going day and night is less than that of burning a fire all day, and there is the supreme comfort of descending in the morning to a warmed house, and also of being able to keep an even temperature.
Fig. 7. A "ventilating" grate, by means of which two rooms can be heated by one fire Thos. Elsley, Ltd.
The whole question of the choice of grates or stoves must, of course, depend to a large extent on the special conditions to be considered. In a very cold house in the country, for instance, a stove either in the hall or in one of the rooms is the greatest comfort. If it is in a room, the doors should be opened at night to allow a free circulation of air and the whole house to be warmed.