French Repoussé Brass Griffin Andirons Original C. 1890 - Chenets / Fire Dogs
Excellent pair of French 19th Century Repoussé Brass Griffin Chenets/Andirons. Made around 1880. These brass fireplace chenets feature the mythological griffin, a creature with eagle's head and wings and lion's body. They griffin is thought to be a protector of the home, making this andiron design very popular in its day.
In excellent condition. The griffins themselves are 100% original and untampered with. I have not polished them since I like the patina, but they could be polished brightly if desired. The andirons are 17 inches high x 11 inches wide at the base x 4 inches deep (not counting the supporting angle irons). 20 inches deep with angle irons. They original angle irons were not usable, so I had a machine shop make a new pair (see photos).
This is a clean, authentic pair. Given the desirability of these particular items, there are reproductions on the market. There are several ways to identify originals. For example, originals are made through a process called repoussé in which the brass is hammered flat against a form, as opposed to being cast in a mold. A piece made by repoussé does not have uneven surfaces and mold marks as does a cast piece. A close-up inspection of the details of the piece will almost always reveal the flaws of the casting process.