Pair of Hand Wrought French Chenets
French chenets (French for andirons) served three purposes in the 19th century. Their primary use was as the grate in a fireplace to set logs upon, but they also provided safety from fiery logs rolling out, and decoration. We believe this circa 1850, hand-wrought antique chenet would have had a copper or wrought iron oil lamp in the baskets at the top. These bowls with a lid and a wick served as a way to start a fire or to have light in that part of the room when the fire was out. The chenets hand-wrought construction means an iron monger heated the raw iron, then hammered, rolled, bent and peened it into shape by hand. The scrolled legs, spike body, and twisted iron supports for whale oil lamps, shows the skill of the craftsman.