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The oldest cast iron fireback found in France is that of the arms of King René of Anjou (1431-1453), it is now preserved in the Lorrain Museum in Nancy (South-East of France).
Cast iron fire-backs are used to protect the wall from excessive heat generated by the fire as well as sending back heat into the room. Indeed, the fireback works like a radiator: the iron absorbs the heat that would otherwise be lost and rejects it into the room.
Used to warm and beautify the living room area, the firebacks were often decorated with the family coat of arms or with biblical, allegorical or mythological scenes. The French Revolution in 1789 marked the beginning of the disappearance of many cast iron firebacks, with the total ban of firebacks with feudal decorations ! It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that these plaques were rehabilitated among the general public.
As an antique dealer and manufacturer of stone fireplaces, Alain Bidal offers in its landscaped park located in the heart of Provence, a wide choice of authentic cast iron firebacks.