Cast Iron Schoolhouse Fireplace Surround c.1800



This is an original cast iron fireplace surround. The piece dates to the nineteenth century and was originally in a San Francisco school. The body is dark blue with yellow, geometric patterns on the front and stylized leaf pattern on the mantel. A large "key stone" element is located in the center. The piece is structurally sound and has retained much of its original paint. The mantel is structurally sound and is in a distressed condition. 

  • CREATOR Unknown.
  • DATE OF MANUFACTURE c.1800-1880
  • CONDITION Good.  Wear consistent with age and use.
  • DIMENSIONS H 45 in. x D 12 in. W 53 in.


In the mid 1800’s, as households began burning coal instead of wood there was a shift in design to horseshoe-arched cast iron styles.
More ornate fireplace designs emerged with the Victorian age in 1837. Designed with overmantels and columns these fireplaces included a cast-iron combination- the first inserts. The legs of the surround were also detailed with decorative tiles.
By the 20th century, the fireplace and mantel designs became simpler with surround molds of stone or brick.

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