The history of one fireplace

Author: Bersoantik. Date: 07 July 2014, 10:45

The project of the building in the Kamennoostrovsky avenue in St. Petersburg, Russia was affirmed in April, 1911. The construction was finished in 1912. The front is faced with light grey stone especially delivered from Sweden and underlined with fine curved decorative details, not high colonnade and sculpture. The main entrance is an open one and decorated with Red Granite colonnade.

All the parts of this enormous building are connected by means of yard system that are about 10. The complex of buildings was provided with contemporary services: central heating, built-in elevators, electricity, garages, telephones. There was electric power station, boiler house, laundry, rubbish-burning stove, snow melter. This time it was the biggest residential estate in Saint Petersburg. On the ground floor there were some shops.


This "new project" seemed to the contemporaries almost an ideal model of the future block of flats in the city. This was the most well-organized of the houses of the XXth C. The furniture in apartments went together with the last fashion tendencies of the time. Excellent furniture, porcelain and crystal underlined the residents ordinance. And exactly in one of those remarkable flats there spread the destiny of our fireplace that had been ordered in Paris in accordance with an individual architect's project.


In 1917 because of the Revolution majority of the politicians lived there. There also reduced space per person in living accomodation turning them into elite joint flats. Many fireplace mantels did not get over this period. A part of them was dismantled and thrown away like a holdover of the bourgeoisie, another part was covered with false walls as lacking practical value. But our fireplace came over this difficult period due to its comfort and enlightenment and erudition of the intelligence minds of the epoch to which its owner belonged.

The next tape in the destiny of our hero was Leningrad siege when the art objects were used as sorce of fuel being burnt in many small stoves of Leningrad's flats. The inhabitants who lived in this house at the moment had some more advantage and this became a decisive factor. Succesfully geeting over the Siege of Leningrad inhabitants plunged into a new epoch, the epoch of building of Socialism. This new period settled new requirements and demands and the fireplace did not correspond to them. His new proprietor made up his mind to dismantle it and settle in the country house. Well in 1971 the fireplace was kept into a garage. It had been there till the moment it was discovered. Inspite of the extra hideous conditions of the keeping (unheated space) massive constructions of mahogany wood kept safe. Even the blackwood inserts were not lost.


The main losses endured sofas that upholstery had putrefied. And it had to be redone.


Cast iron inserts of the furnace endured some insignificant corrosion and bronze inserts got additional patina. Mirrors and faceted glass on the upper shelves doors remain in their good original condition.

Unfortunately these wonderful things are rare to encounter even in antique world.