Hearth footman were produced in England and America between 1810-1890. They were architecturally constructed with four legs, two turned legs in the rear and two cabriole legs in the front. Their flat work surface on top ranges between 15 to 20 inches wide and deep.
American hearth footmen were made of lighter weight brass or iron and were embellished with hand engravings. The English hearth footmen were made of heavier cast brass, bell metal or iron. Footmen were placed in and around the hearth openings with culinary utensils such as tea kettles, roasting pots and frying pans for warming. English lore has it that servants used these heavier footmen to help people in and out of their carriages.
Today footmen add a very distinctive look to fireplace hearths and to room settings where they are used as small portable tables near chairs and sofas.
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