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Art Deco and Antique Fireplaces
17 April 2015

There is an element of magic in preservation which struck me on a recent visit to the epicentre of Art Deco, Miami. The largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world (over eight hundred buildings) which exist thanks to Barbara Capitman an interior designer, who along with a group of activists led to the majority of the districts survival in the late 70’s and 80’s.

The preserved Art Deco district of Miami

I have always loved Miami. I first visited it thirty years ago with a best friend and fellow antique dealer who was instrumental in putting me on my antique dealing path. Since then an extraordinary sea of change has occurred and it is a joy to see. Wonderful restoration and high octane glamour that works. The whole vibe is slick and modern. It seems Miami is in the midst of another golden era.

The newly opened 1 hotel on South Beach.

It was serendipitous then that this week we were given the opportunity to buy a magnificent pair of strict and architectural Art Deco Hopton Wood stone fireplaces with contrasting black and green marble ingrounds, the quintessential 1930’s mantel.

They had been reclaimed from the Fry/ Cadbury Head quarters in Keynsham between Bath and Bristol.

An aerial view of the Art Deco site demolished.

Sadly campaigners were not as lucky to save this historic Art Deco site which has now been replaced by a housing development.

The Art Deco entrance lobby of the Fry/ Cadbury headquarters.

It always evokes mixed feelings when handling something from a building that has failed to survive in such recent history. However, as a nation who has little left from this extraordinary age, thank God they were spared from the fate of the wrecking ball.