Pair of Firedogs
Would you place a beautiful work of art in a fireplace? You might, if it were a pair of firedogs.

Firedogs are used to hold logs in a fireplace. They were given this funny name hundreds of years ago because they are about the same size and shape as small dogs. Although they have been removed from these, firedogs usually have iron rods attached in back to hold logs in place. The rods keep the logs off the bottom of the fireplace so that air can move around, allowing the wood to burn more easily.

The firedogs in this photo were made in France almost 300 years ago. A set as elaborate as these would have been used in the house of a wealthy person such as a queen or king. The firedogs are decorated with young children holding a sun and a chameleon. They are made of bronze and covered with a thin layer of gold. Imagine how beautiful they must have looked as the gold glittered in the light of a fire on a cold winter night?

You might not have thought that functional objects can also be works of art. Are there any useful objects in your home that were made with such care and fine materials that you would consider them works of art?

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