Wrought iron andirons were commonplace in the 1700’s and 1800’s in early colonial homes. The English referred to them as “firedogs” while the French deemed them “chenets” or “small dogs” however, the early colonists labeled them “andirons”. The word “andirons” is a derivative of the old French word, “andier” which means iron.
Andirons from this period were made by attaching the upright to the arched legs by a tenon formed on the upright. This is then inserted into a punched hole in the leg and then the tenon is braded to the leg. The log barrier is attached to the upright in the same manner and finally the blacksmith forges a decorative finial for the top. If these were for a cooking fireplace several hooks would have been attached to the back for a spit for cooking.