This Is the One Luxe-Looking Decor Item People Comment on Most in My Home

published Sep 18, 2023
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When I first moved into my apartment, I was completely thrown off by the 1960s-era stone fireplace that takes up almost an entire wall in my living room. I’d always dreamed of having my own fireplace, but this wasn’t exactly what I’d pictured. It doesn’t have a mantel and it features a weird gray wash over the stonework that my landlord won’t let me paint over. Plus, the firebox seems a bit oversized for the design. But one decor decision completely changed how I feel about my funky fireplace — and it’s actually the one item in my home that people always ask me about. 

After seeing the fireplace for the first time, I immediately knew it needed some decorating love. So the first thing I ordered was a vintage brass fireplace fan — aka a protective, semi-circle-shaped screen with fan-like panels, pictured below — that I’d had on my home decor mood board for years. Little did I know that this find would totally transform what I deemed an eyesore into one of my favorite corners of the apartment. It even set the tone for the space’s vintage-eclectic style. I love that it feels somewhat formal, too, yet blends seamlessly into the more laid-back look of the room. Plus, it completely elevates my seasonal and holiday decor, which makes up for not having a mantel. 

The Evolution of Fireplace Screens

“Early fireplace peacock-style screens exude the opulence expected from the Victorian era, as they would likely have been found in high-class residences and lavish hotels,” Allyn Lewis, the owner of Gem Finds Vintage, says of this particular fireplace screen style. Around the 1920s through the 1960s, these accents became slightly more subtle as modern variations began to emerge. In the 1970s and 1980s, though, extravagant styles became popular again, which is why they’re often seen alongside mid-century-modern-leaning decor. “The most commonly found firescreens come from a resurgence of reproductions made during this time,” Lewis notes. 

Credit: Jessie Quinn

How Much Do Vintage Fireplace Fans Cost?

With their history and intricate designs, these vintage fireplace fans come in a range of prices. According to Lewis, the early antique peacock-style fans can go for thousands of dollars, but newer vintage versions generally cost much less. “Peacock fans produced in the early 20th century typically run for $500 to $900, while mid-century reproductions from around the 1960s to 1980s can be found for under $250,” she explains, noting that she’s also seen some for under $50 at estate sales.

I found my particular fireplace fan for around $100, which is definitely on the lower end and reflects some damage — it’s missing a shell figurine that screws onto the top. The base has also separated slightly and needs some welding work to restore it to its original state. Nonetheless, I made it work, and you can hardly tell that it’s not in perfect condition.

Where to Buy Vintage Brass Fireplace Fans

Typically, you’ll have the best luck finding well-preserved vintage brass fireplace fans at antique malls and estate sales. Etsy also has a few options, although shipping can get a little expensive, as they’re heavier and awkwardly shaped pieces. eBay is another excellent resource with various designs and price ranges, including some less-expensive options that only need minimal cleanup to restore them to their sparkling golden hue. Below, I rounded up a few new and vintage styles you can buy right now. But act fast — some are one-of-a-kind.

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This vintage brass fan from Etsy features the same design as mine, except it’s actually in much better condition and includes the vintage shell knob at the top. Overall, it’s super clean and appears fully restored, making it more of a rare find.

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For a more traditional peacock fan design, consider this 1960s fireplace screen, also from Etsy. It has more of a bird-inspired design (hence the peacock name) and overall looks to be in excellent condition with a touch of antique character.

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This Victorian brass folding fan puts a fun spin on the peacock look — instead of a shell or bird figurine at the base, it features a pineapple, which can symbolize good luck. While it’s missing some shine and has more of a matte look, the price alone makes this a secondhand score.

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was $218.99

If you love the look of the vintage peacock fireplace fan, but want something a little more modern, Wayfair’s brass peacock feather-shaped screen has you covered — and it’s currently on sale for 19 percent off.