Antiques Grates Found in 1920's house

cmweitzMay 16, 2011


I recently purchased a home built in 1920. I found these old grates in the garage. There are 8 of them, they are extremely heavy (80-100 lbs) and I don't know what they are for or what they are worth.

Can anyone give me some info on these?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

They look sort of like radiator covers--really NICE ones that someone couldn't bear to trash. Do you have about 8 rooms in the original part of the house?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Or they could be floor grates. If the original furnace was located in the basement/crawl space, the heat was tranfered to other rooms through floor grates. Yours look to be about the right size.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 5:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the feedback! The house does have 8 original radiators, so I am assuming these were the covers. Judging from the really nice original hardwood floors I doubt there were ever floor grates. I appreciate the info!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wonderful!! Put them back!! Wondering why theyw ere ever removed?
Linda c

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 6:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are really beautiful. I work in a store who turns them into coffee tables. She has a fabricator make a frame with legs and has glass put on top. Sometimes depending on the size people use them as doors. What area are you in? Hopefully you can use them but they certainly have value.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 5:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks! I don't know if they will work for us in the house, but it's nice to know what they are. We are in Iowa. I'm sure they would be expensive to ship since they are so heavy, but if your friend is interested in them please feel free to give her my email address. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 3:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Outside grates for over basement windows- seems like I've seen something like that before. Our basement windows were only about that large but dad didn't cover them(should have 1 bro. broke 1 & had large piece of glass sticking out of his chest-in the bony part. I managed to get hold of him & dr. removed it & he was OK.) If for outside should have screw holes on top or sides I would think.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not floor grates because there is too much room to stick a hell into and trip.

Lovely things, and I hope you can re-use them in the house.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Some floor grates had adjustable slats to regulate air flow. I do not think these are floor grates they do not present a proper surface for walking on.

These seem to be radiator covers. They do not have any mounting holes, so would have sat into a frame. The frame would have had legs to straddle the radiator and support the covers. The top would not have been covered with a throw cloth since it was desired to provide air circulation through the cover. The home owner may have sat a kettle of water on the cover to help humidify dry winter air. These are "dust catchers" so the lady of the house may have tired of cleaning them.

If the heating plant in the house was modernized and the radiators no longer used, then these heavy covers would no longer have a use.

The design and appearance of these pieces suggest these are cast iron. Its a beautiful piece of work and worthy of keeping as a sample of craftsmanship not seen today. The pattern is intricate and well executed.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 3:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I believe they sat in front of the radiator, not on top as a "lid" but as a disguise for those ugly coils. They weren't always painted white....some times to match the roon and other times black.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 10:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are an odd size, and I have trouble seeing how they would work as radiator covers. I wonder if they were used some other way. I could picture them as transom decorations, but again, I don't see the logic there either.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 3:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Curious, Sheliajoyce....what makes you say they are odd sized?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 11:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Interesting that they are only rusted on left end, were they standing in basement on that end & got wet? Otherwise maybe they stood on end how ever they were used. Our basement windows were right above ground level & were about 18-20 tall & 30-36 in. wide. What size are these?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are radiator covers like the ones pictured in the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Radiator covers

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok, Linda, now I see. I thought you were saying that they were the lids, but instead I see they were panels in a wood(?) or metal case.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 2:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I. Love. Those.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for pic Linda! I babysat in houses that had old stand- on- floor radiators but none were covered. 1 house was very scarey tho as it had chains you pulled to adjust heat & they constantly groaned & moaned. Beautiful house overlooking the lake but least favorite to babysit at,often left the TV on even tho it only had the colored lines on it as stations closed at midnight. Odd nobody seemed to have a radio to listen to, I had a great 1 dad found at dump. Best sound & tall from floor to top was about 40 in.all wood with cloth inserts for sound to come out,think it had tubes like the TV's too, would love to have it now. Folks sold it when they moved I suppose.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:46PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Home Design Show in NYC
click to win tickets
Walnut Art Nouvaux Sideboard Advice Needed
Howdy, First post from a long-time lurker. We purchased...
Help with age and materials of chair
I just purchased this chair, used, with the idea of...
Need help identifying blue bowl
Does anyone recognize this maker's mark? It is on the...
Sponsored Products
Solid Bronze Victorian Knob with Round Base Plate
Signature Hardware
Feiss P1238AC Urban Renewal Antique Copper Pendant
Littman Bros Lighting
Darlee Santa Anita Crescent Left Sectional Arm Patio Chair
$734.99 | Hayneedle
FreeJack LED Kiev Pendant
SLV Lighting | LED Picture Light Strip Wall Light
$306.00 | YLighting
Ruby Sorrento Corn Dish - Set of Two
$11.99 | zulily
Champagne Gold 4-Light Antique Brass Multi Light Pendant
Lamps Plus
Crysta 8-light Chandelier
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™