When three fireplaces were stolen from a historic London building that was about to undergo renovation, Chesney's, the London-based firm, was commissioned to make exact reproductions. "Our design team had to rely on old black-and-white photographs," said sales director Henry Masterton. Now the company, which built its reputation on acquiring the world's largest collection of antique chimneypieces from the British Isles, has developed a CD-ROM that enables clients to create their own bespoke fireplaces.
Based on the many vintage 18th- and 19th-century pieces that Chesney's has catalogued over the past 17 years, custom models can be designed to scale using a wide range of components: ornate or understated frieze panels, carved-caryatid or marble-inlaid pilasters, various mantels, capital moldings, and corbels. The program has a total of 3,000 combinations. All elements are hand-carved from white marble or limestone by a team of 85 artisans; inlays are in Spanish Brocatella, Siena, and Verde Antico marble. Antiques, $6,000-$50,000; bespoke, $15,000-$25,000. D&D Building, 979 Third Avenue, Suite 244, New York, NY 10022; 646-840-0609; www.chesneys-usa.com.