The precursors to fire grates, consisting of a pair of metal fire irons placed at either side of an open hearth to support burning logs. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, coal-burning stoves largely replaced andirons excapt in country areas. With the grates of the 19thC, a shortenedform of andirons made a comeback as purely decorative features or to suport long-handled FIRE IRONS. Andrions are also known as firedogs, as 16thC example (now rare) were often cast in the shape of seated hounds. Versions with many feet are called firecats, because if dropped they always land, catlike, on their feet.