FENDER, a metal guard or defence (whence the name) for a fire-place. When the open hearth with its logs burning upon dogs or andirons was replaced by the closed grate, the fender was devised as a finish to the smaller fire-places, and as a safeguard against the dropping of cinders upon the wooden floor, which was now much nearer to the fire. Fenders are usually of steel, brass or iron, solid or pierced. Those made of brass in the latter part of the 18th and the earlier part of the 19th centuries are by far the most elegant and artistic. They usually had three claw feet, and the pierced varieties were often cut into arabesques or conventional patterns. The lyre and other motives of the Empire style were much used during the prevalence of that fashion. The modern fender is much lower and is often little more than a kerb; it is now not infrequently of stone or marble, fixed to the floor.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)