If you've been looking at accessories for your fireplace you have probably come across fireplace andirons. Most andirons are made in a way that they look very nice and decorative, but they are more than just a pretty addition to your fireplace.
Andirons are for holding logs in the fireplace so that they do not roll out into the floor; they also keep the logs lifted so that air can get around the logs and help to feed the fire in your fireplace.
Most people have replaced the andiron with a fireplace grate. When holding smaller pieces of wood the grate is preferred as it has more surface area for the wood to rest upon. But some people prefer andirons, since they allow the fire to be closer to the bottom of the fireplace, in a smaller fireplace this is sometimes necessary.
Andirons are considered by most to be prettier in a fireplace than a grate. Andirons began to be made in a more decorative manner during the Italian Renaissance.