man·tel also man·tle (măntl)
1. An ornamental facing around a fireplace. Also called regionally mantelpiece.
2. The protruding shelf over a fireplace. Also called regionally mantelpiece, mantelshelf, fireboard.
[Middle English mantel (as in mantiltre, beam over fireplace opening, perhaps from its use for drying wet clothing); see MANTELTREE.]
(click for a larger image)mantel
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