The most popular and most common was the fireback . It could be found at the back wall of an open fireplace and had two main functions: first, to protect the back wall from the heat of the fire, second, to store the heat of the fire and emit the warmth into the room, even for hours after the fire had been extinguished.
Stove plates are former parts of a box-shaped oven that consisted of three plates: a front plate, two evenly broad left and right side plates, one bottom plate and a cover plate. The height of each was evenly matched, only their width differed; the width of the cover plate matching with the front plate.
These plates formed a rectangular oven which carried reliefs and depictions of different motifs on the outside. The side plates had unornamented frames, where the oven was embedded into the wall.
The oven stood out from the wall in one room and was lit from the neighboring room. In this way the room with the decorative iron box was heated without the fire being visible. The entire oven was set up on supports of iron, stone or stonework. The smoke was conveyed through the chimney hood. In castles and aristocratic houses as well as public buildings one could also find ovens consisting of more than five plates and multiple tiers.
"Takenplatten" were also positioned at the back of an open fireplace. The difference between them and the fireback was the missing wall behind the Takenplatte. Instead of the plate being against
the back wall of the fireplace there was an opening in the wall that led to another room, where the Takenplatte formed the back wall of a closet. The motif of this cast was not displayed in the
fireplace, but could be seen in the adjacent room when the closet (“Takenschrank”) was opened. This way the heat of the fire was conducted to the closet where heated meals could be stored. If the
closet was open, the room was heated. Takenplatten could be found only in a certain area in Europe: the present day border region Eifel – Saarland – Lorraine – Luxemburg. The name cannot be
translated to English for this reason.