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another name (esp Brit) for mantelpiece (sense 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Encyclopedia Article for chimneypiece

originally, a hood projecting from the wall over a grate, built to catch the smoke and direct it up to the chimney flue. It came to mean any decorative development of the same type or for the same purpose-e.g., a mantel, or mantelpiece.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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