July 27, 2009

British ‘mayor’ seeks fireplace in Chicago

England's honorary mayor of Barton is asking Chicagoans to check if their home fireplaces were ever owned by Queen Elizabeth I.

Martin Kirby, a newspaper columnist from Barton, England, who was awarded the mayor title -- an honorific Barton traditionally reserves for the biggest fool in town -- said the 500-year-old fireplace was last seen in 1907, when it was purchased for $1,200 by a Chicago collector, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

Kirby said homeowners in Chicago should check their fireplaces for a pretentious overmantel bearing the royal coat of arms, which features three lions surrounding a crown with the Latin phrase Semper Eadem, which translates to always the same.

He said the fireplace adorned the queen's bedroom in 1574.