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Catalog Data

Medium:
Cast iron, paint
Dimensions:
27 × 27 in. (68.6 × 68.6 cm)
Style:
Rococo Revival
Type:
Tables
Date:
ca.1850-1920
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Description:
Pair of tables composed of cast iron and painted black. The tables have a round top on a pedestal support with three feet on casters. The table base and the rim of the top is designed with ornate Rococo Revival Style decorations, which appealed to the Victorian love of ornament and historicism. Cast-iron tables with round, cast-iron tops on a pedestal support were called conservatory tables, because they were usually placed in the conservatory, but they were often used outdoors in the garden as well. Table tops often had pierced decorations, such as interlacing forms and foliate motifs, that allowed the water to drain from rain or watered plants. Some tables also had a hinged tilting top that allowed for more compact storage, these were usually on castors, which allowed for easy movement. Rococo Revival style was the most popular style of the Victorian era in the United States. It emerged as early as the 1830s and continued to be seen into the 1900s. This style was modeled after eighteenth-century French designs, yet the revival of the style pushed elements further. Rococo Revival objects tended to be highly ornamental, with more substantial, less delicate forms, and visually dense decoration. This style is defined by its sense of movement and its delicacy, as well as curvaceousness, asymmetry, and curvilinear forms. Rococo Revival motifs included floral imagery, abundant swags of fruit and foliage, shell-like waves, ‘S’ & ‘C’ scrolls, rocaille decoration, serpentine curves, frozen water forms, volutes, acanthus leaves, and cabriole legs.
Rococo Revival style was the most popular style of the Victorian era in the United States. It emerged as early as the 1830s and continued to be seen into the 1900s. This style was modeled after eighteenth-century French designs, yet the revival of the style pushed elements further. Rococo Revival objects tended to be highly ornamental, with more substantial, less delicate forms, and visually dense decoration. This style is defined by its sense of movement and its delicacy, as well as curvaceousness, asymmetry, and curvilinear forms. Rococo Revival motifs included floral imagery, abundant swags of fruit and foliage, shell-like waves, ‘S’ & ‘C’ scrolls, rocaille decoration, serpentine curves, frozen water forms, volutes, acanthus leaves, and cabriole legs.
Label Text:
Cast iron tables were popular both in and out of doors in the nineteenth century. Cast iron pieces were made in components and bolted together; therefore, tables could be varied with the addition of a different section on the legs or a different top. The table bases might consist of center column support coming out of three feet or legs, usually 3 to 4. The bases could be sold separately or with an optional table top. Foundries usually sold the table bases with all options of cast iron, wood, or marble tops available for sale. A matching suite of chairs and settee was also available in some designs.
Topic:
cast iron  Search this
tables (support furniture)  Search this
castors (finish hardware)  Search this
conservatories  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
outdoor furniture  Search this
pedestal tables  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1976.004.002
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq49de9c261-a328-4e97-9389-f40419ffebd4
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1976.004.002