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Catalog Data

Manufacturer:
J.W. Fiske Iron Works  Search this
Medium:
Cast iron, paint, fabric
Dimensions:
Overall: 86 × 25 1/2 × 60 in. (218.4 × 64.8 × 152.4 cm)
Without canopy: 50 × 15 × 60 in. (127 × 38.1 × 152.4 cm)
Style:
Gothic Revival
Type:
Benches
Origin:
New York, New York, United States
Date:
ca.1874-1892
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Description:
Cast-iron and wood bench with awning. This bench is in the “Lawn” or “Croquet” pattern and was designed for spectators. The wooden seat and backrest of the bench are curved to create a more comfortable seat. The cast-iron bench ends have Gothic Revival arches and crockets with a yellow and white awning extending from the center of the arch. The Lawn settee was designed with a folding tent to shield spectators from the sun and allow them to enjoy the outdoors longer. With the mass production of the lawn mower in the 1870s, short, uniform grass cutting was made possible, and outdoor games such as croquet, tennis, lawn bowling, archery, and badminton gained widespread appeal as lawn sports became a favored leisure activity of the middle class. The Gothic Revival style was one of the major styles of the Victorian era and reached the height of its popularity from 1840-1870; however, designs continued to be produced into the 1900s. This style adapted Gothic architectural forms and ornaments found in the churches and castles of Medieval Europe. Gothic Revival motifs included pointed arches, quatrefoils, trefoils, lozenges, pinnacles, crockets, trefoils, rosettes, tracery, and cluster columns.
The Gothic Revival style was one of the major styles of the Victorian era and reached the height of its popularity from 1840-1870; however, designs continued to be produced into the 1900s. This style adapted Gothic architectural forms and ornaments found in the churches and castles of Medieval Europe. Gothic Revival motifs included pointed arches, quatrefoils, trefoils, lozenges, pinnacles, crockets, trefoils, rosettes, tracery, and cluster columns.
Label Text:
Garden furnishings, also called outdoor or patio furnishings, are specifically designed for outdoor use. They are typically made of weather-resistant materials such as metal, stone, wood, wicker, and artificial stone. Cast-iron was the most popular material for garden furnishings and accessories from the mid-nineteenth to the early-twentieth century. This was in part due to systems of mass production developed in the Industrial Revolution that allowed outdoor furniture to be readily available and affordable to the public. Throughout the nineteenth century, as leisure activities increased, materials diversified, and technology was embraced, garden furnishings came to be regarded as domestic amenities and reflected changing styles. Outdoor furnishings, such as settees, chairs, fountains, urns, and tables were essential to fashionably appointed lawns, conservatories, parks, cemeteries, and gardens in America.
The garden in the nineteenth century, typical of Victorian style, tended to be excessively ornamental and complex, combining colors, textures, and materials through plants and garden ornaments. Garden furnishings, such as urns, plant stands, tables, and seating, became essential to the overall design. As an extension of the house, the garden required furniture, and outdoor seating found its way onto balconies, verandahs, and porches as well as across lawns and parks. Benches, which are seats for several people with or without a backrest and arms, were a popular feature of the Victorian garden. Most garden benches were designed to be suitable for use with a table and were frequently sold with matching suites of chairs, settees, and tables. Designs for garden benches followed the Victorian taste for eclectic styles and borrowed Classical, Gothic, Rococo, Renaissance, and Oriental motifs; or they were chosen to blend with their natural surroundings in Rustic, animal, or botanical forms. Benches and other garden furnishings were strategically placed as the focal point or an accessory to create a specific feeling for a setting. Garden furnishings were used on porches and verandahs, as well as throughout the garden, to extend the architecture of the house to the grounds, providing a link between art and nature, manmade and organic.
Mark(s):
J. W. Fiske, No. 21 & 23 Barclay St., NY, Patented
Topic:
benches  Search this
cast iron  Search this
outdoor furniture  Search this
awnings  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
garden seats  Search this
parks (recreation areas)  Search this
seating furniture  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1984.013.a, b
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4265f2078-4a42-4652-a038-83dbbc0eabf2
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1984.013.a__b