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Catalog Data

Medium:
Cast iron, paint
Dimensions:
36 in. (91.4 cm)
66 1/2 in. (168.9 cm)
Style:
Renaissance Revival
Type:
Hitching posts
Date:
ca.1830-1920
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Description:
Cast-iron hitching post with ball finial. The bottom portion of the post was meant to be buried in the ground. This feature would secure the post from being uprooted by any tied animal’s attempt to run away. The above-ground portion of the post is fluted and topped with a ball finial. Near the base, a circle of lion-head masks adorn the column with the Renaissance Revival aesthetic. This decoration appealed to the Victorian love of ornamentation, as well as the interest in historical motifs portrayed in the revival styles of the nineteenth century. Renaissance Revival style was a popular style of the Victorian era in the United States. It emerged as early as the 1840s and experienced renewed interest in 1890s. Renaissance Revival was a continuation of the Neoclassicism of the early nineteenth century and was vaguely related to actual objects from the Renaissance period. Renaissance Revival motifs included scrolling foliage called rinceaux, fruit garlands, masks, satyrs, egg-and-dart decoration, friezes, putti, armorial shields, palmettes, scrolls, grotesques, lions, water plant motifs, anthemia, oval medallions, bosses and strapwork, dolphins, Caryatid figures, and architectural elements such as columns, pilasters, pediments, and cornices.
Renaissance Revival style was a popular style of the Victorian era in the United States. It emerged as early as the 1840s and experienced renewed interest in 1890s. Renaissance Revival was a continuation of the Neoclassicism of the early nineteenth century and was vaguely related to actual objects from the Renaissance period. Renaissance Revival motifs included scrolling foliage called rinceaux, fruit garlands, masks, satyrs, egg-and-dart decoration, friezes, putti, armorial shields, palmettes, scrolls, grotesques, lions, water plant motifs, anthemia, oval medallions, bosses and strapwork, dolphins, Caryatid figures, and architectural elements such as columns, pilasters, pediments, and cornices.
Label Text:
A hitching post or tethering post was used to tie up a horse, or other animal, to prevent it from wandering away by looping the reigns or leads through a ring attached to a post. These were important in the days before the automobile, as horses were ridden or carriages were driven from one destination to the next, and usually left unattended while their owners attended to other business. Hitching posts were found outside of homes, barns, and public places. The Victorian love of ornament led to many of these posts being adorned with a decorative motif on the post or finial, and designs were often chosen to complement the architecture. Today, hitching posts are sometimes seen in front of buildings or in gardens as nostalgic symbols of the past.
Topic:
cast iron  Search this
hitching posts  Search this
finials  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1984.032.a, b
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4030f2c12-e830-485f-b3c9-c87ffd76f9a5
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1984.032.a__b