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Catalog Data

Medium:
Cast iron
Dimensions:
17 3/4 × 6 3/4 in. (45.1 × 17.1 cm)
Style:
Rococo Revival
Type:
Legs (furniture components)
Date:
ca. 1850-1920
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Description:
Cast-iron leg component likely for a seat or table. The pierced design terminates in a claw foot, likely that of an ostrich or bird. This fanciful form is characteristic of nineteenth century designs. The major characteristics of the art, architecture, and decorative arts produced in nineteenth century are historicism, eclecticism, and mixing multiple styles together. Romanticism and interest in the past led to revivals of the styles, ornamentation, and motifs of the past, and throughout the Victorian era there was a rapid succession of confused style revivals competing at the same time. Interest in the unique and novel, rather than accuracy and perfection, led to mixtures from Classical, Baroque, Rococo, Renaissance, and Gothic in eclectic combinations. Rather than copy specific objects, motifs and forms were adapted to suggest the impressions and associations of an idealized version of the past. The Revival styles are not reflective of their times and are inconsistently applied, often resulting in styles attributed by the majority or primary elements.
Label Text:
In the nineteenth century, cast iron manufactories were able to achieve a high enough temperature to produce fluid iron that was poured into intricate molds of compressed sand. Once the iron had cooled, it was removed from the mold. Rough places and sharp edges were then filed away before the piece was bolted together. It would then be painted, varnished, galvanized, or bronzed several times to prevent rust. Settees and benches were cast multiple sections, which were then assembled and bolted together. Customers had the ability to select from a broad range of different finishes, components, and design motifs. Designs followed the trends of the time with natural forms, ornamental motifs pulled from historic revival styles, and complicated shapes. Numerous combinations were possible, and pieces could be varied with the addition of a different leg, seat, arm, or back section. Ends could be attached to cast-iron backrests and seat grates, wood panels, or boards.
Topic:
cast iron  Search this
components  Search this
legs and leg components  Search this
benches  Search this
outdoor furniture  Search this
settees  Search this
tables (support furniture)  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1984.150.001-.002
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4a65a955a-2eb5-47b7-9a7e-cd2860131817
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1984.150.001-.002