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Catalog Data

Cast iron, paint
ca. 1900
Victorian (1837-1901)
Cast-iron wickets or lawn guards in the shape of curved branches. The branches are in arched segments with spear points to drive into the ground. When in use it appears as if a branch or root is growing out of the earth, creating an arch, then going back underground. This design in characteristic of the Rustic style. Rustic style was immensely popular in the Victorian era, and the height of its popularity occurred between 1840 and 1890. Rustic objects share a common aesthetic of being artfully assembled with materials harvested directly from nature to create a variety of furnishings and decorative objects for the home and garden. Rustic furnishings and accessories were thought to be especially suited to the garden, as they blended in with the natural landscapes. Rustic materials and motifs include tree branches, twigs, roots, burls, bark, pinecones, acorns, seashells, animal horns, and antlers. Rustic designs were often constructed from found objects or were cast or carved to appear like these articles. Rustic objects were usually irregular and asymmetrical to mimic the forms that would occur in nature. Rustic designs could be made following instructions in contemporary publications, but the popularity of the style led to the mass production of Rustic style pieces.
Label Text:
Wickets refer to garden borders, garden railing, or lawn guards that are made from arched segments with spear points on each end, which were driven into the ground to hold them in place. This term may come from the similarly shaped arches, called wickets, used in the game of croquet. Materials for this edging included cast or wrought iron, stone, wood, and composite stone. They were a popular feature of Victorian garden design, especially parterre gardens. Wickets were used to edge garden beds, define spaces, add texture, and highlight areas. Another popular use was edging paths to deter people from walking on the grass.
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Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
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Usage conditions apply
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Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens