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Catalog Data

Manufacturer:
Robert Wood, Iron Rail Foundry and Manufacturing, 1839 - 1878  Search this
Medium:
Cast iron, paint
Dimensions:
22 1/2 × 26 1/2 × 31 in. (57.2 × 67.3 × 78.7 cm)
Style:
Neoclassical
Type:
Pedestals
Origin:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Date:
ca.1830-1920
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Description:
Cast-iron pedestal painted black. The pedestal is two tiers in a square shape with clipped corners and beveled edges. The majority of the surface is unadorned except for egg-and-dart and mulling bands in the bevels. This design is typical of the Neoclassical style and remained popular throughout the nineteenth century. The most popular style of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century leading up to the Victorian era (1837-1901) was Neoclassicism. In America it has been called the American Empire style, Greek Revival, or Grecian style and was called Regency or Empire style in Europe. Neoclassicism was seen in painting, sculpture, furnishings, architecture, fashion, and even politics. This revival of classical taste was encouraged by the increased interest in classical, ancient, and antique forms inspired by recent excavations of in Italy, Greece, and Egypt. Neoclassicism pulled motifs, ornamentation, and forms from antiquity, as well as the Renaissance interpretation of the classical world. Elements of neoclassical design included fretwork, columns, palmettes, pilasters, acanthus leaves, tulips and lotus motifs, grotesque masks, processional reliefs, mythical creatures, laurel garlands, fruit swags, scrolls, tassels, fringe, passementerie, frieze decoration, lyres, and vases; as well as accurate depictions of flora, fauna, birds, and insects; and repeating patterns such as the Greek key and egg-and-dart. A characteristic of Neoclassical designs is strict symmetry of all the elements.
Label Text:
In America, urns have been a popular feature in the garden since the mid-nineteenth century and were frequently displayed similarly to sculptures, usually being positioned in a place of importance. They were commonly elevated on a pedestal, which might also be accompanied by a socle, plinth, or base. The word pedestal is derived from the French “piédestal” and Italian “piedistallo”, which translates to "foot of a stall” because it acts as a support. Pedestals are made from a variety of materials including marble, lead, stone, composition stone, bronze, terra cotta, and cast iron. Pedestals followed architectural and decorative arts fashions, and the design usually coordinated with the overall aesthetic of the piece it displayed. They might be simple or ornate. The primary motifs of the nineteenth century for urn pedestals included: slab, wreath or ‘Grecian’, floral or ‘Victoria,’ and cabochon or ‘Louis Quatorze.’ Large pedestals were frequently made of separate iron panels held together by tie rods.
Cast-iron urns were typically made in sections or might be all cast in one piece, and additional attachments such as handles, plinths, pedestals and bases were available. Since cast iron pieces were made in components and bolted together; numerous combinations were possible. Customers had the ability to select from a broad range of different finishes, components, and design motifs; also, many companies included a name plate on the base or pedestal furnished for each vase purchased. Pieces were also interchangeable which allowed for replacement parts or design variations by the addition of different handles, plinths, pedestals, or bases. The vast variety of decorative motifs and forms for elaborate handles, fully decorated bowls, fanciful balusters, and coordinating pedestals allowed for extraordinary combinations for urns in nineteenth century.
Mark(s):
Robert Wood & Co. Makers Phila
Topic:
cast iron  Search this
Outdoor ornaments  Search this
pedestals  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1999.040
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq40b26a7f7-1043-4d59-9bd3-5e4475860aa9
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1999.040