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Settee

1948.758 (RS32551)

Description

Settee. Cast iron. Back, arms, and seat made in the form of rustic intertwined tree branches and leaves. Rests on four legs that also resemble tree branches. Legs joined by stretchers composed in the form of intertwined snakes.

Details

Label
"Cherished Possessions": Technological advances in manufacturing led to the increasing use of iron in the nineteenth century. Once used almost exclusively for kitchen tools, hardware, agricultural tools, and weaponry, by the middle of the nineteenth century iron seemed to possess limitless applications. One successful use was in furniture. Cast-iron garden benches could be found in public gardens, rural cemeteries, and on private lawns. The popular rustic style, with its intertwined twigs and twisting snakes, was an apt metaphor for mid-nineteenth-century America's attitude about nature. What better way to demonstrate man's dominion over the natural world than to create a naturalistic design in the most industrial of materials?
Maker
unknown
Date
1850-1880
Associated Building
Used at Barrett House (New Ipswich, N.H.).
Material
cast iron
Object type
Furniture
Places
Possibly Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Possibly Massachusetts (United States)
Descriptive terms
cast iron
multiple-seating furniture
Settee
settees
Dimensions
33 5/8 x 35 x 20 1/4 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1948.758
Credit Line
Gift of Caroline Barr Wade
GUSN
190866

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