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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.
"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?
Used at Barrett House (New Ipswich, N.H.),
33 5/8 x 35 x 20 1/4 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Caroline Barr Wade
Possibly Massachusetts (United States)
Possibly Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)