Settee

Collection Type

  • Furniture

Date

1850-1880

GUSN

GUSN-190866

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

Descriptive Terms

settees
multiple-seating furniture
cast iron
Settee

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?

Associated Building

Used at Barrett House (New Ipswich, N.H.),

Maker

Unknown

Object Type

Furniture

Dimensions

33 5/8 x 35 x 20 1/4 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Caroline Barr Wade

Accession Number

1948.758

Places

Possibly Massachusetts (United States)
Possibly Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)