National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Cast Iron Fence Cast Iron Fence
Rendered by Pearl Torell (artist), c. 1939
watercolor, pen and ink, and graphite on paperboard
overall: 35.4 x 27.9 cm (13 15/16 x 11 in.)
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Metalwork from the Index of American Design
Object 4 of 17

Decorative ironwork was originally wrought at the forge. Used for gates, grilles, railings, and balconies, such ironwork represented the height of the blacksmith's craft. These decorative pieces first appeared in cities such as New Orleans, Charleston, and Baltimore. By the early nineteenth century, however, foundries were producing popular cast ironwork for other regions. This cast iron panel from a cemetery gate was made in the mid-nineteenth century. The ornate floral and arboreal motifs aretypical of Victorian decoration popular in that period. The lamb resting under a weeping willow tree was a common theme symbolic of grief and appropriate for the panel's use as a cemetery ornament.

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