Late 19th century Coalbrookdale English cast iron garden bench
Beautiful late 19th century English cast iron Coalbrookdale garden bench design No 78766 as featured in the 1875 catalogue. This Bench is not stamped but on researching the pattern No 78766 it is evident that this was not uncommon.
Literature The Coalbrookdale Foundry was established in 1709 by Abraham Darby and was run by successive members of the Darby family throughout most of the 18th century. When the foundry started it confined its products to domestic wares and engineering castings, and produced the first iron rails in 1769. The famous Iron Bridge was made later, in 1799. At the beginning of the 19th century the emerging affluence of the middle classes made it feasible for the company to produce a range of garden furniture and ornament in cast iron. The foundry made a vast number of seats, plant stands, urns, and fountains, as well as gates and railings. Its seats were very well cast and of sound construction – so much so that many of them are still in use today, although in most cases the wooden seat slats have been replaced. The Coalbrookdale designs can be recognized by the fact that most of them are based on natural foliage. Hence the Fern and Blackberry seat, the Lily of the Valley, the Nasturtium, and a great many more – too many to list here. The designs were practical as well as ornamental and were immediately popular. Leading sculptors, such as John Bell and Christopher Dresser, were commissioned to produce unique designs, and overall the company had a reputation for excellence. In 1851 Coalbrookdale exhibited a selection of its castings at the Great Exhibition and received a council medal. In 1875 the foundry published a huge illustrated catalogue comprising 12 sections of which Section III, Garden and Park Embellishments, covers over 100 pages and provides a good insight into the Coalbrookdale range of garden ornament. Source:Garden Antiques – How to source & Identify by Rupert van der Werff & Jackie Rees.
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21 Ariki Street
Grey Lynn, Auckland
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