Studio: international art — 6.1896

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Iron-work at South Kensington


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HE RECENTLY ACQUIRED stronS SriP for USL'> and a suitable idealisa-
IRONWORK AT SOUTH °^ t^'e <:lua^^es °f the material for orna-

KENSINGTON. men,t . , , .

1 here is a large selection of door-fittings of the

In an earlier number of The Studio fifteenth and sixteenth centuries : we give drawings
the large collection lately purchased from M. Peyre of six (Figs. 3-8), two of the later Gothic period, and
was dealt with so far as regards the carved wood, the remainder showing traces of the more florid
which constitutes its chief feature. It includes, forms of the Renaissance. But each repeats the old
however, a considerable quantity of serrurerie which lesson—a lesson our designers are so slowandjunwill-
seems in several instances
of sufficient importance to
justify a separate notice.

The most striking of the
new acquisitions is a pair
of doors in wrought-iron
(Fig. n), painted green with
conventional flowers of two
patterns in cut metal, gilt.
This piece of work is of
the highest technical excel-
lence and curiously modern
in design ■ the foliage being
an evident study from Na-
ture, carried out with much
skill and ingenuity. The
leaves are pure wrought
work, made from rods
splayed out at the end ;
and then welded together
in bunches to form the
branches and parent stem.
Fig. 1, a tripod stand of
Italian workmanship, bear-
ing a very ordinary copper
tray, is also a useful illustra-
tion of the possibility of
good ornament and sound
construction in combina-
tion. The brackets are of
sheet-iron cut in silhouette ;
the leaves, hammered and
pinned in two well-arranged
groups, both strengthen the fig. ii. wrought-iron door French xv. century

whole composition, and
supply an effective contrast

to the strong simplicity of the feet and central ing to learn—that the perfection of ornament consists
shaft. These qualities are also finely seen in a set in its application to use. In two only of these in-
of door fasteners and bolts of the sixteenth cen- stances is there any added detail, both giving addi-
tury. The portion selected for illustration (Fig. 2) tional convenience to the hand; but it is difficult
has a finial of pierced work which is not without to suggest how any would be improved by " enrich-
value ; but its chief merit lies in the absolute utility ment." Wrought-iron is the most dignified material
of the grooved ornamentation of the claw, made by used in the crafts ; and, of all, the least in need of
hammered indentations finished with the chisel, meretricious adornment. Fig. 8 will be interesting
and precisely what was needed to ensure both a to a smith as a piece of pure forged work; Fig. 7

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