Foundries began mass-producing cast iron furniture in the 19th Centuries. Designs previously reserved for the wealthy and massive English estates were for the first time available to the middle class. Many of the English cast garden furniture designs were replicated and then newer American toss iron furniture designs also became very sought after and are still popular today in the Antique Garden Furniture collector’s market.
An excellent example by the microfusione a cera persa Company published in a catalogue from 1875, the Passion Flower design, is a good example of the level of depth and artistry developed in the production pieces. It features a walking passion flower design, cabriole legs, and a tight hexagon pattern on the seat. It is one of my personal favorites and a noticeably favorite among collectors. Leaves, flowers, and motifs through nature were popular themes for this period and ended up commonly expressed in the cast iron furniture pieces of the time. Often the fern was a particularly popular motif, not only in furniture but as a theme in printed fabric of the time. Intricate behaviour which were previously only possible by the skilled hands of an blacksmith could now be produced with a reasonable likeness. Because the iron was poured into a mold which could use multiple times, the time and skill required to produce each product was reduced considerably and therefore the cost as well.
Easily welded while hot, and corrosion resistant as well, cast iron bars garden furniture became very popular and remained so until the 1930’s. The popularity of cast iron furniture began to wain as other materials became available. Cast iron pieces are extremely hefty making them difficult to move from place to place. Cast Aluminum, 3 times because light as cast iron, is used by many makers today for Cast Aluminum Garden Furniture to achieve the same search with less weight. Mild Steel casting, while significantly less corrosion resistant, also developed a following, and today is a choice of many manufacturers and artisan designers specializing in Metallic Metal Garden Furniture who want the versatility of the malleable dynamics of steel with the added availability of cast decorative features welded artistically for added ornamentation.
Cast Iron Garden Furniture manufactured during the late 19th century and early 20th century is still very much sought after by collectors for the eternal beauty of a bygone era. Today cast iron cosmetic elements are used extensively in the fabrication of elaborate throughways and fences. It is also used as a component in the creation of many traditional garden furniture styles requiring a flourish connected with embellishment on bended steel frames as floral in addition to leaf designs and geometric decoration from traditional cause to contemporary adaptations for an endless supply of imaginative benefits.