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Iron at Winterthur
Don Fennimore

2004 • 432 pp. 435 illus., 1 table 11 1/2 x 10"
Decorative Arts & Material Culture / History of Technology

$70.00 Hardcover, 978-0-912724-63-8

US, Australia & New Zealand only

“No other book comes close to this one, and his subject matter is unique.”Decorative Arts

Iron at Winterthur, a catalogue of the extensive but unpublished collection at the museum, will fill an oft-neglected niche in the field of decorative arts—that of the history and use of iron in the everyday life of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century America. With essays and entries on approximately 300 cast, wrought, and sheet iron objects for every conceivable household function, the author not only addresses the specifics of maker, date, place of origin, and the like but also presents thematic and interpretive commentary dealing with economics, craft and manufacturing techniques, and the marketplace. And not to be denied is the issue of aesthetics. Mr. Fennimore adeptly weaves the story of skill and artistry, illuminating the grace and beauty inherent in everyday iron objects.

Equally instructive is the book’s introduction, which documents the formation of the collection by museum founder Henry Francis du Pont, one of the twentieth-century’s most notable collectors of Americana.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

Iron at Winterthur is a fascinating literal catalog of a very fine collection at the prestigious museum of the same came. It captivates readers… This new volume is both massive and extensive, based on some skillful assembly by author Donald Fennimore who is an official with the museum. The detailed text and equally detailed photographs combine for a rather unique history of the use of iron mainly in America from the 17th century through the 19th century.” Mountain States Collector

"This ample volume brings to light the extraordinary and often overlooked collection of iron at the Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, Delaware. With essays and entries on approximately 275 cast, wrought and sheet iron objects, the author addresses the specifics of each maker, date, place of origin, and also presents thematic and interpretive commentary dealing with economics, craft and manufacturing techniques and the marketplace."
Antiques and Collecting

"Donald L. Fennimore, the Winterthur museum's longtime senior curator of metals, analyzes just about every bolt, joint, and mold mark on 200 artifacts in wrought, cast, or sheet iron. But that doesn't mean this volume is fusty. The blacksmiths, Fennimore explains, worked useful ornaments and proto-modern ergonomics into their designs. They flattened the tips of wagon-chain hooks into stylized serpent heads so the chains wouldn't slip off, and they reduced the weight of dough scrapers by cutting away graceful semicircles on the sides of the blades. The book's designers, Studio Blue, filled two-page spreads with such tight close-ups that the metal patinas become abstract artworks."I.D. Magazine


Winner of the Montgomery Prize, Decorative Arts Society (2004)

DONALD L. FENNIMORE, emeritus senior curator of metals at Winterthur, joined the museum staff in 1971 upon graduation from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. He has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants and has spent considerable time in England conducting research in the field. Mr. Fennimore resides in Wilmington, Delaware.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:52:36 -0500