News-Antique.com - Nov 21,2008 - Santa Fe, Nov. 21, 2008 -- In the mid-19th century cemeteries were criticized for not providing peaceful, natural settings for mourners to sit and grieve the loss of loved ones.
Cast iron was the perfect medium for helping to create park-like cemeteries. Sturdy, weatherproof, affordable and yielding, cast iron could easily be molded into tiered-fountains and giant mourning lions common to the tops of tombs.
The opening of Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass., in 1831 served as a model of landscaping for later cemeteries. Housed on 175 lush acres with 5,500 trees, thousands of flowers, marble fountains, and cast-iron urns, Mount Auburn Cemetery looks like an enchanted forest.
The first public parks were birthed out of places like Mt. Auburn.
Garden statuary falls within the category of architectural antiques. The field includes garden furniture, ornaments, sculpture as well as fire surrounds, old doors, roof finials and stone columns.
Condition takes on less importance in collecting garden statuary. A chipped nose or a damaged handle is not unusual and collectors expect to see it. In terms of value, marble statuary is often the most desirable followed by bronze, lead and cast iron.
Most collectors are looking for several pieces for that special spot in the garden. For the beginning collector, the brand new cement ornaments found in garden shops will never have much value.
On July 25 & 26, Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers in Delaware, Ohio, offered a selection of garden urns, stands and seating in its auction.
Two garden benches in a White House pattern; patented in England in 1848; mid-late 19th century; sold for $1,528.
Read the entire article at: http://www.LiveAuctionTalk.com