Manufacturers of garden ornaments

Austin & Seeley GB

Active from around 1828 until the late 19th century. One of the most prominent manufacturers of English garden ornaments in composition stone. The Austin & Seeley company has evidently been the biggest manufacturer of garden ornaments and statues in artificial stoneware in Victorian England, although little has been published about this remarkable firm. It was active from circa 1828 until around 1872. Its stoneware was a mixture of Portland cement, ground stone, pulverized marble and coarse sand. As from 1826 onwards the sculptor Felix Austin worked with marble, memorials in some six churches, among other things. Circa 1828 he bought patterns and matrices (moulds or dies) from the bankrupt company Van Spangen Powell & C°. From 1833 onwards he engaged Sidney Smirke and J. Papworth (2 famous Victorian architects) as designers of eastern vases and of a big fountain for the Pantheon Bazaar in London respectively. Around 1840 Austin merged with John Seeley. The company supplied a considerable number of ornaments for the formal Italian gardens designed by landscape architects, such as Charles Barry and W. A. Nesfield, and it is also famous for the ornaments supplied for the Royal Residence of Osborne on the isle of Wight. In 1851 its composition stone was described as being: 'of a light tint, requires no painting or colouring, will not sustain injury from the severest winter and being impervious to wet, is particularly applicable to all kind of waterworks. .

'Barbedienne, F. FR

Active circa 1850-95. A French foundry that casts in iron, bronze and copper but also sculptured statues in marble. The company employed prominent sculptors at that time, such as Bayre and David.

Barbezat & Cie FR

French foundry that was eventually taken over by de Val d'Osne group, c. 1857.

Blanchard, Mark H. GB

Active 1839-70. English manufacturer of terracotta garden ornaments. Bought a big part of the Coade moulds when this company stopped.

Blashfield, John Merriott GB

1830-1875. English manufacturer of architectural terracotta elements and garden ornaments. Also this company bought a number of Coade's moulds and employed the sculptor John Bell in 1854. Blashfield received 2 medals on the 1862 exhibition: one for terracotta and one for 'perfection in manufacture and beauty in form'. His products were frequently used in the architecture as well as in the garden architecture of that time and were exported worldwide. The ovens that he used could contain vases of almost 2 meters diameter.

Bromsgrove Guild GB

The Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts (Bromsgrove, Birmingham) was founded in 1898 by Walter Gilbert and was only permanently dissolved in 1966. The Guild comprised several (decorative) crafts: woodcutting, furniture craft, ornamental ironwork, leaded windows, coining, garden ornaments in lead and artificial stone, silversmithing,. . . and was known far beyond England's borders. Its most famous assignment were the monumental gates of Buckingham Palace in London in 1908. Carr,

James W. USA

Active during the 19th century. This American iron works initially cast pistols and revolvers and ended with manufacturing garden ornaments. Chiurrazzi ITFounded in 1840. Italian company that manufactured a great number of Roman copies in bronze, iron and marble.

Coade GB

From 1769 until ca. 1842. English manufacturer of stoneware. Remarkable is that this was the first company that manufactured stoneware (architectural & garden ornaments) of which the baked clay was very weatherproof for the English climate ánd looked like natural stone at the same time. Moreover, it is important to mention that the company was run by a woman (Mrs Coade) at a time where such thing was highly unusual. .

Coalbrookdale GB

1708-1996. English iron works that started to manufacture household ironwork, continued with architectural elements and ended with garden ornaments (especially known for its exquisite garden benches).

Compton Pottery GB

1896 until ca. 1950. Terracotta garden ornaments.

Craig; J. And M. SC

Scottish company that manufactured garden ornaments in fire clay. From 1831 until 1914.

Doulton GB

English ceramics company. Active from 1820 until 1956, Lambeth, London.

Ducel, J. J. et Fils FR

Early 19th century until 1930. French iron and bronze foundry. In 1878 J. J. Ducel merged with Val d'Osne. In 1888 Antoine Durenne acquired S. A. de Forges du Val d'Osne and uses Ducel's former Parisian address as his. J. J. Ducel manufactured many ornaments, some of which are authenticated.

Durenne, Antoine FR

Active from 1847 until ca. 1930. French iron and bronze foundry. In 1888 Durenne acquires the address of S. A. d. F. du Val d'Osne, Paris, Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière,26 ( also Ducel's address in Paris) and is listed on the Poissonnière from 1896 until 1911. Antoine Durenne explored new possibilities to enlarge the cast iron industry. He applied cast iron in architecture and manufactured staircases, balconies and railings, among many other objects. He further exploited cast iron in an artistic way by copying old statues and antique vases ánd by casting groups of animals designed by young artists of his time.

Falkirk Iron Company SC

English (Scottish) iron works active during the 19th century. Labourers of the nearby Carron foundry founded this company in 1819.

Fiske Foundry USA

American iron works founded in 1858 by Joseph Winn Fiske and active until 1933. Originally made a big variety of ornamental ironwork. Around 1899 his sons John W. Fiske and Joseph W. Fiske II joined the company. It was one of the first foundries that popularized the use of zinc alloys in fountain statues. In contrast with iron, zinc had the advantage of not getting rust. Not all Fiske's figures were authenticated.

Garnkirk Fireclay Company SC

Founded in 1832 and stopped in 1901. Mid 19th century the Garnkirk Fire Clay Company was known for being the biggest manufacturer of fire-clay articles worldwide. The company was represented at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and worked for a great number of famous architects and sculptors at that time, Alexander 'Greek' Thompson, among others. The company stopped by the end of the 19th century after it had run out of clay supplies.

Gossin Frères FR

Terracotta company, active during 2nd half of the 19th century in Paris. Etienne and Louis Gossin both were sculptors. The Gossin brothers especially made decorative statues for buildings, gardens and churches. They won medals at several competitions.

Handyside Foundry GB

English iron works, very famous for its fountains and garden vases. Founded in 1848 when Andrew Handyside bought the Britannia Iron Works (on the banks of the Derwent river in Derby). According to the newspaper The Art Journal Handyside manufactured in 1850 'several ornamental vases many of which were remarkable for their classical purity of form and ornament'. At the Great Exhibition the year after that Handysidereceived several distinctions for its copies of the Medici urns ánd for busts of Shakespeare, Milton and Wellington. The quality of its castings was exceptional and became better and better from then on. In 1873 its first catalogue of ornamental ironwork was published.

Manifattura di Signa, La IT

Active since the end of 19th century. Florentine terracotta manufacturer known for its many designs after examples of Antiquity.

Pulham Terracotta GB

Active circa 1806-1945. English manufacturer of a broad range of garden ornaments in artificial stone. Its 'Pulhamite' artificial stone was also used for caves and waterbeds in gardens. Many of its statues were reproductions of Antiquity and the Renaissance.

Stiff,James and Sons GB

Active from around 1876 until the early 20th century. English stoneware manufacturer who manufactured a whole range of garden ornaments.

Val d'Osne FR

French iron and bronze foundry. The Société Anonyme des Haute-Fourneaux et Fonderies du Val d'Osne was in fact a co-operative of foundries in the Haute Marne department in France and took over Barbezat, Ducel and Durenne, among other companies. An enormous production of garden ornaments, not always autographed.

Yates, James GB

1840-1870. English iron works that became Yates and Hayward in 1851. Especially known for its gothic period furniture.

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