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1950's cast iron air return grate

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    Posted 4 years ago

    (1 item)

    i am trying to find out where this was from, who made it. it was found in a creek in south east Pennsylvania. it has no maker marks. i date it 1950's because that was the height of the Hawaiiana craze

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    1. UncleRon UncleRon, 4 years ago
      You don't give the size. It looks like it could be a cover for a theater or hotel hallway "night" light, or even installed in a stair riser in a movie house - any place where only a minimal amount of light is required. Without handling it I'd say it is much older - perhaps from the e1920s. I also think is represents Florida. The strangest thing is how it ended up in a creek.
    2. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 4 years ago
      I live in Florida and have seen them at flea markets here. There is a name for them which I can't remember. I seem to think it had something to do with the rising sun which is in the center of it and the sun rays going outward over the water. The ones I happened to see were in with a bunch of light fixtures from a hotel salvage. The hotel was built in 1925. I bought the brass light fixtures and milk glass globes and shades but not this item. I don't recall the name of the hotel but it was located at 4 th street south around 37th Avenue south in Saint Petersburg.
    3. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      I have books on wrought iron but do not remember seeing this exactly. A size is always important if you want info !!~
    4. billretirecoll billretirecoll, 4 years ago
      Hey fhrjr2, was it the Soreno Hotel?
    5. monkee67, 4 years ago
      the dimensions are 46.5" x 10.5"
    6. billretirecoll billretirecoll, 4 years ago
      Wow that's huge! I pictured it at about 12"x3", that's why it's important to give the size of things! :^)
    7. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      That is bigger than I thought. A lot of pieces were made up to about 1940 and then stopped when the war was going on. The production stopped for good around that time. The most famous maker was definitely wrought iron work by Edgar Brandt and Paul Kiss. The very best work goes for big money now. It is quite unusual to see places for someone to nail it to a wall ! I am therefore not able to be sure it was made in France. The detail however makes it a wonderful piece. The best makers signed their work but a lot of smaller pieces were not signed and is hard to attribute since most of the work was done in the art deco taste, Welcome to CW !~
    8. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Mistake. I meant to start a new sentance if you take the word "since" out at the end.
    9. monkee67, 4 years ago
      i still think its an air grate given its size, but the art deco florida info makes sense. is it "wrought iron" if its cast and not forged? i would imagine it had trim that went over the mounting holes. the next question is what is it worth?
    10. monkee67, 4 years ago
      then again it could have been from a fireplace mantle
    11. UncleRon UncleRon, 4 years ago
      I too, thought it was small. That size negates all my guesses. Wow! It could be an architectural panel from a fancy railroad car, elevator, or anywhere inside a ritzy building.
    12. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 4 years ago
      Also surprised at its 'actual size' here -- and that it is apparently a cast iron thing recovered from running water ("a creek") but doesn't show much of any evidence of actual *rust*. Very curious indeed...
    13. monkee67, 4 years ago
      you can tell from the detail pics that there is a bit of rust. i think it was mainly protected by its painted finish. i am also accomplished at cleaning and restoring objects. although this only needed a bit of soap and water and some wd-40
    14. monkee67, 4 years ago
      i think the mystery of what it is has been solved. from a facebook group i am on, its a cast iron back from a bench. which adds up. it was probably fully painted which is why it had only light surface rust. the creek was near a campground. the wood probably rotted away and was used for firewood and the cast iron was then discarded . i wish it was an architectural relic as i would have a better market for it. and dating wise i am going to stick with 1950's as the grain of the casting is tight and more modern castings have a more stippled grain. thanx for all the help
    15. billretirecoll billretirecoll, 4 years ago
      Thanks for letting us know, here's a link to Wooden Park Benches with Cast Iron back inserts on google:

      Hope this helps! :^)

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