Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shop 4 Classics Reviews Federal Era Hardware

It is April 15 and we at Shop 4 Classics hope that you recognize the significance of that date. It is the date that federal income taxes are due. It also provides a fitting time to discuss Federal style architectural hardware.

Following the Revolutionary War, the Federal era was a time of great patriotism and the revolutionary pride was reflected in the hardware of the period. Patriotic symbols such as eagles and stars were employed on all types of home hardware.

Federal age homes tended to be imposing, balanced, and symmetric structures similar to the civil and government buildings of the time. Federal era homes were built from brick or stone and featured columns and pilasters.

Spanning from the late 18th century (1780) to the mid 19th century (1830), the Federal period marked a time of transition in hardware. The cast iron hardware of colonial America was still prominent in the early part of the Federal period but advances in machinery during the later stages of the Federal era introduced a progression toward decorative brass hardware. Cast iron was used for exterior door hardware, window hardware, shutter hardware as well as utilitarian interior hardware such as cast iron vent covers but manufacturing advances near the end of the Federal era produced decorative interior brass hardware with greater detail than previously possible with bronze and cast iron.

Federal era door hardware and cabinet hardware tended to be basic and graceful. Common architectural motifs for brass door hardware from the period include rope, reed, and bead designs. Round and ovals shapes with raised concentric circles on curved surfaces were popular in cabinet hardware.

Federal era designs and themes continue to be popular today. The classic styles of the Federal age lend traditional elegance to contemporary interior design while bold patriotic d├ęcor defines the appeal of Americana. The influences of the Federal period are as noticeable in modern homes as the IRS auditor who will appear on your stoop if you fail to pay your taxes by April 15.

No comments:

Post a Comment