ironwork


ironwork
/uy"euhrn werrk'/, n.
1. work in iron.
2. objects or parts of objects made of iron: ornamental ironwork.
[1375-1425; late ME; see IRON, WORK]

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 architectural features of buildings, artwork, utensils, and weapons made of iron. A brief treatment of ironwork follows. For full treatment, see metalwork: Iron (metalwork).

      The earliest iron artifacts, dating from about 4000 BC, were made from meteoric iron and were therefore rare. Smelting iron from its ores came into general use about 1400 BC in the Middle East. During the next 500 years iron began to displace bronze in the manufacture of weapons and tools. Before the European Middle Ages, iron was mainly a utilitarian metal, with only secondary efforts in decoration. Arms, armour, and firearms were often decorated, however, usually simply but sometimes with elaborate ornamentation.

      During the Middle Ages, iron began to achieve wide uses for a variety of domestic needs. Ironclad doors offered an added degree of protection but also provided new opportunities for decoration. Chests wrapped in iron provided both security and beauty. Wrought iron gates, grilles, railings, and balustrades not only fulfilled a functional requirement for strong structures but also provided the artisan with a new means for expressing ornamentation in architecture. From the 16th century, ironwork developed highly ornate designs, with scrolls, leaves, flowers, and interlaced patterns. As iron became more common, it found wider use in household utensils, fireplace implements, stoves, grates, pans, cauldrons, locks, and hardware. Lanterns, torch holders, candleholders, and chandeliers were also wrought from iron. Most ironwork was forged with hammer and anvil until the 19th century, when cast ironwork became common.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ironwork — I ron*work , n. Anything made of iron; a general name of such parts or pieces of a building, vessel, carriage, etc., as consist of iron. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ironwork — (n.) early 15c., from IRON (Cf. iron) (n.) + WORK (Cf. work) (n.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • ironwork — [ī′ərnwʉrk΄] n. articles or parts made of iron …   English World dictionary

  • Ironwork — Gate of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. Ironwork is any weapon, artwork, utensil or architectural feature made of iron especially used for decoration. There are two main types of ironwork wrought iron and cast iron. While the use of iron… …   Wikipedia

  • ironwork — [[t]a͟ɪ͟ə(r)nwɜː(r)k[/t]] N UNCOUNT Iron objects or structures are referred to as ironwork. ...the ironwork on the doors. ...an ironwork spiral staircase …   English dictionary

  • ironwork — i•ron•work [[t]ˈaɪ ərnˌwɜrk[/t]] n. mel objects or parts of objects made of iron: ornamental ironwork[/ex] • Etymology: 1375–1425 …   From formal English to slang

  • ironwork — /ˈaɪənwɜk/ (say uyuhnwerk) noun 1. work in iron. 2. parts or articles made of iron: ornamental ironwork …   Australian English dictionary

  • ironwork — noun Date: 15th century 1. work in iron; also something made of iron 2. plural but singular or plural in construction a mill or building where iron or steel is smelted or heavy iron or steel products are made • ironworker noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ironwork — noun Anything made of iron, or consists largely of it, especially when used for decoration …   Wiktionary

  • IRONWORK —    In common with other regions of Europe, the use of iron expanded from a principal use for weaponry (e.g., swords) in the early Iron Age into a very widespread use for all forms of tools (e.g., agricultural and smithing tools, nails) by the end …   Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans


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