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Fruit dish

  • Place of origin:

    Shropshire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1846 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Schinkel, Karl Friedrich, born 1781 - died 1841 (designers)
    Coalbrookdale Company (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast iron with gold patination

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Cast iron fruit dish with coloured gold patination, marked 'COALBROOKDALE' on the base. The dish is of openwork design and has a shallow, evenly sloping profile. The pattern consists of a solid central disk surrounded by a band of open-work wheat sheaf ornament. Outside this is a ring of four panels, two with a pair of semi-recumbant hippo camps separated by a trident and two with a pair of mermen holding up a scallop shell. Between these panels and the rim of the dish is a field of scrolling acanthus foliage.

Place of Origin

Shropshire (made)


ca. 1846 (made)


Schinkel, Karl Friedrich, born 1781 - died 1841 (designers)
Coalbrookdale Company (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Cast iron with gold patination

Marks and inscriptions

Marked on base


Height: 4 cm, Diameter: 29 cm

Object history note

Although the dish was cast by the Coalbrookdale Company, one of the most famous iron foundries established in Shropshire in the 18th century, it is not an English pattern. The original was designed in the 1820s for the Berlin Royal Iron Foundry by the German architect and designer, Karl Frederich Schinkel (1781-1841). Schinkel designed a number of domestic items for the three Royal iron foundries including several openwork dishes, but Coalbrookdale appear only to have reproduced two of them, this example and a slightly smaller pattern with nereids and sea-monsters (see Berlin exh.cat., 406). The slightly blurred quality of the casting suggests that the mould was taken from an existing plate. The dishes are described in an article in the Art Union in 1846 (with no mention of their Berlin origins and can be found in the Coalbrookdale catalogue of 1877, but do not appear thereafter, indicating that the Victorian taste for such objects was relatively short-lived.

Descriptive line

Fruit dish, cast iron with coloured gold patination, marked 'COALBROOKDALE' on the base, made by Coalbrookdale Company after a design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Shropshire, ca. 1846

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Art Union, 1 August 1846, p.224.
E. Schmidt: Der Preussischer Eisenkunstguss, Berlin, 1981, p.173
Eisen statt Gold (exh. cat. Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, November 1982-January 1983), cat. no. 405
G. Andrews, "Prussian Artistic Cast Iron", Antiques, February 1983.

Labels and date

18. FRUIT DISH, cast iron with coloured gold patination, England; c. 1846
Marked on the base COALBROOKDALE, for Coalbrookdale & Company, Shropshire. From a design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841).
Museum No. M.38-1993 [07/1994]


Cast iron; Gold


Casting; Patinating

Subjects depicted

Scallop shell; Trident; Wheat sheaf; Mermen; Acanthus


Metalwork; Ironwork; Eating; Food vessels & Tableware

Production Type

Unlimited edition


Metalwork Collection

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