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Albert H. Sonn

Early American

Wrought Iron

Three Volumes in One

2006 Reprint Edition by Blue Moon Press

736 Pages, Hardbound, B&W illustrations size 9" x 11-1/4" x 1-15/16" thick

Book Review by Jock Dempsey

Originally published in 1928 this was the Holly Grail of collectors and blacksmiths doing reproduction ironwork. As a collector's reference original copies were selling for up to $1000. The blacksmiths of the new era in blacksmithing (after 1960) that had or could afford copies of Sonn were quite lucky.

Sonn's is comprised largely of charcoal drawings of thousands of pieces of ironwork many similar pieces which were photographed in the later book by Don Plumber, Colonial Wrought Iron - The Sorber Collection. Other similar hard to find references include Iron and Brass Implements of the English House by J. Seymour Lindsay, 1927 and The Early Ironwork of Charleston by Allen Sinkler Deas, 1941. Another, the classic Antique Iron by Herbert, Peter and Ncncy Schiffer, 1979 was out of print and is now back again.
Each volume has a separate table of contents, plate list and page numbering. There is an index at the end of Volume III.

Volume I

Starts with the history of ironwork in America through 1850 and includes reference to such classics as Moxon's 1703 Mechanick Excersises or the Doctrine of Handyworks. Sonn discusses Early American wrought iron up to 1850, door hardware including wood hinges latches and locks, knockers, Suffolk latches, Norfolk latches, changes in lift bars, locks and estucheons.

Volume II

With three hundred and twenty plates by the author. Volume II Chapter I discusses stray facts and fancies about iron and ironworkers. Chapter II is about hinges, hasps, bolts and doors then the hundreds of plates with descriptions.

Volume III

Chapter I romance and history of Early American Wrought Iron.
Chapter II Balconies and braces, railings and newels gates, grilles, etc. . .
Chapter III Outside hardware, plates of weather vanes, wall anchors, gutter supports, foot-scrapers, shutter-fasteners.
Chapter IV Household Equipment and Misc Articles, andirons, fireplace accessories, household articles, kitchen utensils, Lighting Equipment, misc articles.

Published by: Blue Moon Press
Huntingdon Pennsylvania
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Published: 1928 Scribner and Sons
Reprinted: 2006 Blue Moon Press
ISBN 0-9707644-6-7
$135.00 US

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