For sale we have another Rare Pa. Iron Stove Plate known in Mercer's Book "The Bible in Iron" as Samson and the Lion. This is a great piece as it is the Center Plate. This is a Mid-18th Century Pennsylvania Foundry piece in excellent condition with no cracks. It is also handsomely mounted in a 20th Century Solid Mahogany Frame. The plate itself measures 20-1/2" x 18" and as you can imagine, is kind of heavy. We now have many delivery options for our customers. Inside 150 miles, we will personally deliver. For more information on a version of this particular plate and others, please read the pages from the Bible in Iron which we have photographed for you. Thank you.
PENNSYLVANIA STOVE PLATE CIRCA 1765
German colonists of eighteenth century Pennsylvania brought with them stoves of five rectangular cast-iron plates bolted together to form a box. This box was set from 13 to 15 inches from the floor, its front on a stone or pottery support, its open, flanged back rested on a postament, the flanged edges mortared into the stone house wall. From the stone two holes one above the other, passed through the wall, to the fireplace of the adjoining room. The larger, flush at the bottom with the base-plate, was the stoke-hole; the upper, and smaller hole, slanted upward, vented the smoke into the chimney. The front and side plates of these stoves were decorated in low relief usually with Biblical pictures and texts or with religious symbols. For example this particular plate is known as “Samson and the Lion” after the famous story in the Bible. American production of fine-plate stoves covered a span of probably less than fifty years )c.1726-1773) – the six- plate or Holland stove even less, the first having been cast here in 1760. The importance of both of these was diminished by the introduction in 1764 of the ten-plate stove with its interior oven, the first cook stove in America. A large number of remarkable castings in iron have been found in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. Most of them discovered among rubbish of old farms, as makeshift chimney tops, stepping stones or gutter lids, buried under soot and ashes as hearth pavements for still existing fireplaces where apple butter was cooked or hams were once smoked. Some of them were found to have been used in old houses, probably from the end of the 18th century as firebacks; that is plates of iron set in the wall of an open hearth, back of the fire, but notwithstanding the fact that a number of their present owners continue to call them firebacks, they were not made to be so used. We strongly feel that the stove plate you are viewing was cast in Bucks County, Pa., in or around 1765. It is actually quite rare to find them in this type of condition as a great number of them have been broken or cracked through the years. We hope you enjoy our little history lessen on the Pennsylvania Stove Plate in front of you today.