Colonial Wrought Iron, the Sorber Collection

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9781879535169: Colonial Wrought Iron, the Sorber Collection
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Colonial Wrought Iron is a photographic survey of early wrought iron work in America with 506 photographs from the Sorber Collection. The colonial period in America was centered around the blacksmith who was the maker and creator of these items. The informational text explains the characteristics and the conditions of the period in which the iron was forged. Colonial Wrought Iron is an invaluable resource tool for the blacksmith involved making reproduction hardware and related items, as well as an inspiration for merging form and function. In this book you will find the commonplace and the ornate but they all reflect the hand of fine craftsmanship.

The work displayed in Colonial Wrought Iron is from the collection of Jim Sorber. Jim, now in his eighties, has been an avid collector for 70 years. This collection is a result of a life steeped in an enduring appreciation for the skills of his ancestors. Even as a child he was interested in their hand tools and the wonderful things they made. That interest soon grew into a passion.

A unique aspect of Jims collection is that it reflects a certain ethnic influence. Much of his collecting has been done near his home in the counties of Berks, Chester, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery and Schuylkill. This area has been settled by German immigrants since the mid-to-late 17th century. Jims collection, many pieces of which are signed and dated, reflects an iron chronicle of the Pennsylvania Dutch migration westward from the Philadelphia area.

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About the Author:

Don Plummer has a long and enthusiastic fondness for blacksmithing and craftsmanship. He has been a practicing blacksmith for over ten years and maintains an active forge in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He was an original founder and six year president of the Mid-Atlantic Blacksmiths Association and continues to contribute to blacksmithing organizations around the country.

Plummer is an independent management consultant in information technology. He specializes in the area of project management for large information systems projects and provides general consulting and training in that area. He is an accomplished writer on that subject and has been frequently published in the industry.

Review:

Illustrated in this book is the lifetime collection of James C. Sorber of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Sorber, now in his 80s, has amassed an astonishing array of objects, from andirons to woodworking tools, illustrated here in 505 black-and-white photographs, many of which depict multiple items. Items are grouped under five categories: hearth and kitchen, domestic items, tools, and Conestoga wagon. Theres a handy index in case your arent sure where to find, for example, ice tongs (under tools) or button-hole cutters (under domestic items). Also included is a list of blacksmiths signatures with the names of items (but not the page numbers) on which they are found. The drawback of basing a book on a single-owner collection is that it might be missing items, but this collection appears to be an exhaustive one. According to the author, Sorber often refers to his collection as the Blacksmiths Legacy Museum for it is, indeed, a legacy to the thousands of blacksmiths who la! bored...to help keep America growing. Readers with an interest in early American wrought iron can be grateful that Sorber has shared his legacy. -- Maine Antique Digest, August, 1999

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