Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841), German architect, painter, and a member of the intelligentsia of Germany's cultural golden age, was arguably the most important architect and designer of German neo-classicism. Cast-iron furniture designed by Schinkel was praised for
its functionality and exoticism, and his designs were rapidly adapted
in Britain and America.
This bench's Grecian splat, fretted with Roman acanthus and Apollo's
griffin-headed lyre fed with water poured by winged genii, was inspired by an antique fragment found on Trajan's forum, and was one of
Schinkel's favoured designs for seat-furniture in the 1830s (G.
Himmelheber, Cast-iron Furniture and all other forms of iron
furniture, Munich, 1996, pl. 68, and E. Schmuttermeier, Cast Iron From Central Europe, 1800-1850, New York, 1994, p. 93 , fig. 7).
A closely related bench was sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 26 January 2007, lot 1195 (£10,800), and another example, sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 13 September 2007, lot 1030 (£8,750).