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 column, 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).
Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841), German architect, painter, and a member of Germany's cultural golden age intelligentsia, was arguably the most important architect and designer of German 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 cast-iron two-seater by Schinkel is also very symbolic of the technological advances of 1800s Prussia, namely through the increased use of iron in both furniture and decorative arts during the reign of Friedrich Wilhelm III (r. 1797-1840) of Prussia.
A virtually identical bench was sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 26 January 2007, lot 1195 (£10,800).