At almost 12 feet long, this long wrought iron balcony gate comes from Argentina during the Belle Époque period. The Belle Époque is generally considered to have begun in 1880 and lasted until 1914. The period is said to begin with the dethroning of Napoleon III and end with the outbreak of WWI. Our iron railing was most likely produced in the early 1900’s.
A large, stylized fleur de lys cartouche is centered on the front of the ironwork. Horizontal displays of interlaced volute scrolls emanate from both sides of the central element and extend almost to the ends of the railing. A vertical bar separates them from vertically oriented C-scrolls that are connected via tapering vertical bars. The same motifs can be seen on the sides of the railing. The iron shows traces of several layers of paint (white on top of black) that have given way to several decades of oxidation. The patina gives the balcony gate an added level of intrigue.
Belle Époque is associated with high optimism and colonial expansion. According to the noted historian, R.R. Palmer, Belle Époque is when “European civilization achieved its greatest power in global politics, and also exerted its maximum influence upon peoples outside Europe.” This attitude coupled with the fact many artisans and architects immigrated from France to Argentina during the 19th and 20th centuries, explains why the influence of French culture was seen several continents away. Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, has often been called “Paris of Latin America”.
This long wrought iron balcony gate from Argentina can be installed on an existing house or a new construction project. Iron bars that protrude from the back are used to affix the iron to the foundation. The railing can also be repurposed as the base for a console table with a wood or stone top.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age and use with rust and minor buildup. Minor flaking to various layers of paint. See photos.