This beautiful French wrought iron balcony railing has been shaped in a form known as arbalete, or crossbow. The thick top rail has thin molding along the edges and features intact rear supports, which would have been anchored into the side of the building when it was constructed, in the late 1800s.
The central cartouche features an oval medallion inset with four volute scrolls. To each side of the medallion is an open roundel attached to a large C-scroll. The top and bottom of the medallion have a pair of volute scrolls backing up against each other. The tails of these scrolls continue horizontally, forming upper and lower borders. At each of the four corners, the vertical rails transition into angled C-scrolls with wavy prickets through the centers that form stylized water lilies with protruding stigma. The C-scrolls are also adjoined by vertical rails and roundels on the sides.
In between the medallion and the side horizontal rails, the space is embellished with a stunning display of interlaced C- and S-scrolls that form an iron rinceaux. Wavy horizontal prickets that are covered by curled leaf sheaths are attached to the large C-scrolls that flank the center cartouche. The sides of the railing have a series of S-scrolls that terminate in C-scrolls.
Our French wrought iron balcony railing from the 19th century can still be used as originally intended. The bottom rail features small ball feet, allowing for the railing to be repurposed into a console table. The curved railing would look fantastic with a shaped piece of glass or marble on top.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age and use with losses to paint. Leaf sheath covering the pricket to the left of the center cartouche is missing. The railing has developed a lovely worn patina, which meshes well with the remaining black paint. Please see photos.