Once again we shall visit the ironwork of master blacksmith Cyril Colnik (1871-1958.)
Note to my readers: To enlarge an image, simply click on the desired image. Then, when the new image appears, click on the new image and you will get a much larger image to see all the fine details.
The image above is a mailbox made for Maria Pabst, wife of the famed Milwaukee beer baron Captain Frederick Pabst. This piece is not at the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee, rather at another Pabst residence in Oconomowoc, WI, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee.
This piece is rich in form with its cherubs, scrolls, lions, leaf man, crown, coat-of-arms, and more, much of which was made by the process of repoussé.
The two images below are likely from the same building, as 1.) the bond of the brick is identical, 2.) the stonework is similar, and 3.) the job numbers at the lower left are #36841, and #36842. Likely the door with the coat-of-arms was the main entrance.
Notice also the coach lamps beside these grilles, which are also finely crafted.
Below we see a wonderful door grille showing Colnik again at his best. Notice also the door handle, as well as the doorbell escutcheon. This is another fine example of Colnik’s attention to details.
Below we see an interesting photo of a single gate leaf. Upon closer inspection, however, you will see another leaf to the left. The size of the gate, the double drive, and the brick pavers indicate that this was either the home of a very wealthy individual, or the main entrance to an institution or business.
The gate below shows a combination of forged, as well as cast elements. The spearheads at the top are likely castings, while those at the bottom are likely forged. If you enlarge this photo, you will see the “C. COLNIK MFG. CO.” stamp at the lower right of the photo.
Below we see an impressive gate on a dirt road. This piece shows us that Colnik departed from the heavier work to a more light and open French or English style, void of heavy bars and collars. Collars are a type of joint, utilizing a strap of typically flat bar wrapped around two or more bars, joining them together. (In the gate above, the C-scrolls near the top are fastened with collars.)
In this final image, we see a massive grille (66″ w x 99″ h) which is on the north side of the “Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion” in Milwaukee. This image was taken in 1993. Looking closely you can see that time had taken its toll on this grille, as many elements had decayed and fallen off.
I am very familiar with this piece as I was privileged to have restored this grille in 2008.
All the rosettes around the perimeter were stampings, with the exception of the large composite corner rosettes.
I will discuss this piece in more detail in my next installment, which will also show “before and after” images.
Here’s hoping you all had a blessed Christmas.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord……Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” Luke 2:11 + 14