Sections of a Railing

Possibly by John Faipoux, French, active in Philadelphia, 1796 - 1798. Made for Stephen Girard, American (born Bordeaux, France), 1750 - 1831.

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America


c. 1796-1798

Wrought and cast iron, copper alloy, modern gilding

38 1/2 × 60 13/16 inches (97.8 × 154.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 100, American Art, first floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Joseph E. Temple Fund, 1921

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Ornately scrolled iron grilles, balconies, and railings became popular facade ornaments on Neoclassical houses and commercial buildings erected in Philadelphia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This railing is one of the surviving examples that once embellished Stephen Girard's home and offices on Water Street in Philadelphia. Girard, a wealthy merchant and philanthropist who was intimately familiar with the latest French vogue for Neoclassicism, may have commissioned these railings from the French-trained ironworker John Fairpoux, who is known to have produced work in this style for a number of Philadelphia clients. His skillful manipulation of raw materials transformed into an elegant series of repeating curves is characteristic of the best ironwork produced in Federal Philadelphia. Jack L. Lindsey, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 271.

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