DESIGN: Like other decorative arts, ironwork responded to the changes in fashion which punctuate the 18th century. During the first quarter, stove decoration was characterized by German medieval scripture scenes and floral motifs. Mid-century, rococo patterns, also found on Philadelphia Chippendale furniture, became popular, and after the Revolution, neoclassical and patriotic motifs, such as those seen here, became popular.
Blackford, Arthur and Company refers to the Shenandoah County furnace owned and operated by Benjamin Blackford and his father-in-law, Joseph Arthur. Blackford had leased the Catoctin Furnace in Frederick County, Maryland, from 1801 to 1812. Between 1808 and 1812, Blackford and Arthur shifted their iron interests to Shenandoah County, purchasing the Redwell furnace. Blackford very quickly renamed it the Isabella Furnace in honor of his wife, Isabella Arthur (1765-1837).