At the end of the 18th century in Gliwice, in the area of today’s Robotnicza St. ironworks were established, which together with the production plants in Sayn and Berlin were one of the three largest Prussian cast iron foundries. After 1945, within the premises of the former ironworks, Gliwice Technical Equipment Plant was established, famous for the construction of numerous monuments. The first exhibition of artistic castings from the collections of the Museum in Gliwice was created in 1919. The current one, in the new place and arrangement, presents artistic castings, mostly 19th-century products of the Royal Cast Iron Foundry as well as 20th-century garden and sepulchral sculptures, busts, medals, plaques, architectural elements and details as well as small decorative items of various types called cast iron articles.
The Royal Cast Iron Foundry was established 214 years ago in Gliwice. It was the first foundry in our part of Europe based on new technology of firing metallurgical furnace with coke. Currently, products of the foundry are presented in the Artistic Casting Department of the Museum in Gliwice. The elaborate and precisely made cast-iron jewellery deserves particular attention. It used to be very popular, which two events contributed to. The first one was the death of the Prussian Queen Louise, the wife of Friedrich Wilhelm III. At that time Prussia was in mourning - women started wearing with their black dresses cast iron crosses with a fixed image of the queen. Shortly afterwards, an action propagating giving jewels for the war fund was started - in return, citizens of the Prussian country received cast iron plaques or signet rings.
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