Stove Plate (left side panel)
Origin: Pennsylvania, York County
Partial Gift, Charles W. and Susan G. Bousliman and Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2010-46,3
A cast iron left side stove plate of classic Pennsylvania-Dutch design, including a top portion decorated with an arcade of twin arches and three twisted columns. Religious and symbolic devices fill the spaces between the columns and include a radiant heart, a tulip growing from pitcher, eight pointed stars and the date "1762" interspersed within the design. The bottom half carries the text GEORGE . ROSS . GEORGE . STEVEN AND . WILLIAM THOMPSON in three lines, the bottom two within a shaped panel flanked by tulips emanating from hearts. The "SON" of "Stevenson" appears in the field above, to the right of the pitcher.
Label:Taking the form of a large iron box projecting from an interior wall into a room, the "five plate" or "jamb" stove brought much warmth into the homes of many Pennsylvanians in the 18th century. In an effort to make these devices more attractive, the furnaces which produced them created decorative patterns to cast the most visible panels, or plates, from.
Cast in 1762 at the Mary Ann Furnace in York County, Colonial Williamsburg's three-piece set represents the ornamental portions of a stove produced early in the history of that venture. The plates are decorated en suite, and are of classic Pennsylvania-Dutch design. Motifs cast into them include arcades with twisted columns and religious and symbolic devices like radiant hearts, tulips, stars, and lozanges.
The principals of the Mary Ann Furnace were George Ross, George Stevenson and William Thompson, a veritable who's-who of Pennsylvania leadership. While Ross signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of the Province, Stevenson was one of the first lawyers in York County, and William Thompson served as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.