Decorative Ironwork of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

By: Jakob Heinrich von Hefner-Alteneck – Published 1996

Decorative Ironwork MA and Ren

Price : $  – Amazon

Philip’s Ranking: 3
Beginner Blacksmith: 0
Advanced Blacksmith: 3
Inspiration: 5
Historical: 3

Video Review: N/A

Bibliographical Note: This is a republication of the basic 84 plates from Serrurerie, ou les Ouvages en Fer Forge du Moyen-Age et de la Renaissance (Frecnh edition – published by Librairie Tross, Paris, 1870 – of a German work).

As noted above this book is simply a republication of plates, drawings, from a French edition of a German book.Decorative Ironwork MA and Ren Page


Each plate has 1-10 drawings of ironwork.  The plates cover a wide variety of subjects such as:

  • Locks & Keys
  • Chests and Fittings
  • Door Knockers and Handles
  • Hasps & Hinges
  • Bell Frames
  • Wrought-Iron Candlesticks
  • Iron Grills
  • Decorated Nails
  • Bell Pull
  • Punishment Mask and Instruments of Torture
  • Spice Mill
  • Wrought Iron Chandeliers
  • Door Pulls
  • Signs
  • Scissors & pruning Knife
  • Grave Crosses

This is a book of some of the best works of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and the level of skill and effort needed to reproduce them would be considerable.

If you are an experienced smith who is looking for inspiration on your own projects this is a fantastic book.  If you’re a newer smith this is a great book to look through but most of it will be beyond your skill level.

The only complaint I have about this book is that there is no bibliography or information about the ironwork.  As you can see in the associated image we get the very help “Ironwork” descriptor for a whole page of what looks to be door knockers and hinge ends.  No information on the original source of the ironwork.