This section is from the book "A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction Vol3: Stair Building, Ornamental Ironwork, Roofing, Sheet-Metal Work, Electric-Light Wiring And Bellwork", by The Colliery Engineer Co.. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction.
36. The metal counter rails in banking houses, offices, etc., so far as the grille-work is concerned, are in no way different from the grilles heretofore described; but the arrangement of the supports, and the height and division of the rail, must all be proportioned to suit the special conditions of each case. Figs. 54 and 55 are examples of grilles made of cast and wrought iron. In Fig. 54 the rail and the posts are of cast iron, but the frame of the grille and the wicket gate and frame are of wrought iron. The grille is a simple basket pattern of ribbon iron twisted at the intersections and wrought into scrolls at the outside to form a border. The main scrolls of the wicket are finished with cast-iron rosettes. The rail has a cresting produced by extending the post with a finial ornament, and placing a scroll each side of it.
The design shown in Fig. 55 is more elaborate. The posts and rails are of cast iron, as in the former case, as well as the frame surrounding the wicket gate; but the entire screen is backed up with plate glass. The posts have a fluted band above the base, and just above this is a band or circlet to carry out the line of the baluster rail of the screen. The entire grille of each panel is set in one frame, which is divided into two parts, the lower part forming a balustrade design, and the upper part a diaper; the loop scrolls of the diaper are ornamented with a pendant of leaves, as shown. The frame is separated from the rail, counter, and sides, by button washers, as shown. The plate-glass panels back of the screen are set in an angle-iron frame fitted with hinges, and swinging inwards so that they may be opened to clean the glass. The wicket frame is designed with architraves and lintel, as would be any door or window. The change shelf under the wicket is of polished metal supported on two console brackets. The head of the opening is ornamented with a cast-iron scroll and leaf, but the scroll at the junction of the frame and the baluster rail is of wrought iron, and is placed there to give rigidity to that point.
The moldings of the rail at the top of the screen are broken out over the posts to emphasize the divisions of the screen. Over each of these points is a finial ornament, which also serves as a standard through which the brass upper rail passes. These examples represent the usual forms and outline of this class of work, but the details of the design will vary with each individual case.