Clothes irons that were heated in front of fires began to be used in europe from the 17th century (the use of heat was employed much earlier in china). Previously wrinkles had to be removed without the benefit of heat and were usually placed upon a flat board and smoothed with a wooden roller - good times they were known as sad irons, sad' being an old english word for solid'; though the term flat iron' became more common. Rare french antique gendarme no. As with all antique cast iron items i thoroughly cleaned this sadiron and applied a clear rust protectant.
This is almost certainly incorrect. Rather they must be guild markings this one is "gendarme", and i have a "jardinier" one as well. Additionally, i read that the no. 5 indicates the iron weighs five kilos - this is simply not possible; as, whilst it is certainly weighty, it is not remotely 5 kilos.And must therefore simply refer to the size of the flatiron. A smaller number is accompanied by smaller dimensions. If you have questions, or require additional photos. Please ask and i will gladly provide. I do my very best to provide thorough and accurate listings. However, with vintage and antique items there is always a possibility i may miss a minor flaw (a pinhole or superficial scratch). I will do my very best to rectify the matter, in order to ensure you are happy. Thank you for visiting my etsy shop. This item is made of cast iron.