When George Vanderbilt built the magnificent Biltmore Estate at the end of the 19th Century, with its breathtaking gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, he placed Impruneta terra cotta urns at the entrance. One hundred year later, when it was time to replace some of those historic urns, the Biltmore Estate came to Seibert & Rice to provide the highest quality, historically accurate terracotta planters befitting a national landmark and yet suited for one of America's most popular tourist destinations.
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The original pots had been made by the famous Agresti workshop, using the coil method to build the pots and then forming the ornaments in molds and applying them to the pot. Though the Agresti workshop had long since closed, we uncovered several of the original molds at one of our principal workshops. Their grandfather had purchased the molds when the Agresti workshop closed. For those ornaments for which we could not find the original molds, we sent shards from the original pots back to Impruneta and made new molds from the original urns. We then created new urns for the Biltmore Estate using the exact same techniques as were used to make the originals in the 1800s. We like to call them "New Originals."