Gateway Object: ‘At Rest’ Ornament

Zinc ribbon shapes coffin ornament with text "at rest"
Zinc ribbon shapes coffin ornament. Text says "At rest" in welsh


This is a die cast zinc ornament, the text says “At Rest”. The second image shows an ornament with the same text in Welsh.

By the late 1950s Newman Brothers had stopped sand casting at the manufactory and they demolished their Casting Shop. This die cast ornament was produced off site, probably at GEO. Gale (Die Casters) LTD who manufactured most of their die cast products.

Die casting was more economical than sand casting, as you could retain the metal tool afterwards for reuse, whereas with sand casting you had to create a new impression in sand for every item. Sand casting also took longer and was less accurate than die casting.

Newman Brothers’ failure to modernise their own equipment seems to have contributed to their eventual demise. Most of the furniture they produced was either stamped and plated in-house, or bought from suppliers and finished or coated on their premises.


Inscriptions are mainly found on breastplates, but can also be seen on some ornaments such as this ‘At Rest’ example. Some historians have stated that inscriptions such as ‘At Rest’ or ‘Rest in Peace’ reflect Protestant ideology of death as a time of rest where the dead are resting or sleeping, assured of an afterlife.

Newman Brothers’ range of cast furniture was much smaller by the early 1960s. The entire range was able to feature on a single page of their 1960s’ catalogue which is the most recent catalogue in our collection.

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