Cast-Iron Princess Dreams

Sabine Rodda - Oven Door

Sabine R. grew up in Heiningen, a town near Stuttgart in the south of Germany. Her parents had moved there from Hesse in central Germany. ‘Once a year, my parents would pack us and all the luggage into a Renault R4 and we would drive north to visit our grandmother’, Sabine explains. ‘En route, we drove by the Marburg castle and I would always dream of being a princess up in its towers – it looked so beautiful!’

It was wonderful therefore to find that her grandmother’s cast iron oven door depicted the castle that featured so prominently in her daydreams. She recalls, ‘The oven door and the Marburg castle remind me of how much I treasured the visits to my grandmother who I loved so much and saw so seldom’. For Sabine, the oven door is a reminder of the importance of family, especially when living away from home.

Sabine first came to the UK as a student for a year abroad at Reading University. As part of a university trip, she went to a lecture at the Royal Geographic Society in London, where she met ‘a young Englishman’, who is now her husband. After they first met, they had a long distance relationship. Sabine returned to Freiburg in Germany to complete her studies and her husband moved to New Zealand for work. Eventually, in 1997, she followed him there and they married. As they started their family in 1998, they decided to return closer to home, settling in Oxfordshire. These days, they have their own environmental consulting company and Sabine teaches German at a local school. Because of the rarity of the visits to her own grandmother, Sabine ensures that her own children visit their grandparents regularly.

Object Information

  • Year Received: 2015
  • Year of Production: circa 1850-1870
  • Producer: Unknown
  • Place of Production: Marburg/Frankenburg Area
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Size: 39 cm x 43 cm
  • Colour: Black, depicts Marburg castle; Inscription on back: R.S.O. 15.26.
  • The oven door is one of a pair; the other depicts the Fritzlar Dom