Monthly Archives: January 2014

Saltoun Place Fountain

Location: Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The canopied drinking fountain is design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain, sold by Walter Macfarlane & Co, and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a double octagonal plinth, the open filigree canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette offer shields for memorial containing the town’s coat of arms, swans, and cranes. Internal lunettes display lion masks acknowledged as guardians. On each side arch faceplates provided a flat surface for an inscription using raised metal letters; often the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains.

Doves and flowers offer decorative relief on the circular, ribbed dome. The internal capitals contain flowers and the internal lunettes contain a lion mascaron. The structure is surmounted by an ostrich with a key in its mouth. During discussions on the proposed fountain, the manufactured eagle finial was considered too Germanic. It was replaced with an ostrich which is on the town’s coat of arms. However, the ostrich became a source of amusement and a decision was made to insert a key in its beak to indicate that the people of Fraserburgh could swallow almost anything. A further modification was made to the finial after pranksters climbed the structure and sat astride the ostrich. This initiated the addition of an urn on which the ostrich now stands.

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 18.) A circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies, rests on a wide base with canted corners. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre is a pyramid shaped stanchion decorated with swan and bird decoration. A kylix-shaped lamp terminal with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains.

The fountain was erected in 1904 at the junction of Strichen Road and Saltoun Place. After the war, it was decided that the war memorial should be erected on the site and in 1923 the fountain was moved to the junction of Strichen Road and Links Road.

In 1952 the fountain was painted silver to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee. The structure was listed a category B building on 31st August 1993.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; cranes were recognised as a symbol of vigilance; and lions are acknowledged as guardians.

Glossary:

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Plinth, a flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Quatrefoil, A type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
Advertisements

Indian Chief Fountain

In mid 19th century United States of America, a statue of an Indian Chief was carved in wood by Samuel Anderson Robb for William Demuth, a leading ‘Cigar Store Indian’ peddler. (Indians introduced European explorers to tobacco, and a statue of an Indian was used to guide the illiterate to the tobacco store.) The statue was cast in metal, copyrighted by Wm. Demuth & Co. in 1872, and the design sold to various vendors as #53 Indian Chief.

It was first listed in J. L. Mott’s 1873 catalog with dimensions of 5ft. 9ins. to the top of the head and 6ft. 6ins. to the top of the feathers. Once mounted on top of a drinking fountain the casting number changed to accommodate minor differences in the statue.

In his right hand the Indian Chief holds an arrow, and in his left hand he holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balances the sculpture. He is dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins.

In 1908 the Fargo North Dakota Humane Society purchased the statue to be erected atop a drinking trough for horses. It was placed in Broadway Square, south of the Northern Pacific railway tracks, Fargo, North Dakota. The fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works and sat on a circular plinth. A large square base contained two small wells for dogs and two fluted basins for horses. On four sides, there was a lunette containing a frieze with lion masks. A column extended above with laurel decoration, guilloche and two consoles bearing lamps. The capital supported the Indian figure.

The flow of water to the fountain was turned off due to objections from horse owners who were concerned with the risk of disease. In 1940 the fountain was damaged when a truck crashed into it, and the fountain and statue were removed to the city garage for storage. A local businessman showed interest in purchasing the statue, but the Pioneer Daughters of North Dakota protested the sale and it remained in storage. The statue of the Indian Chief was relocated in 1949 to Northern Pacific Park until the park was converted to a parking lot in 1958. It was once again warehoused until 1961 when it was restored by the Fargo Street Department Superintendent, bolted to a concrete base and stationed at 4th Street and 1st Avenue South.

The fountain ceased to exist in 1940, and the whereabouts of the Indian statue is unknown. However, the University of Arkansas Community Design Center has created the image of a public space to recombine art, history and landscape in the spirit of the City Beautiful Movement. Images of Fargo’s lost Indian statue are projected on a polycarbonate roof.

Glossary

  • Capital, The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, A decorative bracket support element
  • Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Guilloche, Decorative engraving technique of two or more bands twisted over each other in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern
  • Lunette, The half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Data Sources
http://library.ndsu.edu/fargo-history/?q=content/indian-statue

http://www.software-images.net/bhsmagics64/*Barberton&Ohio/Barberton/ChiefHopocan/ChiefHopocan.html

http://www.saveourseminary.org/documents/SOSOnlineMarch2006.pdf

http://uacdc.uark.edu/project.php?project=33

GOOGLE BOOKS: ZINC SCULPTURE IN AMERICA 1850-1950


Adair Fountain, People’s Park

In 1860 a proposal was made to create a People’s Park, and the land surrounding the mill pond at Todd’s Hill in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland was donated by Sir Robert Alexander Shafto Adair Bt. (Baronet) for this purpose. Ten years later the project was completed.

In 1909, a drinking fountain, positioned just inside the gates on the avenue, was presented to the people of Ballymena by Sir Frederick Edward Shafto Adair Bt. It was cast by the Musgrave Foundry of Belfast.

Seated on a circular plinth the highly decorated, circular pedestal supports a quatrefoil basin. Four fluted columns bear four lunettes framed by an arch which also offered hooks from which cups were suspended by chains. On three sides the cartouche contains a dolphin. Dolphins, considered guardians of all things water related, are also found in the capitals. The fourth cartouche contains a dedication shield: Presented to the people of Ballymena by Sir Frederick Adair, Bart 1909. An acroter is banded by a sculptured shell frieze and cornice below the fish scale dome. The structure is surmounted by a finial.

The fountain was designated an historic building in 1987. Restoration of the park was undertaken in 1997, and restoration of the drinking fountain was completed in 2001.

Glossary

  • Acroter, a flat base
  • Capital, The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, A structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Cornice, A molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted Shaft, A long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Lunette, The half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Quatrefoil, A type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter

Sources:
http://www.ballymena.gov.uk/seventowers/peoplesparkhistory.asp

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2386137

http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/built-home/recording/historic_buildings_r/buildings_database.htm


Burns Memorial Drinking Fountain

Location: Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland

The Memorial to Robert Burns erected in 1899 to mark the centenary of Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Bard was originally located at the centre of the town in the cobbled High Street and therefore bore witness to many significant historic events: soldiers marching and stopping to drink from the tin cup, Suffragettes holding open air meetings as they struggled for the rights of women to be heard, parades that heralded visits by crowned Kings and Queens, blackout procedures where no light was to shine at night, and processions as people sang in celebration of the end of war.

The structure was seated on a single square plinth which changed in shape and size to accommodate the installation of an electric lamp light, flower beds and a stop for buses. The statue was stolen and the headlight broken, replaced then removed. The original drinking fountain was converted to a column pedestal with a white basin and a levered handle. The structure was painted black, then pale green, burgundy red and then repainted green.

burns-fountain_looking-west_keep-left-2

Cited as a traffic hazard, it was removed to the gardener’s cottage in King’s Park in 1968.

In 2003 the fountain was relocated to Komorom Court and publicly unveiled to mark the Sesquicentennial birth of Robert Burns. It was stated that the structure had been restored with funds from the Dalkeith Common Goods Fund, but in fact, the restoration consisted of another layer of fresh paint. Once the pride of the town it has become just a canopy with undefined architectural details due to numerous layers of paint.

A weathered plaque, barely legible, is displayed at the foot of the structure: Memorial to Robert Burns/The centenary of the death of Robert Burns was marked in 1896 by the erection of a fountain in the High Street of Dalkeith/The cost was met by public subscription initiated by the local Burns Club / The fountain cover was subsequently moved to King’s Park and re-sited to Komarom Court in 2003.

fountain-plaque

The year on the plaque is incorrect per historic documents. Although the implementation of the memorial was initiated in 1896 the fountain was not erected until 1899, and even then, there was no official unveiling as it was felt too much money had already been spent. As of 2014, there is a movement underway to have the drinking fountain properly restored and relocated to the original location in the High Street.

NEWS UPDATE: On January 2016, a historic plaque found at Cousland Smiddy containing the profile image of Burns is believed to be a missing cartouche. See story here: http://www.midlothianview.com/news/lost-burns-plaque-returned-to-monument/

Plans were approved in March 2016 to restore and relocate the Burns Memorial Drinking Fountain to the historic east end of the High Street. See story http://www.midlothianadvertiser.co.uk/news/burns-monument-plans-approved-1-4071798

As part of the Dalkeith Townscape Initiative and the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, the idea of the restoration of the monument was discussed. Funding was agreed in 2016 between Midlothian Council and Dalkeith Business Renewal and a grant was secured from Entrust.

The historic drinking fountain was restored by Lost Art Ltd of Wigan; CEO Dominic Liptrot attended the unveiling. The font was recreated using 3D scanning of an identical design in Middleton, England. Architectural details were hand carved by Ruth Davies.

Drinking fountain number 3, 9 feet 10 inches high, was manufactured by George Smith & Co.’s Sun Foundry. The structure consists of four columns with obelisk finials rising from a double plinth to support a domed canopy.  The interior column connectors to the dome are adorned with descending crocodiles and leafy decoration. Alligators were considered a symbol of evil and were hung from the ceilings of cabinets as a reminder of the mortality of humanity.

Arch faceplates with drip fret detail offer a flat surface for inscriptions in raised metal letters; civic virtues such as temperance were extolled on many drinking fountains. Over each arch, a cartouche contains a profile image of Robert Burns, Town of Dalkeith crest, a Masonic emblem and a dedication shield. (At one time in the fountain’s history, the initials RB were evident in the cartouche). The solid dome with lamp finial covers the fluted pedestal and wide basin containing a putto holding an oar, seated on an upturned urn (casting number 8). A tap was originally fitted to the urn at the rear of the pedestal.

Glossary:

  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, Running or repeated ornament
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Obelisk, A tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Putto, A figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude

Tranent Fountain

Location: Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland

Poor water quality and insufficient supply was the reason for the erection of drinking fountains around the world. In 1880, the town of Tranent in East Lothian, Scotland, was served by a spring that could no longer meet the needs of the town. Although it was decided to purchase water from a source in Crichton in the parish of Cranston in Midlothian, the Burgh of Tranent could not wholly fund the project and public subscriptions including a generous donation from Mr. Polson raised the remaining funds. The fountain was erected at the west end of the High Street on the corner of Winton Place, with the official opening taking place on 10th May 1883.

The cast iron drinking fountain is a modification of number 28 and was manufactured by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow. It consists of a trough with a lamp centerpiece flanked by two boys holding upturned urns from which water once poured. The statues stood on a short pedestal that contained a button to release a flow of water from the urns into the trough. Four intertwined dolphins, symbolizing guardians of all things water related, encircled the central column as it ascended to the lamp finial. Horizontal arms offered drinking cups suspended on chains.

According to local history, the site of the fountain was a meeting place used by evangelists in the early twentieth century.

The fountain was demolished sometime after the inauguration of the War Memorial, which was erected on 9th April 1922 in the same location.

A near identical fountain is located in Durban, South Africa; and a similar fountain with a round basin is in St. Arvans, Chepstow, Wales. (These fountains have already been documented in the blog. Enter the city name in the Search field.)

 


Hong Kong Fountain

Location: Hong Kong, China

To celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, many cities in the British Empire erected fountains including Hong Kong where six fountains were donated by Mr. Dorabjee Nowrojee, an Indian Parsi businessman and the founder of Star Ferry. They were manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, and erected in 1887.

The original locations were:

  1. Sailor’s Home (accommodation for visiting sailors). The fountain was located on the south side of the building. see photo of the Home, a faint image of it can be seen in the gap between trees,
  2. Chinese Recreation Ground in Possession Point, see photo,
  3. Canton Steamer Wharf,
  4. 2 Police Station,
  5. Harbour Master’s Office
  6. Wanchai Market.

The fountains were number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue and were 9 feet 6 inches high. The structures consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches contained within each lunette hosted the image of a crane. Medallions contained within each lunette hosted images (it is unknown which images were selected. However, the most common were a crane, an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst,’ a bust of Queen Victoria, and a city shield.) On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders, a symbol of courage and bravery. A central urn with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

The fountains were maintained for 10 years and refreshed for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. However, with the improvement in water sanitation and supply, and the repeated theft of the cups, chains and statues, it was decided to abandon the structures in 1910. Only two fountains were retained, one in the western corner of the Sailor’s home which was not operational;  the second fountain was a functioning drinking fountain at the Chinese Recreation Ground in Possession Point. The remaining fountains were dismantled leaving only one column for adaptation to a lamp post. See photos of partial destruction and recycled lamp post.

It would appear that only one of these fountains still exists. The fretwork dome is missing as are some of the medallions. The font is also missing. The remnant of the fountain is on public exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of History.

 Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal