Monthly Archives: May 2014

Dalmuir Fountain

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Dalmuir Park, at Clydebank & Erskine in Glasgow, was opened in 1906. The following year a canopied drinking fountain was donated by Provost Samuel Leckie. Renovation of the park in 2012 included restoration of the fountain by JPS Restoration & Property Services. Funding for the project was shared by the Heritage Lottery Fund and West Dunbartonshire Counci.

Design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain, was purchased from 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 were trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette displayed alternate images of cranes and swans and offered shields for memorial. The Coat of Arms of the Burgh of Clydebank is displayed. 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, lion mascarons area placed on internal lunettes, and statues of owls sit on enlarged column heads. The structure is surmounted with an eagle finial.

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.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife, and eagles represent immortality.

Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • 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
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • 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
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Billany Memorial Fountain

In 1839 Nieles Boynton Billany was indentured to a seven year term as a shipwright and carpenter with shipbuilder Thomas Humphrey. He became a freeman in 1847 giving him the right to vote and triggering a life in politics. After his death in 1896 a memorial fund was created with the intention of creating a memorial fountain. A dedication plaque on this lost fountain was inscribed: Erected in memory of / Neiles Boynton Billany 1826 – 1896 / Freeman of the city of Kingston upon Hull / and Tireless Worker against Injustice.

The drinking fountain was erected in 1897 at the entrance to West Park, Hull, Yorkshire, England, and two days later it was seriously damaged, and the drinking cup and chain were stolen. A reward was offered for the apprehension of the culprit.

The fountain was damaged during World War Two and after further damage by a reversing vehicle during a blackout, it was removed from the West Park.

The canopied drinking fountain was design number 4 from David King & Sons Limited who owned the Keppoch Ironworks in Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. It was seated on a two tiered square plinth. Four columns with moulded base and spiral fluted shafts supported a solid ribbed domed with fish scale design. Eight consoles of acanthus were located at the base of each scrolled rib. The highly decorated fret detail over each arch hosted a dove ornament. The finial was a tapered extension with two spheres.

Under the canopy stood the font, an octagonal base decorated with rosettes, and egg and dart frieze. The wide basin was supported by a spiral fluted pedestal decorated with alternate panels of rosettes. The tall finial contained a vase with a tapering shaft from which four ornamental scroll consoles supported drinking cups suspended by chains.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

 


Barcelona Caratyds Fountain

 

In the 19th century Sir Richard Wallace was a wealthy English art collector and philanthropist who lived in France. When the Franco Prussian war damaged many of the aqueducts in Paris there remained little access to clean water for many of the most needy Parisians. His solution to this problem was the erection of public drinking fountains.

The column fountain was designed by French sculptor Charles A. Lebourg in 1872 with four caratyds supporting a cupola. Richard Wallace purchased hundreds of fountains which he donated to major cities throughout the world. Twelve Wallace Fountains were donated to Barcelona on the occasion of the 1888 Universal Exhibition. Only two of the original remain at the Rambla in front of the Wax Museum; and in Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes with Paseo de Gràcia. Other Wallace fountains located throughout the city are replicas cast from the original molds.

The fountains were originally forest green with a cross shaped plinth from which the pedestal arises. An elaborate console decorated with a scallop shell from which a string of pearls flows separates four panels on which the image of a water serpent is coiled around a trident. The trident is associated with the mythological Poseidon who struck the earth and water sprung up. A scallop is symbolic of baptism and fertility, and pearls represent purity and wisdom. One panel contains an inscription above the Barcelona City crest: Sociedad / General / de / Aquas / De / Barcelona. Below the crest is an inscription. Agua / Tomada /Directamente / Del / Contador. A cornice contains the name of the designer, Ch.Lebourg SC / 1872.

Four caratytids with raised arms support a fish scale cupola with a fleur de lys on each side; one of which has been affectionately named Vera. The statues in feminine form represent kindness, simplicity, charity and sobriety (at a time when the Temperance Movement was very active.) They also represent the 4 seasons: Simplicity symbolizes spring, Charity: summer, Sobriety: autumn and Kindness: winter. The statues differ from each other in several other ways: Simplicity and Sobriety have their eyes closed; whereas the eyes of Kindness and Charity are open. They are also different in the position of the knee and feet, or by the manner in which their tunic is knotted at the bodice.

A stream of water originally descended from the interior of the dome into a basin. Tin cups were chained to the fountains until 1952 when public hygiene became a more prevalent social issue. Water is now released with the press of a button into a shell shaped basin. The four dolphins with entwined tails at the apex are a symbolic protector of all things related to water .

Glossary

  • Caryatid, a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Image Sources

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Wallace_fountains_in_Eixample_(Barcelona)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/58789412@N00/4463522258/


Blind Sam Fountain

Location: Holt, Norfolk, England

On the corner of Norwich Road and High Street (Obelisk plain) in Holt, stands a memorial fountain erected in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. The fountain was surmounted with a gas lamp which was frequently not in service due to a sporadic gas supply. The locals therefore nicknamed it, Blind Sam.

It was originally situated in Market Place and relocated in 1921 in deference to a WW1 War Memorial to be situated on the site.

Manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow drinking fountain number 45 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue stands 15 feet high. A square pedestal with Egyptian patterned frieze designed by Alexander ‘Greek” Thomson, offered demi-lune basins on four sides with troughs for dogs at ground level. Spigots within the geometric pattern released water into the basins, and drinking cups on chains were suspended from projecting tendrils.

The griffin feet capitals support a four sided central stanchion heavily decorated with palmette and acanthus relief on three sides. The fourth side contains a plaque inscribed, The 1887 Queen Victoria Jubilee Column and Lamp, removed from Holt Market Place in 1920 to make way for the 1914/18 war memorial. The replica lantern and base by Tony Sizeland was commissioned by Holt History Group and Holt Town Council in 1992.

A fluted column with attic base arises from a highly decorated acroter. The structure is capped with a central lamp, a crown and finial. Roofed in with scales of opal glass the lantern cast the light downwards (design number 223). The lamp originally lit by gas is encircled by flowers and a crown containing Maltese crosses surmounted by a trio of spiked orbs.

The structure was listed a grade II historic building in 1983 and was restored in 1992 with funding from the Holt History Group and Holt Town Council.

 

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of water (tap)
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Edward VII Marriage Fountain

Set into a gabled ashlar wall at the northwest corner of St. David’s Church in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales is a cast iron drinking fountain commemorating the marriage of the Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandria of Denmark.

The cast iron frame is in the form of a stylized shield with curved and winged edges. The top part of the shield forms a lunette of a winged cherub resting upon clouds. Beneath the cherub is a recessed arch which contains the drinking well above which is a Biblical engraving.

Each side of the arch is decorated with ivy tendrils. On the left side is a seated figure of Jesus Christ pointing with his left hand to the engraved verses 13 and 14 of St John’s Gospel, Chapter IV. Jesus Said Unto Her, Whosoever Drinketh Of This Water / Shall Thirst Again: / But Whosoever Drinketh Of The Water / That I Shall Give Him, / Shall Never Thirst. / John, IV, 13.  14. To the right of the drinking well is a seated figure of the Woman of Samaria with her right hand resting on her cheek and her left hand on a tall urn.

A dedication inscription is located beneath the well, To Commemorate The Marriage / Of The / Prince of Wales / March 10th / 1868.  The scalloped lower edge of the shield is also engraved, Cast by the Coalbrookdale Co.

The fountain was designed by W. & T. Wills and manufactured by Coalbrookdale Company Ltd. It was listed a grade II historic building in 1988.

Glossary

  • Ashlar, finely cut stone
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting

Image Sources

http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/stdavid’schurch.htm

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3002032

http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image.aspx?f=1&guid=061f3d88-4fd0-4f72-bdf4-0419eac2c8e5

 


Wheeler Clock Fountain

Location: Manitou Springs, Colorado, U.S.A.

Jerome Wheeler was a successful businessman in the railway and mining industry. In 1889 he built the Manitou Mineral Water Co. Bottling Plant and donated a clock tower with drinking fountain to celebrate the event.

The cast iron structure, manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of Trenton, New Jersey, originally stood on a two tiered octagonal plinth, and the base with chamfered corners offered four drinking troughs for small animals. Eight panels are surmounted with scalloped arches and dolphin masks from which water spouted into four basins decorated with laurel leaves. A square central column hosts four cartouches containing an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner is bound with a highly decorated column.

Above, an attic base supports a rectangular column with inset panels of floral relief. Four clock faces function as the acroter for the terminal of a woman in flowing robes who holds a pitcher in her left hand. The statue originally held a cup in her right hand which has been transformed into a lamp. Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, represents the healing mineral waters in the area.

On a stone in front of the structure is an engraved plaque: Erected In Tribute / To The Memory Of / Col. Jerome B. Wheeler / By The Citizens Of / Manitou Springs / In Recognition Of His / Distinguished Military Service / During The Civil War, His Active / Interest In The Development Of / Colorado, And His Many Generous / Gifts To The Town He Loved So / Well. It was installed in 2004 by Manitou Historic Preservation Commission with the assistance of the Colorado Historical Society’s state historical fund.

The area of Manitou Springs was surveyed for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The Wheeler clock was cited in the report.

In 1991, the structure was restored with funding from citizens and local businesses. The Historic Preservation Commission and the Colorado Centennial Chapter #100 of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors managed the project which included repainting, recreating stained glass faces from historic photos, recasting missing dolphin heads, and creating new interior works and illumination.

Glossary

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • 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.
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Image Sources

http://www.hmdb.org/PhotoFullSize.asp?PhotoID=205585

http://www.coloradospringsweb.com/photo/Manitou-Springs-CO/wheeler-clock-tower-manitou

http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image.aspx?f=1&guid=d85de4b3-370b-4f5a-853a-a37727526680&gid=3


Bent Vermont Fountain

Location: Penang, Malaysia

This is a lost fountain destroyed by bombs during a World War II raid on Penang.

A cast iron drinking fountain to honour J.M.B. Vermont was ordered from the Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalog, funded by subscriptions. Bent Vermont was the proprietor of the Batu Kawan Estate in Province Wellesley (Seberang Perai), and was known as the Grand Old Man for his contribution towards the abundant supply of sugar in the 1880s and 1890s.

Original suggestions to position the fountain included the Railway Jetty and the China Street Ghaut (a flight of stone steps leading to the water’s edge.) The latter location was suggested so that it would be in direct view of people disembarking. However, it was a very busy thoroughfare; and it was proposed by the Municipal Engineer to place the fountain on the Esplanade at Light Street, near the pavement, where it would not hinder any games played on the Esplanade.

The canopied drinking fountain was erected in 1908 on an octagonal three tiered granite plinth. Pattern number 21 (18 feet high) was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. The canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated fret detail arches were trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette displayed cranes and offered shields for memorial. The medallion facing the street displayed an inscription that the memorial had been erected by a few friends in Penang to the memory of the Hon. James Montague Bent Vermont, C.M.G., M.L.C. who died on May 10, 1904. 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, open filigree, ribbed dome. The internal capitals are floral ornament. The openwork iron canopy is surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial.

Under the canopy stands font casting number 7. The 5 ft 8ins high font is a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and descending salamander relief supporting a basin 2 ft 6 ins in diameter. The interior surface of the scalloped edge basin is engraved with decorative relief, and a sculptured vase is terminated by the figure of a crane. Four elaborate consoles support drinking cups on chains.

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.

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
  • 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
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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
  • Obelisk, a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top
  • 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