Monthly Archives: March 2015

Queen Victoria Jubilee Fountain

Location: Warrington, Cheshire, England

The fountain in Queens Gardens was erected in 1898 in joint commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Warrington Borough Council and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It was donated by a local businessman named Robert Garnett. The fountain was recorded as a grade II listed structure on 4 April 1975.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within the lunettes host the images of a crane, and a bust of Queen Victoria. On all sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; three sides display 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, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Originally there was a drinking fountain beneath the canopy. The font (casting number 7) was 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was 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 offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane.

Casting #7

Casting #7

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
  • 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

 


Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

The cast iron drinking fountain erected in 1897 for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee originally stood outside the Old Town Hall in George Street. It was moved several times within George Street when it became an obstacle to traffic, and was demolished when a car reversed into it.

It was reconstructed and restored by a local craftsman, and erected on a pedestrian area beside St. John’s Castle on Charlotte Street opposite Logan’s Close. At one time seated on a two tiered square plinth it now sits on a three tiered circular plinth. The structure was listed a Category C historic building on 30 March 1998.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue is 9 feet 6 inches high and was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow, The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches contained within each lunette host the bust of Queen Victoria, in profile, on the north elevation; the burgh arms (a ship with three sails, and the motto Tutissima Statio meaning safest harbour) on the south elevation; and the east and west elevations contain a dedication Erected / By The / Town Council / In Commemoration Of / Queen Victoria’s / Record Reign / 1897.

On each side provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; on the east and west sides is 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 with a crown and lantern finial.

Under the canopy stands 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 is 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.

 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
  • 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
  • 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

 


Esther McNeill Fountain

Location: Fredonia, NYS, USA

Attached to this memorial drinking fountain, at the southwest corner of the park next to the information booth, is a dedication plaque: Esther McNeill / Crusader / 1873 / Erected By / Fredonia W.C.T.U. / 1912.

Esther McNeill was the first president of the first chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union established in 1873. During her 17 years of service she played an integral part in the introduction of a law guaranteeing that the effects of alcohol would be taught in schools. She died in 1906 at the age of 95. Held in high esteem, the fountain was dedicated to her memory on June 13, 1913 in Fredonia’s Barker Commons.

The structure cast by J.L. Mott Iron Works consists of a square central column seated on a square plinth with attic base. Receptacles on three sides consist of two small basins supported by consoles and a third demi-lune basin. A garland frieze sits beneath the capital which supports a lamp in the form of an Olympic torch with acanthus relief. A framework of bands and Corinthian columns terminates in four finials to create the form of a crown.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Corinthian Column, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital.
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • 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
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

 


Alderman Hawkins Fountain

Location: Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England

In 1885 this drinking fountain was presented by Alderman Hawkins of Field and Hawkins, a prominent draper’s shop which stood on the north side of the Market Place. It was relocated from the Market Place after being damaged by a lorry to the Bull Croft Park, a 19 acre meadow in the north west of the town. The Market Place was eventually turned into a pedestrian precinct, and the fountain was returned to its original location in 1979. A plaque was placed at the base, This Drinking Fountain Originally Sited In The / Market Place In 1885, But Later Removed To The / Bull Croft, Was Returned In August 1979.

The structure was recorded as a Grade II listed building on 9 February 1988.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure, 9 feet 6 inches high, is seated on a square plinth and consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches contained within each lunette host the image of a crane, the town crest, and a dedication shield, Presented / By / Alderman / Hawkins / 1885. 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, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stands 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 is 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.

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

Rebecca at the Well Fountain

Location: Block Island, Rhode Island

Following a convention in 1874, local chapters of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union were encouraged to erect drinking fountains as an alternative to men quenching their thirst in saloons. The W.C.T.U. chapter on Block Island chose a drinking fountain surmounted by a statue of Rebecca at the Well from the J. W. Fiske Iron Works catalog. It was erected in 1896 at the intersection of Water Street, Ocean Avenue, Pilot Hill Road and Spring Street.

A square base seated on an octagonal plinth, this structure contains four small basins at each corner for the use of dogs. A dedication plaque is located between two cornices, Erected By The W.C.T.U. / Of / Block Island, Rhode Island / July 22, 1896.

dedication_yelp

 

Four side panels are decorated with cusped arches. Horse troughs with floral design are offered on two panels, a fluted basin for human consumption, and the fourth panel contains a decorative design with shield and mascaron. The capital, edged with rope detail and acanthus frieze, states For God And Home And Every Land.

A classical statue of Rebecca at the Well with a grape garland in her hair is situated on an abacus. She cradles an urn tipped at an angle.

The statue has been mistakenly identified as Hebe, possibly because the W.C.T.U. used Hebe on many of their drinking fountains as she was associated with diluting wine with water. However, the statue of Hebe carries a pitcher in one hand and holds a cup in the other. The statue on Block Island is most definitely Rebecca at the Well.

Deterioration of the structure from weather, and damage as the result of motor vehicles, left the fountain in need of restoration. Having received confirmation of a federal grant to replace the Rebecca statue she was removed from the drinking fountain in April 2001 and transported to Conservation Technology Corp. in Newport. Although restoration was planned, after inspection it was decided that the zinc and iron statue, which had deteriorated due to weather erosion, would not have the structural integrity required to withstand continued exposure to the outside elements.

The statue was stripped and a plaster mold made to create a replica casting in aluminium alloy. In December 2001, the replica was set on its newly restored base at the traffic circle where High, Spring and Water streets intersect. Whereas the original statue of Rebecca faced Water Street at the ferry entrance, the ‘new’ statue was erected facing the opposite direction. It was formally dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on 7 June 2002.

The original statue which had been repaired and restored remained in a workshop for many years until funding from the Champlin Foundation allowed work to proceed on the West Gallery of the Block Island Historical Society. Rebecca at the Well moved to her new home at the West Gallery in 2014.

Glossary:

  • Abacus, at the top of a capital, a thick rectangular slab of stone that serves as the flat, broad surface
  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of two ornamental arcs or curves, such as the inner points of a trefoil
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.