Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ramsey Fountain & Trough

Location: Ramsey Road & Mayes Lane, Ramsey, Essex

Richard Combe Abdy a wealthy businessman with interests in cotton and banking owned Michaelstowe Hall in 1920. He donated the drinking fountain and horse trough to replace a pond that had previously existed on the site.

Casting #16 (3 feet 3 inches high and 2 feet 7 inches wide) is a wall mounted drinking fountain in the form of a round arch trimmed with highly decorated fret detail and rope moulding. The recessed interior of the arch contains a shell lunette with a tap which poured water into a fluted demi-lune basin. The fountain is surmounted with a palmette finial and a ring from which a single drinking cup was suspended on a chain.

A rectangular cattle trough is located a short distance from the fountain. It is supported on six legs in the form of animal fetlocks. A basin for dogs at ground level is located on the left side.

Glossary

  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fetlock, part of an animal’s leg above the hoof
  • 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
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
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Wyatt Fountains

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Following the opening of the Throndon Reservoir in Adelaide in 1860, piped water was made available to households. Adelaide was a hot, dry, dusty city in which many worked outdoors in the blinding light and heat and water fountains were a priority for humans and horses.

During 1860 the Adelaide Municipal Council debated provision of drinking fountains. In March there was a proposal to install a fountain at the intersection of King William, Currie and Grenfell streets. Also that Hindmarsh, Victoria, and Light Squares would be suitable localities. The motion was sent to the Waterworks committee. ‘Municipal Council. Monday March 19’ (SA Register, 20 March 1860). Tenders were issued for simple and inexpensive drinking fountains which were produced by the G. Wyatt Foundry.

They are to stand about seven feet high, and consist each of an octagonal base relieved by sunken panels, a shaft, also eight-sided, and a simple but suitable cap. At a convenient height on the shaft a curved ornamental spout projects over a small shell-shaped basin, into which it is proposed to have a tiny stream of water continually falling from the spout, with a view of presenting to the thirsty wayfarer the pure element in the coolest possible condition. The water will on overflowing fall into a larger basin below, where dogs and other ‘inferior creatures’ privileged to be at large within the city may quench their thirst without let or hindrance.’ (SA Register, 1861)

The Council installed 13 of these fountains on Tuesday 12 February 1861.

  1. South Adelaide – Victoria Square, near the entrance opposite to the government offices
  2. South Adelaide – Victoria Square at the entrance to the southern portion of the square in the produce market;
  3. South Adelaide – At the City Bridge road, North Terrace;
  4. South Adelaide – King William Street, near the Bank of Australasia at the intersection of King Wm, Currie and Grenfell streets;
  5. South Adelaide – Hindley Street, corner of Leigh Street;
  6. South Adelaide – Rundle Street, corner of Gawler Place;
  7. South Adelaide – Light Square (near the northern entrance in each case);
  8. South Adelaide – Hindmarsh Square (near the northern entrance in each case);
  9. South Adelaide – Hurtle Square (near to the southern entrance in each case)
  10. South Adelaide – Whitmore Square (near to the southern entrance in each case)
  11. North Adelaide – At Wellington Square, near southern entrance;
  12. North Adelaide – O’Connell Street, corner of Childers Street
  13. North Adelaide – Kermode Street, opposite to the Scotch Thistle.
Corner of Rundle and Gawler Place 1872. No known copyright restrictions.  Source: http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/02000/B1908.htm

Corner of Rundle and Gawler Place 1872. No known copyright restrictions.
Source: http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/02000/B1908.htm

 


Dr. John Grant Smith Memorial Fountain

Location: Thurso, Highlands, Scotland

This drinking fountain was erected in memory of Dr. John Grant Smith who served the community and surrounding area for 44 years before dying unexpectedly from an illness. He was held in such high regard that a public funeral was held, and donations from the local townspeople paid for the memorial which was erected at the Town Hall Square.

Alan McIvor Collection, used with permission. Source: http://www.thursointeractive.co.uk/default.aspx

Alan McIvor Collection, used with permission. Source: http://www.thursointeractive.co.uk/default.aspx

In the 1950’s probably due to lack of use and public awareness of hygiene, the drinking fountain was taken apart and moved to the Esplanade where it was neglected.

The Thurso Community Council spearheaded the restoration of the structure, and with a financial donation from UKAEA Dounreay, and a personal donation of time from Mr. Robbie Maitland, a painter and decorator, the fountain was returned to its previous glory.

Drinking fountain number 19 (10’ 10” high), manufactured by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, originally stood on a square plinth opposite the Town Hall. The wide base with canted corners supports a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus. Four consoles protrude from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, a statue of Samson. Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

Glossary

  • 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
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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, an upright bar or post providing support

 


Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Askam-in-Furness, Cumbria, England

In the late 19th century, the people of Askam-in-Furness made monetary donations to purchase a cast iron water fountain in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The fountain is located near the railway crossing at Duke Street and was erected in 1897. The structure which was recorded as a Grade II listed building on 6 May 1976 was recently vandalized in April 2015 when the commemoration plaque was stolen.

In the late 19th century, the people of Askam-in-Furness made monetary donations to purchase a cast iron water fountain in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The fountain is located near the railway crossing at Duke Street and was erected in 1897. The structure which was recorded as a Grade II listed building on 6 May 1976 was recently vandalized in April 2015 when the commemoration plaque was stolen.

Design 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 roundels within each lunette offered shields for dedication. 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 cartouche within the lunette facing Duke Street contains a dedication: ERECTED / IN / COMMEMORATION OF / HER MAJESTY’S / DIAMOND JUBILEE / 1897 and above, KEEP THE PAVEMENT DRY. The cartouche at the rear of the structure depicts a bust of Queen Victoria. The remaining cartouches contain cranes. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the apex being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stands the font (casting 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 offered drinking cups suspended by chains, and the original terminal was a crane. These items are missing from the current structure.

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
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • 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
  • Roundel, A small circular decorative plate
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Salisbury Fountain

Location: Holley, NYS, USA

Holley Village Square is located along New York State Route 31, between Wright and Thomas Streets. The drinking fountain located in the public square was erected in memory of Abraham L. Salisbury a champion of the Temperance Movement. It was donated to the village in August 1914 by his widow, Mary Jane Salisbury, in cooperation with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

The design was chosen to offer drinking water to horses, dogs, small animals and humans. A requirement was that the fountain should be “an absolutely sanitary white metal fountain.”

The casting manufactured by J.L. Mott Iron Works is over nine feet tall and consists of a square central column seated on a square stone plinth. One side containing a demi-lune trough for watering horses also originally offered a smaller basin underneath it for dogs. On the opposite side twin basins supported by consoles were used by people. Two panels feature dedication plaques, Presented To / The Village / Of Holley / By / Mrs. Salisbury / In Memory / Of Her Husband / Abraham L. Salisbury / 1914 and Presented / Through / The / Women’s / Christian / Temperance / Union.

A frieze of rosettes and an egg and dart cornice surround the capital which supports a large urn seated on a three tiered acroter. The urn with scalloped edge consists of a fluted pedestal, and a large basin decorated with winged putti blowing a horn. A kylix on pedestal extends above to terminate in a ball finial.

In 1985 the Salisbury Fountain, in need of restoration due to a cracked finial caused by a snow plough, was repaired, painted silver and moved 20 feet northward to its current location. The restoration was funded with support of the Holley Village Board and citizens.

Over a quarter of a century later, funds made available by a building improvements grant to beautify the village were utilized to do further restorative work in 2014. The structure was sandblasted to remove decades of paint; repair was made to the casting, and a new coat of anti-rust silver paint was applied with detailing by local artist Howard Barry. New stainless hardware was installed and plumbing was repaired and connected to the village’s water system. A special cover was purchased to shield the fountain from the effects of the winter climate. Unveiling and rededication of the drinking fountain took place on Sept. 20, 2014.

Glossary:

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Putto (plural is Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude

 


W.C.T.U. Fountain

Location: Anacortes, Washington, USA

The drinking fountain, currently situated at the intersection of 8th Street and M Avenue on the grounds of the Anacortes Museum of History (former Carnegie Library), was originally erected on the corner of 5th Street at 420 Commercial Avenue. It was donated by the Fidalgo Chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union on Sept. 13, 1906, in remembrance of Carrie M. White who was a driving force in the W.C.T.U.’s mission to provide citizens with an alternative to liquor (the town was inundated with drinking establishments at this period in history.)

In 1934 in preparation of widening of the streets the fountain was moved to Washington Park where it deteriorated over the following four decades. It was restored in 1974 and relocated to the west side of the Museum’s front steps. In 2002 repair was required to one of the dog bowls and a brass replica was created. After repainting, the fountain was moved to its present location on the northeast corner of the Museum’s grounds.

The fountain, seated on a square plinth, consisting of a square column surmounted by a statue, is 9 feet tall. The four square panels at the base contain bas-relief of two intertwined sea serpents. The panels on the east and west sides, offer a fluted demi-lune basin, with dog head mascaron, for the use of dogs and small animals.

A second level of rectangular panels outlined with a version of ‘egg and tongue’ moulding rise above a chamfered edge decorated with rosette fret. On two panels the bas-relief is sculptured with two swans with raised wings resting on an orb from which rises Neptune’s trident flanked by stylized flowers and bulrushes. The sculptured swans on the south side, containing the horse trough, are replaced with a large lion mascaron from which water spouts. On the north panel which hosts the drinking basin for humans, the sculpture differs, displaying only bulrushes, the leaves of which decorate the basin. Above the arched recess is ivy.

An upper and lower cornice with rosette and acanthus frieze borders a third level of panels. The bulrush theme is repeated in horizontal bas-relief. The north facing panel contains an engraved dedication, Dedicated To The Public / In Memory Of / Miss Carrie M White / Third President Of WCTU / Of Washington Territory / And First President / Of Anacortes WCTU / By The Members Thereof

The capital supports a 36″ tall statue of a maiden feeding a dove perched on her right wrist. With her left hand she gathers her robe on her hip creating a pouch that contains seeds. Her head is tilted slightly back and she holds a seed in her mouth.

The manufacturer’s stamp is visible on the octagonal base of the statue, J. W. Fiske / 26.28 Park Place / New York.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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.