W. C. T. U. Fountain

Location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada

The white and gold drinking fountain, seated on a square plinth at the edge of the sidewalk alongside the Bank of Commerce on High Street West, was erected by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) in 1907. Ten feet tall it consisted of a square column surmounted by a statue. Four square panels at the base contained bas-relief of two intertwined sea serpents. One of the panels offered a fluted demi-lune basin with a dog head mascaron that spouted water, for the use of dogs and small animals.

A second level of rectangular panels outlined with ‘egg and tongue’ moulding rose above a chamfered edge decorated with rosette fret. On two panels the bas-relief was sculptured with two swans with raised wings resting on an orb from which rose Neptune’s trident flanked by stylized flowers and bulrushes. The remaining two sides contained a horse trough with a large lion mascaron from which water spouted; and a drinking basin for humans, displaying only bulrushes, the leaves of which decorated the basin. Tin cups were suspended on chains. Above the arched recess was bas-relief of ivy leaves.

An upper and lower cornice with rosette and acanthus frieze bordered a third level of panels. The bulrush theme was repeated in horizontal bas-relief. The acroter was stamped with W.C.T.U. flanked by two ribbons. The capital supported a 36″ tall statue of a maiden feeding a bird, identified as #226 Girl Feeding Bird.  A bird perches on her right wrist as she gathers a tunic at her left hip with her left hand creating a pouch containing seeds. Her head is tilted slightly back and she holds a seed in her mouth. The sculpture is attributed to bronze founder, George Fischer.

The manufacturer’s stamp was visible on the octagonal base of the statue, J. W. Fiske / 26.28 Park Place / New York. The sculpture is attributed to George Fischer, bronze founder.

For detailed photos of how the original fountain looked, go to this link to see the same casting design. https://memorialdrinkingfountains.wordpress.com/?s=anacortes

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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.
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design

 

 

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Posted on January 17, 2016, in Architecture, Canada, Cast Iron, Drinking Fountain, J. W. Fiske, Lost and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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