Mount Street Gardens Fountain

Location: Mayfair, London, England

Within Mount Street Gardens is a drinking fountain comprised of a granite reservoir and bronze pedestal. It was designed by architects Harold Peto and Sir Ernest George in 1891 for real estate agent Henry Lofts.

The multi tiered pedestal contains two demi-lune basins with lion mascarons which spout water. The pedestal is carved and molded in three forms with scroll consoles on each of the four sides. It is likely that metal cups were suspended on chains from these consoles. The capital supports the statue of a horse rearing above a wave which has been mistakenly referenced as a hippocamp (a mythological sea creature with the head and forelegs of a horse and the tail of a fish.) The tail is actually a regular horse tail. However, the front hooves of the statue are in the form of fins.

A plaque on the north side of the basin states: This Fountain Was Erected By Henry Lofts In Recognition Of Many Happy Years In Mount Street. Sir Ernest George, R.A. Fecit. 1892.

Another plaque located on the ground to the north identifies a restoration which took place in 1993. This fountain has been refurbished in honour of Carlos Castello Branco (1920 – 1993) and his wife Elvia by their daughter Luciana, unveiled by Rubens Antonio Barbosa, Brazilian Ambassador and the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Angela Hooper, OBE. 4th July 1994.

In 2005 the residents of Mayfair and St. James raised the funds required to restore the fountain which had suffered vandalism and theft of key components.

Rupert Harris Conservation Ltd. was hired to conserve and restore the fountain to working order. The modelling and molding for the statue was created from original photographs by Irene Gunston. Step by step creation can be viewed here http://www.irenegunston.com/projects.html

A second plaque on the south side of the granite basin states: The Restoration Of This Fountain Was Funded By The Residents’ Society Of Mayfair And St. James’s, Their Supporters And The Heritage Of London Trust. Unveiled By His Grace, The Duke Of Westminster, KG OBE TD DL.

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The Grade II Listed drinking fountain was unveiled by the Duke of Westminster in 2006.

Glossary:

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue

 

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