Monthly Archives: June 2016

Cherub Fountain

Location: Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland

When the Tobermory waterworks were completed, Robert Strathern, the civil engineer in charge of the project, presented a drinking fountain to the town. It was erected in Main Street with the harbour in the background.

The drinking fountain, design number 10, cast by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow is seated on an octagonal base. A pedestal, basin and statue complete the structure at 5 feet high.

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Photographer, Craig Hutton. Source: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/58745867

The single fluted pedestal supports the large basin (2 feet 8 inches in diameter) containing pattern #8 identified as ‘boy with a paddle and urn’.

Inscribed on the paddle is the dedication; Presented / To / The Burgh / Of / Tobermory / By / R. Strathern / 1883. Water was distributed via the urn and retrieved with a cup suspended on a chain.

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At ground level, a small trough supplied water to dogs, and a stamp identifies Sun Foundry / Glasgow.

Glossary

  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue

Putti Fountain

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

There is a famous square in the city of Lisbon commonly known as Rossio Square (proper name is Pedro IV Square). It is famous for a 75 foot monument with a marble statue of Pedro IV and two Baroque spray fountains imported from France. Installed in 1889, they were cast at the Val d’Osne Foundry with statues sculpted by famed French sculptors Mathurin Moreau and Michel Lienard.

Also in the square, but seldom reported, is a cast iron drinking fountain. It is located near the road between the monument and the fountain at the south end of the square.

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Drinking fountain is lightly off centre to the right near the road

The cylindrical cast iron pedestal with attic base was manufactured by the Val d’Osne Foundry and features panels of floral relief. The capital supports four partly dressed putti with raised arms supporting a canopy from which a stream of water descends from the interior into a shallow basin with shell decoration. The statues are very similar to a design in the Val d’Osne catalog identified as design number 102, Enfant á la Corbeille by Mathurin Moreau.

Glossary

  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Canopy, an ornamental roof-like projection
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Putto (plural is Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude

Small Model, Wallace Fountains

Location: Paris, France

Richard Wallace drinking fountains are famed throughout Paris and other parts of Europe, mostly due to the elegant Caratyd fountains already blogged here https://memorialdrinkingfountains.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/the-wallace-fountains-france/

However, the Caratyd model is not the only form of drinking fountain provided during the 19th century by the philanthropic Englishman. The design known as the Small Model often found in parks and public gardens is just over 4 feet high. A simple push-button mechanism dispenses the water.

The fountain is a single pedestal with a square base decorated with bulrushes. Alternating panels display bulrushes and the coat of arms of the city of Paris. The capital supports a decorative finial.

There are many examples of the Small Model drinking fountain throughout the city including those identified below.

In the 5th arrondissement known as the Latin Quarter is St. Julien le Pauvre public park. It is located on the Left Bank of the Seine River, with a wonderful best view of Notre Dame Cathedral. The drinking fountain is situated just inside the entrance gate on the rue du Fouarre.

Also in the 5th arrondissement in the Square des Arènes de Lutèce which was originally an amphitheater seating 15,000 people. It was restored and opened as a public square in 1896.

Square Paul Painlevé is a small garden in the heart of the Latin Quarter, between the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages and the Sorbonne.

Next to the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement this drinking fountain is located in Champ de Mars park.

Notre Dame Cathedral is in the 4th arrondissement. A park beside the cathedral offers views of the Seine, and within this area of benches and gardens is another drinking fountain example.

The last specimen of the Small Model is located in the 15th arrondissement on Pasteur boulevard (named to honor Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), French chemist and biologist.)


Motherwell Cross

Location: Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Scotland

On 4th November 1870 Provost William King Esq. presented a drinking fountain to the burgh. It erected at Motherwell Cross and was unveiled by Major Hamilton, M.P. The fountain which was relocated several times including Duchess Park and Brandon Shopping Centre has been situated at Crosshill Street since 2001. It was listed a Category C historic building on 10 December 2001.

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 each lunette host the image of a crane. 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 terminal is a crane. 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. The fountain was operated by pressing a button.

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.

 The description in the catalogue reads: The structure consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorative mouldings, encircling ornamental shields. On two of the sides provision is made for receiving an inscription; whilst on the other two sides is the useful monition, “Keep the Pavement Dry.” Surmounting this is an open and highly enriched dome, the apex being occupied by a crown. Under the canopy stands the font, with basin 2 feet 6 inches in diameter. Price, ready for fitting up, with four water supply taps, and four drinking cups, delivered in Glasgow:- £27.10.0

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 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

Toret Fountains

Location: Turin, Italy

The cast iron fountains which can be found all over the city of Turin are known as Torets (toret is a small bull), and the bull (Toro) is the symbol of the city. The first Toret installed in 1862 was a few centimeters taller than an identical fountain originating from Sicily. The fountains were located near markets, public gardens, and squares of the city; basically every public space contained a Toret.

Each fountain is stamped with the location, and has a metal plate containing the reference number of the fountain and a phone number to report problems. The fountains and water supply are maintained by SMAT Integrated Water Services. The water that originally supplied the cast iron drinking fountains originated from the Pian della Mussa aqueduct; however, it is now delivered from the municipal aqueduct.

 

The 3 feet high pedestal in the form of an arch is painted bottle green. A recessed panel with engraved fret contains the sculpture of a bull’s head from which water flows. A drain with a central bowl at street level allows animals to drink.

The fountains now have a secondary role thanks to iBeacon technology. Using Bluetooth and the I Love Toret app, a smartphone will be able to access tourist information in the surrounding area, in addition to data on the quality of the drinking water.

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Parliament Square Fountain

Location: Ramsey, Isle of Man

In Parliament Square outside the old town hall is a beautifully restored cast iron lamp post which was originally a drinking fountain. The fountain was design number 194 in the Sun Foundry catalog. However, the design was purchased by the Lion Foundry of Kirkintilloch after 1899 and was re-titled as design #41.

The original structure was 17 feet 2 inches high. The pedestal with chamfered edge hosts four panels containing a lion mascaron with self-closing tap from which water spouted into small basins. Drinking water was captured in metal cups suspended on chains. Overflow water which drained into demi-lune troughs for horses also fed small troughs at ground level for dogs.

A frieze of acanthus leaves is situated beneath the capital upon which there is a lamp standard with a base of four decorative scrolls. The pedestal has a bulbous base with bas-relief extending into a fluted column with bands. A two tiered acroter supports decorative yoke maintenance arms and a tapered hexagon glass lantern.

The fonts were removed sometime between 1936 and 1970 per historical images, relegating the structure to an elaborate lamp post. It was demolished when a car crashed into it in 2014, and restored by a local company, Hamilton Project Management Limited.

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
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • 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
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of a street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

Temperance Water Fountain

Location: Riverside, California, USA

Standing outside the Riverside Metropolitan Museum on Mission Inn Avenue and Orange Street is a replica of the drinking fountain donated to the City of Riverside in 1907 by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. It was originally installed in front of the YMCA building on University Avenue and Lemon Street. The original statue has been restored and is preserved inside the Museum.

Design #209 by J. W. Fiske, seated on a square plinth, consists of a square column surmounted by a statue. The four square panels at the base contain bas-relief of two intertwined sea serpents. Panels on two sides at ground level offer a fluted demi-lune basin with dog head mascaron for the use of dogs and small animals.

johnpedroza

Used with permission, John Pedroza. Source: http://www.johnpedroza.com/blog1/rmm/

A second level of rectangular panels outlined with a version of ‘egg and tongue’ moulding rise above a chamfered edge decorated with rosette fret. Sculptured bas-relief on each panel displays stylized flowers with bulrushes and ivy around a central lunette containing a design of four palmettes. The lunette on one panel is substituted by a drinking basin for humans decorated with bulrush leaves.

flickr475_jeff

Used with permission, John Pedroza. Source: http://www.johnpedroza.com/blog1/rmm/

The capital supports an abacus with inscription, Presented To The City/ By The / W.C.T.U. Of Riverside / 1907. The structure, surmounted by a 36″ tall statue of a maiden feeding a dove perched on her right wrist, is identified as #226 Maiden with Bird. With her left hand she gathers her robe on her hip, her head is tilted slightly back, and she holds a seed in her mouth. The sculpture is attributed to George Fischer, bronze founder. The manufacturer’s stamp is visible on the octagonal base of the statue, J. W. Fiske / 26.28 Park Place / New York.

Glossary:

  • Abacus, at the top of a capital, a thick rectangular slab of stone that serves as the flat, broad surface
  • 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
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design