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.

1-panoramio_craig Hutton

Photographer, Craig Hutton. Source:

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.


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


  • 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.


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.


  • 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

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

andrew lynch2


  • 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