Monthly Archives: October 2017

Queen Victoria Wall Fountain

Location: London, Surrey, England

In the grounds of Hampton Court Palace a 19th-century drinking fountain is set into the border wall of the Broad Walk which is in front of the eastern façade of the palace. It was installed soon after Queen Victoria opened the Palace and Gardens to the public in 1838.

The fountain was manufactured by Coalbrookdale Company of Shropshire (casting #106) from a design by William and Thomas Wills of Suffolk. The brothers were noted sculptors in the mid 19th century and best known for their designs of drinking fountains.

The cast iron frame is in the form of a stylized shield with curved edges. The top part of the shield forms a lunette displaying the crowned head of Queen Victoria; beneath is a recessed trefoil arch which contains the drinking well. A shell situated in the interior of the arch dispersed water into the basin below. A metal cup was chained to the right side of the shield. On either side of the well are seated putti holding daffodils on high whilst resting on acanthus foliage.

Two inscriptions were engraved: on the arch, Wills Brothers Sculpt London; and on the lower edge of the structure, Cast By The Coalbrookdale Co.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Putto (plural is Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude
  • Trefoil, An ornamental design of three rounded lobes

 

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Mercado del Puerto Drinking Fountain

Location: Montevideo, Uruguay

A cast iron drinking fountain situated just outside the iron gates of the market (Mercado del Puerto) was installed in 1897.

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Seated on a two tiered circular plinth, the canopy is a modification of design number 3 from Geo Smith & Co.’s Sun Foundry. Standing 9 feet 10 inches high, the structure consists of four columns with obelisk finials that support a domed canopy. The interior column connectors to the dome are adorned with flowers and leafy decoration.

Arch faceplates with drip fret detail offer a flat surface for inscriptions in raised metal letters; civic virtues such as temperance were extolled on many drinking fountains. Over each arch, cartouches within each lunette display the coat of arms for the city of Montevideo.

The solid dome with a flat finial may have supported a lantern which is now missing. The font, design number 12 with a central pedestal is surrounded by four small pillars. The base has a maker’s plate attached. The 2 ft 9” wide basin has dog tooth design on the rim, and is partitioned by four foliate consoles from which cups were suspended on chains. The structure is surmounted with a ball terminal.

Glossary:

  • 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
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Fret, Running or repeated ornament
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Obelisk, A tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Hawkhead Cemetery Fountain

Location: Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

The cast iron drinking fountain located in Hawkhead Cemetery was presented by Provost Archibald Mackenzie of Milliken in July 1891 following the opening of the cemetery. It was repainted in 2009.

The canopied drinking fountain is design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain, sold by Walter Macfarlane & Co. and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a triple octagonal plinth, the open filigree canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated drip cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette display images of cranes and two shields containing the coat of arms of the Corporation of Paisley, and a dedication shield; Presented by Archibald Mackenzie Esq. of Milliken to the Corporation of Paisley for Hawkhead Cemetery July 1891.

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Creative Commons License, Lairich Rig. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3609235

On each side arch faceplates provide a flat surface for an inscription using raised metal letters; often the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains.

Doves and flowers offer decorative relief on the circular, ribbed dome. Inside the dome are lion mascarons and the internal capitals support statues of owls seated on enlarged column heads. The structure is surmounted with an eagle finial.

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Creative Commons License, Lairich Rig. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3609235

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 18.) A circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies, rests on a wide base with canted corners. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre is a pyramid shaped stanchion decorated with swan and bird decoration. A kylix-shaped lamp terminal with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains.

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Creative Commons License, Lairich Rig. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3609235

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; doves are synonymous with peace, and owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife. Cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance and are often depicted standing on one leg while holding a stone in the claws of the other foot. Legend states that if the watchful crane fell asleep the stone would fall and waken the bird.

Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • 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
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • 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
  • 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, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

Glossary:

 


Market Square Fountain

Location: Galashiels, Scottish Borders, Scotland

A drinking fountain/horse trough structure erected in 1882 and originally located in Market Square was removed in 1920 to accommodate the creation of a bus station.

The fountain was relocated to Tweed Crescent in 1933 where the base which included the drinking basins was encompassed in masonry, and the gas lantern atop the fountain was converted to electricity.

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Tweed Crescent electric light

Repair was scheduled by the Scottish Borders Council in 2011 to remove decades of deterioration due to rust. During removal of the masonry, the drinking basins originally attached to the light source were revealed. Repair of the lamp post then became a restoration project made possible with the assistance of Old Gala Club and the Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) financed with pay parking money raised in Galashiels.

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Source: Border Telegraph

The Ballantine Bo’ness Iron Company restored the lamp column and Sugg Lighting Company of Horsham (manufacturing company of the original triple lantern) was commissioned to recreate the light feature. A local company, Finlaysons, repainted the lamp post in red and gold.

 

The drinking fountain was created using lamp standard design number 28 offered by W. T. Allen & Co. of London. Three demi-lune basins were attached to a compass cross on each side of the square base into which lion mascarons spouted water. A large horse trough originally attached to the fourth side has been lost. Each basin is flanked with palmette and acanthus relief.

geograph Walter Baxter-font

Creative Commons License, Walter Baxter. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2334458

A frieze of acanthus is situated beneath the capital upon which there is a lamp pedestal. Each corner of the pedestal contains an open mouthed griffin alternated with a sculpture of fruit. (Symbolism was popular in Victorian times; griffins represented guardians of priceless possessions). The lamp pillar with floral bas-relief extends into a banded, fluted column. The terminal is a candelabrum of 3 glass lanterns extending from elaborate consoles.

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Used with permission, John P. Bolton, Scottish Ironwork Foundation

A small plaque on the base is inscribed with the name of a supplier of gas fittings; J Milne & Son, Milton House, Edinburgh.

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
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • 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
  • Fluted Shaft, 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
  • 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
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Relief, a sculptural technique to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Starkweather Fountain

Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA

When water mains were installed in the city of Ypsilanti in 1889, Mrs. Mary Ann (Newberry) Starkweather donated an elaborate drinking fountain which was erected on the southeast corner of Huron & Congress outside the Ypsilanti Savings Bank (now City Hall).

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Source: Ypsilanti Historical Society

The 12ft. 6ins. tall fountain manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York was seated on an octagonal granite plinth. The base consisted of a single octagonal pedestal with attic base and canted corners.

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Eight arched cornices contained dolphin mascarons which are symbolic of guardians of water. On the east and west sides, mascarons spouted water into demi-lune basins for human consumption. Drinking cups were suspended by chains. Horses drank from two large demi-lune fluted troughs on the north and south sides. Overflow water fed basins at ground level for the refreshment of small animals. A plaque between the dog troughs was inscribed with the maker’s name, The J.L. Mott/Iron Wks. N.Y.

An attic base supported a short square column containing 4 inset panels bounded by pilasters. Within the panels, 3 cartouches contained bas-relief and a fourth cartouche offered an engraved plaque. The capital supported a five feet tall bronze statue of a Greek goddess standing contrapposto. The figure of Hebe classically dressed in flowing robes was sculpted by Bertel Thorvaldsen. She is the daughter of Zeus and Hera, the goddess of Youth and Spring, and cup bearer of the Gods. She gazes at the cup of immortality as she raises it with her left hand. A jug is held with a lowered right hand beside her thigh.

In April 1932 the fountain was dismantled for repair, with the intention of placing it in the park behind Ladies Library. However, it was put into storage (possibly due to a new awareness of sanitation). In 1935, the short column and statue were detached from the fountain structure, and erected at the entrance to Tourist Park on Catherine Street.

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There are numerous unsubstantiated tales regarding the fate of the separated fountain base and statue which have been lost for decades. One of the most likely is the requisition and destruction of ornamental iron decorations as raw material for the war industries.

Glossary

  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • 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.
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

 


Earlsdon Avenue Drinking Fountain

Location: Earlsdon, Coventry, England

The drinking fountain located on Earlsdon Avenue South is a remnant of the original structure erected in 1870 at Spon Street near St. John Baptist Church.

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Image circa 1884

The fountain which was surmounted by a large gas street lamp replaced a red sandstone fountain erected by the Coventry United Temperance and Band of Hope Association on the same site in September 1859.

Considered redundant in 1921 the fountain was relocated to Earlsdon Avenue at Styvechale Common, but whether the lamp was removed at this point in time is unknown. It remained operational until the 1970s. Decades of disuse and a lack of maintenance followed causing deterioration of the structure.

A movement to restore the drinking fountain was successfully funded by Heritage Lottery. The project was co-ordinated by two local community groups, the South Earlsdon Neighbours Association and the Earlsdon Research Group, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Severn Trent Water.

The actual restoration was undertaken by the Fountain Company of Glossop in Derbyshire in 2015. When reinstalled with brass spigots and a connected water supply, it was rotated 90° from its original position to situate the basins in a north/south direction. It was listed a Grade II historic building on 15 May 2017.

Design #27 from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. was manufactured at the Sun Foundry in Glasgow. This octagonal shaped drinking fountain is a single pedestal with attic base and inset arched panels that offered space for dedications. Two demi-lune basins with drinking cups suspended by chains offered water to humans, and at ground level was a basin for dogs. Entablature with bolt consoles sit beneath an ogee cupola with alternate panels of fleur de lys motif. The original structure was surmounted with a Bray’s Patent Flat Flame gas lantern in the form of a large globe. An acorn shaped finial was attached to the restored fountain (standard finial used on George Smith’s font pattern #14, and the base of the original lamp fountain).

Glossary

  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Entablature, moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Ogee, curve with a concave

Market Street Fountain

Location: Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, USA

If you mention the fountain in Bloomsburg most people will immediately refer to the David Stroup spray fountain situated in Market Square intersecting with West Main Street. However, there is a small cast iron drinking fountain located outside the public library.

library

The Stroup Fountain and the drinking fountain were simultaneously erected in October 1892 with the latter originally erected at Post Office corner. The Town Council erected this drinking fountain in response to a petition requesting a drinking source for men, dogs and horses.

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It was restored in 1991 and placed in front of the library on Market Street.

The drinking fountain is casting #14 by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. It has a circular base with a trough for dogs at street level and a short bulbous pedestal with flora design. The cornice, decorated with acanthus frieze, sits beneath the capital which supports a finial resembling a pineapple. A lion mascaron originally spouted water into a small basin designed for human use. A large trough for horses facing the road is supplied with water by a lion mascaron.

A manufacturer’s plate is attached above the small basin; J.L. Mott N.Y.

pocketsights

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
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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