Category Archives: Cast Iron

White Memorial Fountain

Location: Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland

In 1892, the White family donated a drinking fountain to the town of Denny. It was erected near Denny Old Parish Church at Broad Street in the junction of Denny Cross.

Two years later, a family member, Mr. James B. White, gave £100 to the Town Council to create a fund from which the accrued interest would pay for annual maintenance of the cast iron fountain.

The relevance of the drinking fountain declined in the early 20th century when it became an obstruction due to an increase in motor traffic, and the waning use of the structure as a source of water. In 1940, Mr. W. T. White of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the only living relative of the donor, was contacted for permission to remove the fountain due to the urgent national need for iron for the war effort. The fountain was removed in 1941.

The fountain manufactured by Messrs. Steven Bros. & Co. of the Milton Ironworks, Glasgow and London (later to be known as McDowall, Steven & Co.’s Milton Works), was from a lamppost design by Charles Henry Driver, an architect and engineer. The structure was seated on a square stone plinth.

A square base housed small demi-lune basins at ground level for dogs, and on four sides a large quatrefoil basin for horses was fed with overflow water. The highly decorated stanchion and central column were decorated with acanthus and floral relief. Lion mascarons, a symbol of guardianship, spouted water from which humans drank using metal cups suspended on consoles. A dolphin, symbolizing guardians of water, flanked each side of the stanchion.

The base of the lamp column contained four mascarons crowned with a shell motif. A Corinthian column supported a central gas lantern surmounted with a knob finial. By 1917 the central lamp had been replaced by three smaller globes. A dedication plaque contained an inscription acknowledging that the fountain had been presented by the White Family.

Sco_Broad st Denny

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Column Corinthian, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital.
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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

 

L’Aigle Fontaine

Location: Vescovato, Corsica

The Piazza Nova or Place de l’Aigle within the village of Vescovato is the location of a cast iron drinking fountain. It is central to the village and the scene of many festivals.

The structure is seated on a circular plinth with a circular base decorated with floral frieze. Arches containing lion mascarons that spout water are located above a two tiered cavetto.

A round column enriched with bas-relief displays a vignette of the sea that includes waves and a dolphin encapsulated in a wreath of reeds, shells and seaweed. A second vignette dedicated to music contains a violin, a flute, a bugle, a pan flute and a triangle attached to a ribbon highlighted with flora. There is also a vignette dedicated to the arts in which music icons (tambourine, horn, flute, castanettes), theatre icons (mask), and sport icons (lacrosse stick) are bound together with a ribbon interspersed with flora.

The cornice consists of a frieze of frolicking putti holding a garland (a putto represents a guardian spirit).

e monument5

The capital supports the statue of an imperial eagle balanced on a globe. Symbolism was popular in the 19th century and eagles represented salvation. The eagle enrichment was offered in the catalog Ducel / Val d’Osne, pl. 238 No. 10201.

On the rear of the capital is the manufacturer’s stamp; JJ Ducel & Fils A Paris. This could indicate that the fountain was erected prior to 1878 when Ducel was purchased by the Val d’Osne Foundry.

e monument6

The Eagle Fountain was restored by the Hydroteam Company, and illumination of the structure was installed in 2012.

Glossary

  • 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
  • Cavetto, Concave moulding
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • 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
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Putto (plural is Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude

 

Church Street Fountain

Location: Preston, Lancashire, England

A cast iron drinking fountain/horse trough was erected in 1897 at the intersection of Church and Stanley Streets outside H. M. Prison. It was donated in 1897 by Mary Cross, the founder of the Deaf and Dumb School at Brockholes. Sadly, it no longer exists.

Design number 19 was advertised by Walter Macfarlane & Co. to be used as a standalone fountain or placed under a canopy structure. Manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the font was 10’ 10” high. The wide base with canted corners supported a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column were decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus. Four consoles protruded from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. Two elaborate brackets supported lamps. The capital supported the finial, a statue of Samson.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

1900

Circa 1900

barrackschurch st

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
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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, an upright bar or post providing support

 

Hudson-Fulton Monument

Location: Beacon, New York State, USA

As part of the town’s tribute to the 300th anniversary of the Hudson-Fulton celebration of 1909*, Reverend Thomas Elliott, a retired clergyman, initiated a memorial fund from public donations to purchase a fountain.
(*The 300th anniversary celebration of explorer Henry Hudson’s journey up the Hudson River, and the 100th birthday of inventor and engineer Robert Fulton’s trip on the same river in his steamboat Clermont.)

Installation of the fountain was delayed due to tardy donations and electrical issues (lights were installed on the north and south sides of the memorial to mirror passing vessels which were lit up at dusk.) The unveiling and dedication eventually took place on June 19, 1911 at the location of Bank Square.

A circular granite base incorporated a trough for horses and a smaller trough at ground level for the use of dogs. The cast iron structure seated on a square granite block was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. The bronzed iron pedestal supported a statue of Hebe.

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On alternate sides of the base, there is a lunette containing a lion mascaron within armoria, flanked by acanthus, and an inscription in bas-relief; Hudson-Fulton 1909. The pedestal which repeated the mascaron with fleur de lys, originally supported two consoles bearing globe lanterns. A laurel frieze is situated beneath the cornice.

The capital supports a statue of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, classically dressed in flowing robes. Standing contrapposto she holds a pitcher at her right side and a bowl in her raised left hand. The figure was sculpted by Bertel Thorwaldsen.

Hebe_Thorvaldsen Bertel
Following the advent of the automobile, the need for horse watering troughs declined, and in 1927 the fountain was removed. The statue and pedestal were placed in storage.
Four years later in 1931, the West End Men’s Community Club petitioned for the resurrection of the statue. It was erected facing the river on a triangular plot of land near the southeast corner of Verplanck Avenue and Willow Street which was donated by Mrs. Lewis Tompkins.

Restoration and bronzing of the statue was undertaken by Tallix, Inc. in 2000.

Glossary
• Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
• Armoria, shield, coat of arms, crest
• 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
• Console, a decorative bracket support element
• 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
• Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
• 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
• Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue