Location: Dordrecht, Eastern Cape, South Africa
The memorial drinking fountain located in the grounds of the Anderson Museum was originally erected in Hofmeyr Square where it was presumably supplied with water from the Hogsett Reservoir. At some point in time the fountain was moved to the site of the Great War Memorial, in the gardens of the Dordrecht Municipal Offices. The structure deteriorated due to lack of maintenance until its care was transferred to Anderson Museum to be restored and repainted.
Design #80 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. in the Saracen´s foundry, Glasgow was well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.
Standing 12ft 9ins high it consists of a circular cast iron basin with a broad rounded perimeter rim upon which the manufacturer’s name is recorded in raised letters. Supported on four legs cast in the form of horse hooves, the fetlock transitions at the interface with the trough into an acanthus scroll motif. The water was regulated by a small patent cistern, which was self-acting, and when the troughs were full the ball rose and shut the water off.
The central stanchion with attic base supported a central fluted column. Four projecting consoles suspended cups on chains that allowed humans to drink from spouting water (the water flow was operated with two bib valves which released water when pressed). Originally a bulbous form engraved with acanthus bas-relief demarcated the transition of the column into a lamp pillar (design #30) supporting a central gas lamp (#208) roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown. Yoke maintenance arms were positioned beneath the lantern.
The column capital is presently surmounted with a light fitting of circular domed sheet metal cap supported on four curved round bar supports. The light fitting was kept separately within the museum; however, the glass lamp shade appears not to have survived.
A dedication is recorded in raised letters on a small curved rectangular cast metal plaque mounted on the lamp pillar. The dedication is transcribed; This Fountain Was Erected / By The Inhabitants / Of Dordrecht / To Commemorate The / Coronation Of His / Most Gracious Majesty, / King Edward The Seventh / 1902.
- Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
- 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
- Bib valve, a valve controlling the release of a liquid
- Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
- Console, a decorative bracket support element
- Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
- Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
- Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
- Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of the street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder