Category Archives: Saracen Foundry

Georgetown Fountains

Location: Georgetown, Guyana

On August 14, 1923 the Cenotaph was unveiled at the intersection of Main and Church Streets. This memorial replaced a cast iron drinking fountain erected in 1867 to mark the completion of the Water Works in 1866. The drinking fountain which was relocated to the green opposite St. Rose’s High School in Church Street, just a few hundred feet from its original location, no longer exists.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure was 9 feet 6 inches high and consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the image of a crane, and an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst,’ or optional memorial shields. On two of the sides provision were 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 was surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal was a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was 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.

PROMENADE GARDENS
A second cast iron drinking fountain is located in the Promenade Gardens. A dedication plaque states; Presented / to the city / of Georgetown / by / Mrs. L.C. Probyn / 1882.

The fountain is design number 13 by George Smith & Co. manufactured by the Sun Foundry. The base is in the form of a compass cross with canted corners. It has a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding which support the font. The large basin has nail head relief on the rim and is partitioned by four foliate brackets from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow. The structure is surmounted with a chained orb terminal. The base is 2 ft wide, basin is 2 ft 9” wide and the height of the structure is 4’ 9”.

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
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • 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
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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
  • 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
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Castro Square Fountain

Location: Candeias, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Candeias which literally means oil lamps was originally a small village within the city of Campo Belo. Drinking water was transported by hand from local streams, and when numerous requests to the city management for a supply of drinking water were ignored a group of local politicians initiated diversion of water into a water box and from there through pipes into the village. Taps to access the water flow were later installed in the square and surrounding streets.

In celebration of the village’s successful project without the assistance of Campo Belo city management, and to commemorate the strength of their commitment, a drinking fountain was purchased surmounted with a statue of Samson, a symbol of strength. The village people accessed this clean water source using cans and buckets often carried on their heads.

The drinking fountain is located on Avenue Dezessete de Dezembro in the gardens known as Monsignor Castro Square.

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 10’ 10” structure is seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth.

It has a wide base with canted corners supporting a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins (one of the lion jambs is currently missing). The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus.

Four consoles protruding from the column originally suspended drinking cups on chains. 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.

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

 


Fontana Sansone

Location: San Valentino, Pescara, Italy

The cast iron drinking fountain located at the base of the staircase leading to the church of San Valentino and Damiano is seated on a two tiered circular stone plinth. The date of its installation is unknown.

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The structure which was restored in 1989 is design number 19 by Walter Macfarlane & Co., advertised as a standalone fountain or for placement under a canopy structure. Manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the 10’ 10” structure has a wide base with canted corners supporting a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus.

Four consoles protruding from the column offered suspended drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, a statue of Samson with a drape tied at his waist, breaking free of the ties which bind his wrists. The square plinth upon which the statue stands is inscribed with name Samson and Walter MacFarlane & Co. Glasgow.

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

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

Clones Jubilee Fountain

Location: Clones, Co. Monaghan, Northern Ireland

A cast iron canopy and drinking fountain located at the market area known as the Diamond was installed in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee which celebrated 60 years of her reign.

Circa 1965, a brewery truck reversed into it doing irreparable damage. Three of the four griffins which were positioned above each column were rescued and incorporated on top of a wall leading from Roslea Road to the Roman Catholic Church. Although the font basin still remained in situ in 1967, all remnants of the drinking fountain are now lost.

The canopied drinking fountain was design number 21 (18 feet by 4 feet) from Walter Macfarlane &Co.’s catalog manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a triple tiered octagonal plinth, the canopy was supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which were positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated cusped arches were trimmed with rope mouldings which displayed lunettes with a profile image of Queen Victoria and a dedication shield; Erected By / Public Subscription / To Commemorate / The / Diamond Jubilee / Of / Queen Victoria / 1897. On each side arch faceplates provided a flat surface for 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 offered decorative relief on the circular, open filigree, ribbed dome. The internal capitals were floral ornament. The openwork iron canopy was surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial.

Under the canopy stood font casting number 7. The 5 ft 8ins high font was a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and descending salamander relief supporting a basin 2 ft 6 ins in diameter. The interior surface of the scalloped edge basin was engraved with decorative relief, and a sculptured vase was terminated by the figure of a crane. Four elaborate consoles support drinking cups on chains. Water flowed from a spout into the drinking cup by pressing its edge against a projecting stud below the spout. The self-closing valve allowed for operation with only one hand.

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

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

 


Kirkton Cross Fountain

Location: High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

It is believed that the drinking fountain which was located outside the old cemetery gates at the area known as Kirkton Cross was installed between 1898 and 1905. Little is known regarding the history of this structure. It no longer exists, and the date of its demise is unknown. Maps from 1910 and 1936 identify the fountain in situ; it may have been removed during the renovation of Main Street in the late 1950s.

1908

Used with permission, Paul Veverka. Source: http://www.blantyreproject.com

Indistinct images on old photographs would appear to indicate that the drinking fountain was number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue. It was 9 feet 6 inches high and was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

In the standard design, rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the image of a crane, and an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.’ However, as customization was encouraged and photographs do not offer detail, there is no evidence to confirm what was contained within the the lunettes. (Several similar drinking fountains in Airdrie, Brora and Stranraer contain profile images of Queen Victoria.)

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 was surmounted by an open filigree dome with a lantern finial.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7), 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was 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 terminal was a crane.

Saracen #8

Design #8 advertisement indicates that any of the fountains can be supplied with a Lamp.

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.

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
  • 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
  • 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

People’s Park Drinking Fountain

Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England

The drinking fountain identified in this blog was located in the People’s Park in Grimsby in the late 19th century and no longer exists. My research uncovered single line references to two drinking fountains within the park; in 1889 a drinking fountain was erected paid for by public subscription; and the erection of a drinking fountain in Grimsby Park on 23 May 1884. Contact made with North East Lincolnshire Council also produced no results.

pinterestGrimsby

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 10’ 10” structure was seated on an octagonal plinth. It had a wide base with canted corners supporting 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.

The column contained a shield with a dedication inscription, and four consoles protruding from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. Two elaborate consoles 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.

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

 


Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales

This drinking fountain was installed in 1897 in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It was originally located near the Astoria Cinema in Charles Street. During refurbishment of the cinema, the fountain was relocated and is currently set into a stone pedestal on the walkway to the Town Hall.

The font, casting number 17 (4ft 5 x 2ft 10) from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue, was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. The design utilizes features of the canopy used in drinking fountain number 8, and is surmounted by a palmette finial. Griffin terminals flank a highly decorated arch outlined with rope and drip fret detail which also encircles a medallion containing a dedication in bas-relief; Erected In The / Sixtieth Year / Of / H.M. / Queen Victoria’s / Reign / 1897. The recessed interior of the arch contains a shell lunette from which a tap once protruded. A single drinking cup on a chain was suspended above a fluted demi-lune basin.

 

Glossary

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal