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Sculptures at the front façade of Middlesex Guildhall

Henry C. Fehr
1906-13

London /  Sculptures at the front façade of Middlesex Guildhall   London /  Sculptures at the front façade of Middlesex Guildhall

Description

The architectural sculpture on the front of the Middlesex Guildhall, Architect: J. S. Gibson and Partners, Portland Stone, 1906-1913, features two parts:

Frieze

A deep figured, relief frieze above and to the sides of the entrance extending over canted bay-towers. Three parts show:
  1. (left) King John with the Barons at Runnymede, where he affixed his seal to the Magna Carta. The King, looking suitably flattened, is flanked by two churchmen. The accompanying figures are two bishops, the barons and their pages and some monks.
  2. (central), Henry III, standing on the left, grants a charter to the Abbey of Westminster, with church and abbey hierarchy and acolytes in attendance.
  3. (right) Lady Jane Grey being offered the crown by her father-in-law, the Duke of Northumberland. Her husband stands next to her. These three would all be considered traitors, and beheaded a scene chosen, perhaps, as a warning

    (click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
    London - Sculptures at the front façade of Middlesex Guildhall
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    London - Sculptures at the front façade of Middlesex Guildhall
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    London - Sculptures at the front façade of Middlesex Guildhall
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Between the three parts of the frieze are two niches with statues:
  1. left: Prudence, a woman with a tower and a key,
  2. right: Justice, a woman with a sword (or is it Reason, compare the statue at the the back entrance.

    London - Sculptures at the front façade of Middlesex Guildhall London - Sculptures at the front façade of Middlesex Guildhall

Statues

Above the arch over the main entry, is a sculpture groups of nine women in niches showing Britannia supported by the spirits of architecture, literature, government, sculpture, music, truth, law, and seafaring:
  1. Architecture with a tower,
  2. Literature with an open book,
  3. Government with orb and sceptre,
  4. Sculpture with a statue,
  5. Britannia, the central figure with sword and shield,
  6. Music with a lyra,
  7. Truth, with a lamp, she is blindfolded
  8. Law, with a scroll
  9. Seafaring, with a ship
At the top stands a Saint George.

London - Sculptures at the front façade of Middlesex Guildhall

Sculptor

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Brittannia
  • Façade with statues (secular)
  • Fehr, Henry C.
  • George, St.
  • Government
  • Grey, Lady Jane
  • Henry III (King of England)
  • John Lackland
  • Justice (Justitia)
  • Knight
  • Law (allegory)
  • Literature
  • Monarch
  • Music (allegory)
  • Prudentia
  • Sculpture (allegory)
  • Seafaring
  • Truth
  • Location (N 51°30'1" - W 0°7'40")

    Item Code: gblo038; Photograph: 3 August 2014
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt