The Council House has four pediments, three facing Victoria Square and one facint Chamberlain Square. The central pediment on Victoria Square is triangular, the other three have a semicircular upper border.
The central pediment was designed by the architect of the building, Yeoville Thomason (1826-1901), and executed by R. L. Boulton & Sons.
- Central pediment: Britannia with her arms outstretched to reward the Manufacturers of Birmingham with laurel wreaths.
- Right pediment: Commerce and/or Literature: The central figure is an angel holding his hands above two seated figures. The angel is flanked by several figures holding a variety of smaller items, including books, pots, and a board with 14 shallow-cut depressions, perhaps indicative of toymaking, an important Birmingham speciality in earlier times.
- Right pediment: The Union of the Arts and Sciences: Two seated central figures, the one on the right holds the regulator from a steam engine, in bronze. Together with her companion she holds a palm frond between them, and this other also holds a bust of probably Athena. To the left stand Sculpture, with her mallet, and Painting. The capital of a pillar does duty for Architecture, and Music is the outermost figure, completing the Arts. To the right, the Sciences, with the first standing figure holding an hourglass, though her next companion has lost whatever she was holding. Finally, the girl seated to the right has a sectioned globe, some geometrical diagram, and a heap of books.
- Chamberlain Square: Manufacture: A seated central figure leans on a mallet. To the left, a standing figure of Gun Manufacture, behind her perhaps Silverware, while the kneeling man at the left hand edge of the group has a variety of pots and tools. On the right, a girl with a spinning wheel, a second with completed cloths, and a man beating something on an anvil.
Above the entrance is a Mosaic by Salviati Burke and Co. of Venice, 'Britannia rewarding the Birmingham Manufactures' with the central figure of the Municipality of Birmingham handing out scrolls of Stability and Power to the other figures identified in gilded lettering, representing Science, Art, Liberty, Law, Commerce and Industry.
- Richard Lockwood Boulton (Thornton Dale, Yorkshire c. 1832 - 1905), Sculptor, architectural sculptor, stonemason, of c. 1870 in Cheltenham.
Richard's sons became sculptors and stone carvers working for the family business: Lockwood Dutson Boulton (1857-1927) and Thomas Dutson Boulton (1860-1932) who were both born in Birmingham and Gilbert Dutson Boulton (1865-1936) and Frank Cowley Boulton (c.1877-?) both born in Cheltenham. The four sons inherited the firm on their father's retirement in 1893 and were working together at the time of their father's death in 1905 (the firm continued to be active until at least 1971) (Mapping of Sculpture).
- Salviati, glass makers and mosaicists in Murano, Venice and also in London, working as the firm Salviati, Jesurum & Co. of 213 Regent Street, London; also as Salviati and Co. and later (after 1866) as the Venice and Murano Glass and Mosaic Company (Today Pauly & C. - Compagnia Venezia Murano)
Sources & Information
Location (N 52°28'48" - W 1°54'10")
Item Code: gbwm054; Photograph: 24 June 2014
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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