United Kingdom

Statues - Hither & Thither

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Hull
(Kingston-upon-Hull)
East Riding of Yorkshire

Yorkshire & Humberside

Alfred Gelder Street
(The Guildhall)

Maritime Prowess, Justice and Strength

Albert Hodge & Alexander Young
1907-15

Hull /  Maritime Prowess, Justice and Strength   Hull /  Maritime Prowess, Justice and Strength

Description

The Guildhall, seat of the local government of Hull, was built 1907 (east wing 1913-16) after designs by the architect Sir Edwin Cooper.

The facade has three large sculpture groups by Albert H. Hodge: Maritime Prowess and Strength on the two towers, and Justice in the front center. These groups are according to the Hull Daily Mail of 1 February 1907 sculpted from one block at the location :
Carving for Hull Town Hall Extension
The huge block of Portland stone which to be transformed into a handsome piece of curved statuary surmount the north-west tower of the extensions to the Town Hall in Alfred Gelderstreet, Hull, has been fixed in its place by Messrs Quibell, Son, and Greenwood, the contractors. The stone weighs 100 tons; it measures 19ft. in length by 16ft. width and height. A representative of the "Mail" yesterday was shown the design in plaster for the equestrian statue which is to made. It represents a Boadicea-like female figure standing in a chariot, driving two horses at wild speed. The plaster cast is huge in itself. But it is only half the size of the statue will appear in stone. The designer and sculptor is Mr H. E. [!] Hodge.
However, on the photos is clear to see that both sculpture groups are made from several blocks.

Under Hodge's direction the actual sculpting was done by Alexander Young (c. 1867-1915), who worked on the sculptures groups since 1906 and died 22 January 1915 on the tower working on the sculptures.

North-West tower: Maritime Prowess, 1907

Hull - Maritime Prowess, Justice and Strength Hull - Maritime Prowess, Justice and Strength

A female figure (probably Aphrodite; sometimes errroneously described as Boadicea) raising from the waves standing in a vehicle with a chariot-like front but ending as a ship's stern between two (sea?)-horses with fish-like tails. "The idea behind the sculptor's mind was that it suggested command over both land and sea." The plaster model stood from 1922 to 1931 in front of the town hall of Withernsea.
Below the group is a sculpture of a seated figure with scales in her right hand.

Center: Justice

Hull - Maritime Prowess, Justice and Strength
A male figure with a large book resting on his knee, seated in a large throne.

East tower: Strength, 1915

Hull - Maritime Prowess, Justice and Strength Hull - Maritime Prowess, Justice and Strength

Britannia in a chariot accompanied by lions. Below it is a sculpture of a seated figure of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, holding a statuette in her right hand and resting her left arm on a disc (an astrolabe?).

Sculptors

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Athena / Minerva
  • Boudica
  • Britannia
  • Hodge, Albert
  • Justice (allegory)
  • Lion
  • Maritime Prowess
  • Navigation
  • Sea-horse
  • Strength (Fortitudo)
  • Town Hall
  • Woman with seahorse
  • Young, Alexander
  • Location (N 53°44'39" - W 0°20'1")

    Item Code: gbyh036; Photograph: 25 July 2019
    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

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