Wednesday, 22 April 2009

1 Hatton Garden EC1

The NatWest on Holborn Circus is a humdrum Victorian building (1870) by an unrecorded architect. The carvings on over the doors on Hatton Garden are rather nice, but again the sculptor is not known (at any rate, I have not managed to find out who did them).
But they are rather elegant, transforming utilitarian vents into works of art. Nude figures emerge from swirls of acanthus, carrying symbols of their occupations.
To the right, the Spirit of the Land carries a sheaf of wheat, a bunch of grapes and a pomegranate, plus a scythe to harvest them with, and the Spirit of the Sea holds a paddle with a trident and a dolphin carved on it, pouring out the bounty of the deep with his other hand.
To the left, Commerce with Mercury's rod and a bag of gold flirts with Industry, holding a gear shaft and a distaff.

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