Saturday, 26 October 2013

39-40 Lombard Street EC3

Buy-to-let is nothing new - this building was funded by the City Offices Company, an investment vehicle, in 1866. 
To attract a better class of tenant, the block is clad from top to toe in Italianate stone carving to remind people that Lombard Street was named after the grand Italian bankers who kick-started London as a financial centre back in the late middle ages.
The architects were the Francis brothers, the carvers were from the firm of F.G. Anstey. It must have been all hands to the pump for a couple of years for a contract that size.
Above the corner door, a pair of allegorical women representing prosperity and commerce support a shield with the cross and sword of the City. One holds a bale of wool and a sheaf of corn, the other a roll of material and a shield.
The keystone of the arch over the door is a rather grand looking king.


Capability Bowes said...

The king has seashells in his hair and is surrounded by bulrushes. Father Thames?

Chris Partridge said...

Quite possibly!