Tuesday 8 September 2009

Supreme Court, Parliament Square SW1

The window keystones on the right of the main facade of the old Middlesex Guildhall show Agriculture. Up to Victorian times, Middlesex was covered with small farms and market gardens supplying the city with produce. Cobbett hated it. In Rural Rides he fulminates: "All Middlesex is ugly, notwithstanding the millions upon millions which it is continually sucking up from the rest of the kingdom....the soil is gravel at bottom with a black loam at top near the Thames; further back it is a sort of spewy gravel; and the buildings consist generally of tax-eaters' showy, tea-garden-like boxes and of shabby dwellings of labouring people...dirty, and have every appearance of drinking gin."
From left to right, the first four figures are growers of wheat, hops, fruit and grapes. Then there is a bloke holding an animal that I'm not confident in identifying. It seems to have either trotters or hooves, so it could be a piglet or a lamb. The next figure along, however, is clearly a shepherd with his crook, so I am going with piglet until presented with evidence to the contrary.


Meg said...

Hrm, it looks quite bovine to me - perhaps a calf rather than a piglet?

Btw, I really enjoy this blog. I'm forever peering at buildings and looking for ornaments etc.

Chris Partridge said...

It does look like a calf, doesn't it? But it would have to be a very small calf. On the other hand, total realism isn't what these carvings are about.
Glad you like the blog!