Thursday 1 October 2009

J. Wippell & Co, Tufton Street SW1

Wippell's wonderfully camp ecclesiastical requisites shop is at Anglican Central, right behind Church House and the Abbey. To a casual glance it looks as though it might be almost as old as Wippell's itself, which dates back to 1834 when Joseph Wippell bought a drapery business in Exeter. But look closer and the odd mix of Regency elegance and Arts and Crafts whimsy becomes clear, and indeed it was built in 1929 by architect SS Yeo.
On either side of the entrance are two delightful figures in low relief, carved into the wood, representing Wippell's twin businesses in church furnishings and priestly garments.
On the right is a Roman mason, carrying a Corinthian capital in one hand and his tools in the other. On the left is a spinster with her distaff and spindle.

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