Friday 27 January 2012

Derry and Toms, Kensington High Street W8

The apertures between C.H. Mabey's bas-relief panels and down the dramatic verticals of the lift shafts are covered with grilles created by Walter Gilbert, designer of the great gates of Buckingham Palace and the classical figures on the RSA, cousin of Sir Alfred Gilbert (the Eros man) and father of Donald (carver of one of the figures on the New Adelphi).
The smaller grilles mainly depict bats and squirrels, for some reason. Other motifs are birds and signs of the zodiac.
Walter Gilbert also designed a rather lovely set of bronze friezes featuring exotic birds, but their setting over the shop's doors means they are partly obscured by signs and the lights cause terrible reflections. What is the listing system for if it doesn't force owners of historic buildings to arrange things so they can be photographed effectively? Action now!

1 comment:

Capability Bowes said...

Did I miss something? Since when was the Hydra a sign of the zodiac? (ignore this comment if I am being a complete idiot)