Britannia

Britannia and two attendants by Frederick William Pomeroy (1857-1924). Location: Electra House (now part of the London Guildhall University). Architects: Belcher and Joass. 1900-1903. On Moorgate on the east side of the street between Finsbury Circus and London Wall, London EC2.

A lion on the head of the central figure and her breastplate identify her as a slight variation on the standard allegorical representation of the United Kingdom. A thick filament or group of threads wind its way from the left hand of the attendant at Britannia's right (our left) around behind her, then between the tray that the other female attendant holds and her chest, and finally down until it loops around the globe, thus suggesting Britannia's world dominance — and perhaps also the relation of that dominance to her textile industries. Britannia also holds what appears to be a large oar or paddle (though other architectural sculpture sometimes displays heraldic devices of identifying attributes on similar shaped objects). [Compare Pomeroy's second panel.]

Photographs and caption by Robert Freidus. Formatting, perspective correction, and commentary by George P. Landow. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. ]

Bibliography

Beattie, Susan. The New Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.

Ward-Jackson, Philip. Public Sculpture of the City of London. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2003. Victorian Web Homepage Visual Arts Sculpture Frederick W. Pomeroy, R.A next

Last modified 24 July 2011