Sculptural Decoration on Norway House, Cockspur Street, London W1, by Louis Frederick Roselieb [later Roslyn] (1878-1934). Left: Commerce. [detail: scales weighing coins] right: Transport. [detail: locomotive] [Click on these pictures and those below to enlarge them.]

When architects Metcalfe and Greig were designing 21-24 Cockspur Street as war broke out in 1914 there was no tenant for the building, so the carving on the front had to be generic Edwardian aspirational rather than illustrating the particular genius of the occupants. Louis Fitz (sic) Roselieb, the son of a sculptor from Hanover who had become a naturalised Briton, was brought in to do the job. By the end of the War to End War, Roselieb had changed his name to Louis Frederick Roslyn and shortly afterwards the building got a facelift to transform it into Norway House. — Ornamental Passions

Left: Industry. [detail 1: Sphinx and sculptor's signature; detail 2: Factory with smokestacks]. Right: Communications [detail: Globe]. Although Mercury (identified by his winged hat and caduceus) was the messenger of the gods in classical mythology and hence an appropriate symbol of communications, London architectural sculpture more commonly uses him to represent commerce or trade.

The fašade of Norway House showing the location of the sculptures.

Related Material

Photographs and caption by Robert Freidus. Formatting and perspective correction 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.]

References

"Norway House." Ornamental Passions. Web. Viewed 9 August 2011.


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Last modified 9 August 2011