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Manual Dramatic Images: the Roof Bosses of Norwich Cathedral in relation to the Drama of the Middle Ages

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Although the androgynous head bears a laurel wreath, rather than flowers, the festoons of fruit and flowers again are indicative of Flora. The facade is almost riotously decorated in buff terracotta probably Doulton. Crowning the building is a cowled figure making entries into a ledger with a quill. This might reasonably be thought to represent the owner, the accountant Charles Larking; but as we saw previously it is clearly modelled on the architect himself [15].

At about the time that Skipper was designing these buildings, his pupil J. Owen Bond — who was responsible for some of the few Modernist buildings in the city — designed the Burlington Buildings in Orford Place Instead of female heads, the building was decorated with three pairs of full-length, reclining women: one of each pair reading a book, the other holding a cornucopia. Unfortunately, this fine Renaissance-style building is hard to appreciate, being rather hemmed in at the back of Debenhams.

In architecture it seems that the symbolism of plenty may be more important than adherence to any particular goddess. This can be seen on the bases that James Woodford sculpted for the flagpoles in the memorial gardens outside the City Hall [16]. Each base shows an Assyrian-influenced priestess holding an overflowing basket. As in Egyptian art, the figure presents a combination of frontal and profile views. Chris Walton writes the very informative Company of the Green Man website [5] and I am grateful to him for information on foliate faces.

Nelson with his favourite alpenhorn. Unfortunately, the surface on this statue of Admiral Lord Nelson by Thomas Milnes — which is situated in the Upper Cathedral Close — is now quite worn and has lost much of its detail [8]. Boardman sketched out the quiet fabric of a post-medieval city but it was Skipper who provided the firecrackers.

Properties and events in Norwich 12222

In addition to the decorative shields, James Minns sculpted the tableau in the pediment depicting the discovery of Iceland by local sailor Robert Bacon [4]. The book based on these articles, The Poppyland Papers , proved very popular and this, combined with the arrival of the Great Eastern Railway in , transformed nearby Cromer from a quiet fishing village to a fashionable watering place for the wealthy.

The comfortable middle and upper middle classes came to see the coastal attractions and they needed suitable accommodation [5]. This triggered a wave of hotel building and Skipper was engaged by a consortium of Norwich businessmen to design several of them [6]. The last vestige of the Hotel Metropole. Its frontage, which borrows features from the late medieval palace at Chambord, disguised the previous Regency buildings.

He used the same device to disguise an ugly lift heading at Sandringham [7]. Sandringham House. Skipper was responsible for modifying the hotel originally designed by another Norwich architect, AF Scott [6]. The company was a partnership between Henry Trevor who made great use of Cosseyware seconds in creating the Plantation Garden in Norwich and his stepson John Page.

Skipper designed several private houses in Cromer. Freely decorated in red brick panels it is said to have been carved by James Minns [6]. St Bennets, Cromer, designed by Skipper ; brick carving attributed to Minns. At that time, architects were not allowed to advertise their services but, flying close to the regulatory wind, he commissioned Guntons to sculpt terracotta plaques depicting Skipper, on site, examining the work of sculptors and as the architect discussing plans with a client.

Carved brick tableaux at No 7 London Street. Upper centre: Skipper, with family to the left, inspecting sculpted work. Lower centre: Skipper showing work to clients. Although about 68 at the time Minns was still sculpting to a high standard for one year later he successfully submitted a carved wooden panel to the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy [9]. This riotously decorated building survived the bombing of the adjacent building in the Blitz but later lost some of its features during a conversion to a Wimpy Bar.

The copper-domed turret is a familiar Skipper motif.


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This puritanical excursion was a one-off for Skipper. Because Commercial Chambers was built for the accountant Charles Larking [7] you would be forgiven for thinking that the robed figure at the top of the building, making entries into a ledger, was Larking himself but it is clearly the self-publicist Skipper. But at the end of this long project no copper-clad dome materialised [1]. Work began first on the London Street side whose second floor facade is punctuated by a series of Royal Doulton plaques bearing the names of authors first published by Jarrold Printing [7].

Architectural interest was created by breaking the flat symmetry of the classical facade with a fourth bay containing a curved two-storey bay window [7]: the deeply recessed cylinder even broaches the massive cornice that caps the building. This is explained by the fact that Skipper originally planned to top the fourth bay with a trademark cupola whose circular section would have echoed the curved segment of the cornice. After the war his work in Norwich seems largely confined to humble plans for roads and sewerage required to open up that part of the Golden Triangle around Heigham Park and College Road he also designed neo-Georgian buildings in that road [13].

Further afield, he designed various buildings in Norfolk, Kent and London and in built a second extension to the University Arms Hotel in Cambridge. University Arms Hotel as proposed after the fire in Painting by Chris Draper. During the Second World War Skipper had kept his London Street offices open while his son Edward, a fellow architect, was on active service [7]. Edward could not, however, afford to keep the offices open and in sold the building to Jarrolds. Skipper died in when he was nearly There are so few art nouveau buildings in this country but many homes around would have possessed beautiful examples of the art in the form of ceramic tiles.

I used to collect them. They were used as inserts in fireplaces, as splash backs on washstands, panels in doorways and even as teapot stands. Similar tiles can be seen as decorative panels in porches around the Golden Triangle. Whitehall Road and Kingsley Road have good examples. The Norwich foundry of Barnard Bishop and Barnards was internationally recognised for its Aesthetic Movement fireplaces for which Thomas Jeckyll had designed the japonaise motifs cast into the surface of their products.

But by the time Jeckyll died in fashions had moved on and tiled inserts had become a major decorative element. A selection of tiles offered by Barnard Bishop and Barnards at their London showroom, Courtesy, Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell. The fanned carnation is known as the BBB design in recognition of the fact that Barnards had given him his first large order for tiles to be placed in their cast-iron fireplaces [1]. In production from Neatby decorated the spandrels of the central crossing of the arcade with tiles depicting a young woman who, in preliminary drawings , was intended to be holding a sign of the zodiac.

The similarities are striking. But recently, I saw this pressed leather panel decorating a cupboard in a junk shop. The figure is based on the Zodiac poster by Alphonse Mucha, surely the original inspiration for the models above? As the exhibition notes suggest, Rosetti may have been examining his feelings for his muse Jane, the wife of his friend William Morris, the model for his painting and his soon-to-be lover.

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Creative Commons. Patterns on tiles can be made in several ways. Raised outlines can be impressed on the blank during manufacture but tube-lining depends on the direct hand of the artist. For this, semi-liquid clay is squeezed through a nozzle onto a blank tile to form a raised outline and the areas between are then painted with coloured glazes before firing.

The Norwich Heritage Open Days gave access to two tiled fireplaces not normally seen by the public. The first is in Carrow Abbey. Courtesy www. However, these tiles are not flat but embossed and there is nothing to indicate that de Morgan produced such moulded tiles. Fireplace, Carrow Abbey. Courtesy Andy Maule. A prolonged trawl through the internet produced a tile in the identical pattern and colourway [ 4 ].

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The labels says it is a Qajar Iznik-style tile, origin Iran, ca C19th. So, not by de Morgan but direct from his source of inspiration. The Octagon is part of St Peter Mancroft. The late C15th-early C16th house was home to John Curat, mercer. The overhanging jetties of the timber building are now disguised at ground floor level by the C20th shopfront and the upper floors by Georgian brickwork.