Dacres Road statue

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Ulysses
Posts: 893
Joined: 1 Apr 2009 12:30
Location: Sydenham

Dacres Road statue

Post by Ulysses »

I know Dacres Road is Forest Hill but I wondered if anyone knew anything about the statue. Looked quite classically Greek to me...it's a man on his side in white stone.

If I can explain. I work from home (I know I've mentioned this already) and everyday I take a 1 hour lunch break and go for a walk - today I'm late and am posting in my lunch break.

Anyway, I went to Mayow Park yesterday and whilst walking down Silverdale I spied an old looking statue. It's just where Dacres Road meets Silverdale outside some flats.

Is it from the Crystal Palace or a relic from an old house that may have stood on the site (like Sheenewood)? Or is it just a modern statue designed to dupe gullible passers-by like me?
tulse hill terry
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007 01:33
Location: sarf lunnen

Post by tulse hill terry »

Image

This statue, symbolising the Pacific Ocean, comes from the lower terrace of the Crystal Palace. It was joined by 3 other figures representing the Arctic, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans.

To the north were another set of statues for the edge of an identical pond [image above], this time of the Rivers Ganges, Amazon, Nile, and the Thames.

Image

The figure of Thames, above, was sold at the auction of 1957, and was placed at the start of that river. Thanks to our old friend - vandalism - it was moved to St John's Lock Lechdale.

This one is signed R. Monto for Raffaelle Monti, a sculptor who created much work for the Crystal Palace Company.

I hope one day, to finally finish my statues in the park thread!
Ulysses
Posts: 893
Joined: 1 Apr 2009 12:30
Location: Sydenham

Post by Ulysses »

Thank you tulse hill terry.

A few months ago I visited Osborne House on the Isle Of Wight. The influence of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham [which is how the tour guide constantly referred to it] was very evident in Prince Albert's work he did with Cubitt. I'd say he more than 'borrowed' the Italianate terrace and of course, the house is festooned with some of the statues that were in the park.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_House

She also mentioned how often he would come 'here'. Particularly fond was he of the huge concerts conducted and composed by his compatriots!
I did wonder if the Royal party would stay nearby?

I think they recently discovered the World's oldest recorded piece of tape and that was from a concert at the Crystal Palace?

Anyway...I'd heartily recommend the place. Especially as from this month you can walk around at your leisure and visit the upper floors where the bedrooms are. When I was there the guide was excellent but we were restricted to the ground floors only.

Anyway - I'm a bit simple and am not sure if you mean that the one I saw in Dacres Road is a copy? Is what I should be inferring? It's a modern copy of Monti's Thames? The 'pucker' one is now in the Cotswolds?
tulse hill terry
Posts: 686
Joined: 25 Jun 2007 01:33
Location: sarf lunnen

Post by tulse hill terry »

You're welcome Ulysses.

There were 4 figures representing the oceans and 4 for the rivers. They would have been cast in Portland Stone Cement, after models by Raffaelle Monti.

Of the eight, I'm only aware of the "Pacific" in Dacres Road, and the "Thames" at Lechdale surviving. Whether the other 6 were never sold, and dumped somewhere, or are sitting in someone's garden, I would love to know.

As to Prince Albert etc.

At the end of the 18th Century, beginning of the 19th Century, was the revival of Classical culture [Ancient Greek and Rome] both artistically and politically, usually termed "Neo [New] Classicism."

The mid-Victorians seem to have moved onto reviving the Renaissance artistically, and this was certainly a passion of Prince Albert's.

Both Albert and Queen Victoria were unusual in commisioning and gifting each other sculpture, and not just paintings, and did much to make it fashionable. Many of the statues they had at Osborne were copied in plaster for the Crystal Palace at Sydenham.

Osborne House, which they built as a private home, to replace the Regency Brighton Pavilion, is a timecapsule of taste in the 1850's.

Although Albert had a part in designing it, as is usual with any client, Cubitt who did much for the Italiante style, developing much of Pimlico for example, was just providing his clients with the very fashionable "Italianate" style including the terrace.

Osborne House was started before the Palace, so I think it would be fairer to say that the Palace was originally an attempt to provide the public with what was the height of fashion - sculpture, winter gardens, fountains and terraces after these Royal and other aristocratic examples.

This is why I think it was a shame they were removed so hastily, as dated tat, in the 1950's. I am just old enough to remember when it was considered ridiculous to even consider retaining or maintaining anything Victorian!
Ulysses
Posts: 893
Joined: 1 Apr 2009 12:30
Location: Sydenham

Post by Ulysses »

Aha.

Mystery solved. Thank you for confirming that the one in Dacres Road is original tulse hill terry. It's in pretty good order and I was wary of thinking it original as it is so damned white - almost pristine but that is easily explained by the material. I saw it after a particularly heavy downpour so it was washed clean.

It was a little glib and unrealistic of me to try and explain Osborne House as copying CP but they influences on Osborne House are indeed heavy.

One of the nicest anecdotes I heard regarding Albert was that as well as being a keen amateur Architect he also thought himself a bit of a 'Capability Brown' and would stand in one of the towers and 'semaphore' his gardeners where he thought a particular tree or shrub would be best planted.

Anyway you know more regarding these matters than I.

It did get me to thinking though where might the Royal couple stay when they visited Sydenham? And by the sounds of it they were very regular visitors. Perhaps Buckingham Palace was not too far away but considering the social engagements that would have gone hand-in-hand with such grandiose and spectacular concerts might the late hour have meant they did indeed stay locally?

Could they have indeed stayed at Rockhills?

Anyway, just thinking out loud.

Thank you again for your help.
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