Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Fountain in the Window 1826

Thursday, June 7, 2012
Illustration from Hone's Every-day Book, 1826
Loretta reports:

It seems seasonable to introduce an engraving of a very appropriate ornament of a shop window, which will not surprise any one so much as the proprietor, who, whatever may be thought to the contrary, is wholly unknown to the editor of this work.

As a summer decoration, there is scarcely any thing prettier than this little fountain. Gilt fish on the edge of the lower basin spout jets of water into the upper one, which constantly overflows, and, washing the moss on its stand, falls into its first receiver.  These vessels are of glass, and contain live fish; and on the surface of the larger, white waxen swans continue in gentle motion.  Vases of flowers and other elegancies are its surrounding accompaniments.

This representation exemplifies the rivalry of London tradesmen to attract attention.  Their endeavours have not attained the height they are capable of reaching, but the beautiful forms and graceful displays continually submitted to the sight of passengers, evince a disposition which renders our shops the most elegant in Europe.
William Hone, The Every Day Book: Or, A Guide to the Year: Describing the Popular Amusements, Sports, Ceremonies, Manners, Customs, and Events, Incident to the Three Hundred and Sixty-five Days, in Past and Present Times, Volume 2. 1826

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Susan Bailey said...

Love this! We have 2 fountains on our deck, so enjoyable to watch and listen to.

Chris Woodyard said...

Gilt fish, vessels of glass, waxen swans! I desperately want one of these for the conservatory!

Joanna Waugh said...

Without electricity, how did they keep the water flowing?

Isobel Carr said...

I'm with Joanna in wondering how these were powered? I read that large outdoor fountains were powered through downhill water pressure or through some kind of waterwheel pump. I’m assuming there must be some kind of clockwork mechanism to keep this running? Very cool to know that I can put this in a book though!

Myralee Voots said...

My first thoughts, too, were of the mechanisms involved in operating the fountain! I even double-checked the date, because I have a hard time believing it was possible in that era!

I wish that I could run my koi pond pumps without electricity.....

Joanna Waugh said...

That's exactly what I was thinking Myralee. That kind of technology would be terrific for a koi pond.

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