Tuesday, December 3, 2013

King Arthur and Queen Genievre, Makins Residence

Wealthy, young barrister Henry Francis Makins, Esq. moved into a conventional terraced house at 19 Prince of Wales Terrace in London in 1867 or 1868. Makins was said to have 'artistic inclinations' and perhaps that is why by 1869 he had Salviati manufacture two full-length mosaic figures of King Arthur and Queen Genievre for his dining room.

19 Prince of Wales Terrace

Scenes from the Camelot mythology were a favorite of Pre-Raphaelite artists.

Arthur by Charles Ernest Butler, 1903  
(illustration only - not the mosaic)

Genievre by Henry Justice Ford, 1910
(illustration only - not the mosaic)

Unfortunately, no documentation other than a Salviati inventory list and a speech given by Sir Austen Henry Layard has been found regarding the mosaics, and numbers 18-19 Prince of Wales Terrace is now the Clearlake Hotel.

Makins bought the site for 8 Palace Gate in 1873 and subsequently comissioned architect J.J. Stevenson to design a "red-brick" (actually in yellow) Queen Anne for him. Makins moved into the new house in 1875 and lived there for eleven years. One of his neighbors was Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais, whose works Makins collected. Number 8 Palace Gate is now divided into flats.

Makins had another home specifically built for him at 180 Queen's Gate, Hyde Park in London after designs by architect Richard Norman Shaw. The house was built 1883-85 and Makins moved in around 1886. Incidentally, Shaw also designed 170 Queen's Gate for cement manufacturer Frederick Anthony White, as well as 196 Queen's Gate for Makins' friend, stockbroker J.P. Heseltine.

 180 Queen's Gate in 1956.

The dining room in 1956.

The drawing room in 1956.

This Makins residence was located across from the intersection of Queen's Gate and Queen's Gate Terrace; however, due to the expansion of the Imperial College of London, the building was demolished in 1971.

While their current status is unknown, it is possible that the mosaic panels are still in the Makins' private collection.

Barr, Sheldon. Venetian Glass Mosaics: 1860-1917. London: Antique Collectors' Club, 2008. 137.
Layard, Austin Henry. Paper on Mosaic Decoration: Read at a Meeting of the Royal Institute of British Architects. London: Metchim and Son, 1869. v.
Imperial College of London- Physics
Huxley Building Imperial College of London
Royal Institute of British Architects
British History Online Queen's Gate
British History Online Queen's Gate Interiors
British History Online Queen's Gate Exteriors
British History Online Price of Wales Terrace
British History Online Palace Gate

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