Friday, November 27, 2015

Fabrica de Calzado Excelsior, Mexico

The Excelsior Shoe Factory was located on the present corner of Benjamin Franklin and Carlos B. Zetina Streets (named after the man who founded Excelsior in 1902 who later became a senator, as well as presidential candidate) in the Tacubaya district of Mexico City.

Salviati made a mosaic in the crescent over the entryway representing Labor.

Today, the Universidad La Salle stands in the location.

Barr, Sheldon. Venetian Glass Mosaics: 1860-1917. Antique Collectors' Club, 2008. 139.
El Modo Museo 
Bulletin of the Pan American Union. vol LVI, 1923. 344.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fővárosi Serfőzde Rt.

The Fővárosi Serfőzde Rt. (Capitol City Brewery) was established in Budapest's District X in 1913 and began production the following year. It was bought in 1943 by Dreher brewery and later by the Globus Canning Factory (Globus Konzervgyár Rt.). Production stopped in 2009.

Postcard depicting the brewery circa 1920

Salviati, Jesurum, and Co. reportedly made the two mosaics, which decorate separate parts of the enormous, red brick factory complex. The medallions look identical and depict King Mathias Corvinus (Mátyás király) on a golden background shown in a side portrait. The brewery's initials of "F" and "S" flank the face on each side, with the words "VED-JEGY" (trademark or brand) and "MATYAS KIRALY" around it on a ring of blue.

The building framing a large chimney and facing Maglodi Street contains the (currently) more degraded mosaic. The laurel wreath around the mosaic center - appearing to be copper, but likely made of maiolica with an eosin glaze - is attributed to the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture of Pécs and measures four meters in diameter.

The second medallion is located on the spandrel of a covered walkway that connects two buildings. This also faces Maglodi Street, but is a much smaller mosaic (detail above).

Pilsitz, Martin. On the Industrial Urban Development of Pest in the 19th Century. periodica polytechnica. 43/1 (2012). 37-44.
Balatoni, Mihaly, et al. A Magyar élelmiszeripar története. Budapest: Mezőgazdasági Kiadó, 1986. 533.
Zubrecki, David. Irodanak Hirdetik az Egyik Legszebb Pesti Ipari Muemleket. Index. June 10, 2015. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

In Detail: Conservation Work on the Royal Garrison Church Woolwich

The restoration of the circa 1890 Salviati mosaics in the Royal Garrison Church is entering its final phase, as conservators with Skillington Ltd. spend the next few weeks on site to finish reinstalling the remaining pieces.

Funded by the Heritage of London Trust and working under the supervision of the English Heritage, the conservation work was necessary due to the poor state of the mosaics resulting from decades of exposure to environmental conditions after the bombing of the church in 1944.

Most of the conservation was carried out in situ, including stabilization of mortars and loose tesserae, disinfection and cleaning. In the decorative border around St George, there was also the replacement of old repairs with new tesserae in the same tone.

Another company had previously removed some of the mosaics, and these were restored at Skillington Ltd.'s workshop. Those conserved pieces are now being installed, which would complete the mosaic restoration project.

The photographs and information about the conservation work have been kindly provided by Kalypso Kampani of Decorative Arts Conservation and Restoration. Ms. Kampani wrote the original proposal for the restoration grant and is the head conservator on the project.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Second Birmingham Central Library (1879-1973)

Birmingham's first Central Library and Art Gallery opened in 1865, but most of the building burned down in a fire in early January 1879. Rebuilding started almost immediately, using the remaining shell and pillars of the original library.

Opening of the first Birmingham Central Library, 1865

Remnants of the first Birmingham Central Library after the fire of 1879

The new Central Reference and Lending Libraries were designed by the architects William Martin and John Henry Chamberlain and opened in 1882. Salviati and Burke provided mosaic work for parts of the building.

Completely new, the Italianate red brick portion facing Edmund Street housed the Shakespeare Library designed by Chamberlain. The floral frieze above the second-story windows and the geometric patterns inside medallions above the first-story windows were made of mosaics.

 Facade of the Shakespeare Library

Due to both a lack of space (the building was designed for 30,000 books and by the 1970s stored 750,000) and a need for new road construction, the second Birmingham Central Library was demolished in 1973. Construction had started on its successor in 1970, which opened in January 1974 and still stands today.

The interior of the Shakespeare Memorial Library is the only part of the second library which survived. It was dismantled and then reassembled within the new building.

The Shakespeare Memorial Library today

"The Birmingham Free Library." The Building News and Engineering Journal. Vol 42. June 2, 1882. 664.
"Birmingham Central Library (1879-1973)." Birmingham City Council.
Birmingham Forum

Thursday, February 12, 2015

St. Mark's Church, Hamilton Terrace

This Gothic style church by Thomas Cundy was consecrated in 1847. The architect's son Thomas Cundy II finished the spire in 1864. E.B. Ferrey also added a new chancel in 1878.

The Venice and Murano Mosaic Company made the six mosaic panels for the pulpit around 1879. They depict the Four Evangelists flanking Sts. Peter and Paul.

The Builder. July 26, 1879. 842.
Speel, Bob. St. Mark's Hamilton Terrace - A Church with Mosaics. 
"Church of St. Mark, Hamilton Terrace". English Heritage.
Images of England: Church of St. Mark Hamilton Terrace. English Heritage.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Grand Hotel, Trafalgar Square

London's Grand Hotel was designed by F & H Francis and James Ebenezer Saunders. This team also designed London's Metropole Hotel in 1883.

Salviati decorated the six-story, Italianate hotel, which opened in Trafalgar Square in 1880 with mosaic work.

Circa 1910

The original building was taken over by the British government in World War I to house military officers.  By 1972, not only had the stone facade weathered, but the whole building was damaged by the new Jubilee subway line. It was demolished in 1986 and replaced with the similarly styled Grand Buildings (housing the current Grand Hotel) designed by Sidell Gibson Partnership.

"Earthenware and Porcelain: No. VIII Mosaic Work and Stone-ware." The Furniture Gazette. July 10, 1880. 18.
Antique Print of the Opening of the Grand Hotel. Amazon.
Vintage Everyday. July 4, 2014. 
Exhibition of the Royal Academy. 1878. 44.
Royal Institute of British Architects. Riba1680 Grand Hotel, Charing Cross, London. 1879.
Calder, I.C. "Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, London WC2." Proceedings of the ICE - Civil Engineering, Volume 97, Issue 3, 01 August 1993, pages 127 –134.
Hotel Metropole, St. Croix Architecture.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Marquess of Westminster Memorial Fountain

The Italian Renaissance-style memorial to Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster stands at the junction of Pimlico Road and Avery Farm Row in London. Grosvenor was a politician and developer who - before his death in 1869 - was an early patron of Chester architect John Douglas.

Erected around 1870, the four faces of the Portland stone and granite drinking fountain are covered by enamel mosaics by Salviati.

Salviati also made the mosaic reredos for the Douglas designed St. John's Church in Aldford, tying it back to Grosvenor through that additional connection.

Introduction to Victorian and Edwardian Architectural Mosaics in London
"Drinking Fountain - - 1305384" by PAUL FARMER. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
"Fountain on East Side of Junction with Avery Farm Row". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage.
"Richard Grosvenor." Wikipedia.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

St. John the Baptist, Aldford

Designed by architect John Douglas, this church was built in 1865-66 at the expense of Richard Grosvenor, the 2nd Marquess of Westminster.

The church's reredos contains five mosaic panels by Salviati. Morris and Co. made the stained glass in the East window after a design by Edward Burne-Jones.

English Heritage, "Church of St John the Baptist, Aldford (1135984)", National Heritage List for England
St. John the Baptist, Aldford. Wikipedia. 
A Church Near You. 
British Listed Buildings.