Sunday, 13 July 2008

A few more Mosaics

A few more interesting mosaics to add to the collection - these four came from two seperate locations, Gerrard Street near Leicester Square (better known as Chinatown), and Putney.

Lower Richmond Road SW15This one is from a block of flats built at the turn of the century and overlooks the Thames. Or at least it would overlook the Thames if the Star & Garter pub wasn't in the way. Never mind though, even a hundred years ago the University Boat Race must have been enough of a draw to have enticed them to name a block of flats after it and things haven't changed much in the interim (as you'll see when I publish my collection of bollards, including my Boat-race blue Putney example!)

Upper Richmond Road SW15This is now a recessed double-entrance to two small shops but I assume when first built it would have been a single establishment. The 'Tailor' part is fairly self-explanatory but 'Habit Maker'? The habit connection that springs to mind is a nun's habit ('You can kiss a nun once, you can kiss a nun twice but you must never get into the habit..'). However it seems that 'habit' was a generic term for women's clothing in the way that tailoring generally referred to men's clothing - although with women now wearing suits the term can now applied to both genders.

Although fairly plain I think you'll agree that it's quite stylish and quite refined. Just the sortof thing you'd expect from Putney!

Gerrard Street, W1The door may look a little tatty if you look at it close up but I bet that at some time it looked quite special. I think the lettering has a hint of Arts & Crafts about it, or maybe a bit of Art Deco in the letter formation. I like it - it's a sort of border collie of a mosaic that you can't resist patting, giving a good scratch and saying 'well done!' to in a strange voice.

Gerrard Street W1
What was Gerrard Street before it became Chinatown? Was there a French town instead? Probably not but there was certainly a French-inspired hotel on the site.
Now a Chinese restaurant this building has obviously had a slightly grander past with it's mix of Nouveau lettering (especially on the E and G) and it's Roman-like mosaic motif in the black border.
Altogether quite an attractive and eye-catching blast from the past.

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