Sunday, November 25, 2007

Riding House Street, London

Here’s another outstanding combination of signage and architecture that remembers a long-gone industry. Boulting’s made stoves, sanitary goods, and related products throughout the 19th century and into the 20th. The signs on this building, on the corner of Riding House and Candover Streets, tell us that this was their ‘Range & Stove Manufactory’, although it appearance and fenestration are more like those of the neighbouring apartment blocks from the same period.

The style is that mix of Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts that enlivens many of the better English buildings of the turn of the century. The combination of varied colours of brick, stone dressings, and ornate details like the 1903 datestone with gables, bays, and different-sized windows is a feast for the eye. Boulting’s signs, with their Art Nouveau lettering in gold and green mosaic, make the whole composition richer still. Pevsner tells us that the architect was H. Fuller Clark, who also designed the interior of the Black Friar pub in the City of London. Not exactly a household name, but a man who could work wonders of building design. Boulting’s must have been pleased with their permanent advertisement. Modern passers-by get pleasure too from this striking landmark.


Peter Ashley said...

This makes me want to run down to London now, if I hadn't got two boiled eggs on the go. The bays remind me of Voysey's town houses in Hans Crescent opposite Harrods.

Alex said...

I used to work just around the corner on Mortimer Street - Mortimer House, in fact. Which isn't such a bad building, either, if you like Edwardian pseudo-Otto Wagner.