Designed by Sir Ernest George (1892)

Client: The Residents' Society of Mayfair and St James's

Location: Mount Street Gardens, Mayfair, London

This Grade II Listed decorative drinking fountain was erected by Henry Lofts 'in recognition of many happy years in Mount Street' and was designed by Sir Ernest George. The fountain had suffered from thefts in recent years and was missing its hippocampus from the top and both lion head spouts from above the basins. We were commissioned to conserve the existing elements of the fountain and remodel the stolen elements from the photographic evidence, cast them in bronze and reinstate in working order. The Client provided two archive photographs and we found two more by researching the history of the fountain.

Above left: Archive photo of the fountain when intact

Above right: The fountain before restoration

Above left: Using the archive photos for reference, clay models of the hippocampus and lions' heads were modelled.

Above right: The clay model was then cut up and brass shims inserted where the mould will be seamed.

Above left: Using cold silicon rubber, the clay was covered to make a mould.

Above right: This photo shows the inside of the rubber mould after the two halves of the mould had been separated. Note that the legs and tail were moulded separately.

Above left: The lions' heads were modelled and moulded in the same way.

Above right: Wax casts were made using the moulds, and runners and risers added.

Above left: The waxes were then invested in a fire-proof ceramic investment shell.

Above right: The shells were then heated, after having the wax burned out, ready for the bronze.

Above left: The molten bronze was then poured into the mould.

Above right: The cast bronze pieces were then cleaned up and welded together.

Above left: The cast bronze hippocampus and lion heads were then engineered to fit the remainder of the original fountain, and patinated to match. Here, a base undercoat has been formed on the new castings using ammonium chloride, to match the underlying natural green patina of the original fountain elements.

Above right: The patination was then completed to a dark brown/black shade and the whole was waxed. The completed fountain was then reinstated, re-plumbed and the granite pool cleaned and repaired.