King Charles Pediment (1)
Many of the places you might expect to have elaborate classical sculptures in the Old Royal Naval College tend to be rather forlorn – though when you do get a carved pediment, it’s usually a real humdinger.
Apart from the obvious, the other three buildings of the ORNC are plain but King Charles Building actually has several carved pediments. Thing is, I can find virtually nothing about them. Even the usually-highly-detailed John Bold doesn’t seem to mention the building of the King’s House very much at all, and I certainly haven’t found any explanation of these figures. Here’s the pediment on the east front of the building:
Okay. So the coat of arms doesn’t take much working out. It’s Charles II’s badge, including the garter, but with a couple of cornucopias instead of the Lion and the Unicorn.
I’m even cool with the guy on the right. I’m assuming, given the whole beardy-bloke-with-sea-monster deal, it’s Neptune – all very maritime.
But who’s the woman? And what the hell is she holding? A spike? Some kind of navigational instrument? An obelisk? Something Masonic?
Answers on a virtual postcard, please…
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