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COX, Arthur (BRITISH)
[LIVERPOOL: Original Signed & Dated Watercolour with Verso Presentation:] Presented to A.W. Drake in memory of his son Frank S. Drake "the Steble Fountain" and view of Public Offices Dale St., Liverpool, 8th Nov./ 90 Arthur Cox.
1890. Watercolour ca. 44.5x34 cm (17 ½ x 13 ½ in). Watercolour under glass in a period elaborate molded gilt wood frame. A very good watercolour. The original frame with signs of wear but still in very good condition. Watercolour not examined out of the frame. This attractive watercolour by Liverpool artist Arthur Cox shows a smog filled industrial Victorian Liverpool at the end of the 19th Century. "Towards the end of the 19th century, this was the only undeveloped portion of land between St George's Hall and the buildings in William Brown Street. In 1877 Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Fell Steble offered £1000 (£80,000 as of 2014) to the Improvement Committee of Liverpool City Council towards the erection of a fountain on the site. Steble had been Mayor of Liverpool from 1845 to 1847. The fountain was designed by Michel Joseph Napoléon Liénard and was unveiled in 1879. The casting from which the fountain was derived had originally been designed for the Paris Exposition of 1867. At the opening ceremony in 1879 the mayor turned the fountain on with a silver key presented by Steble, but the water pressure was low and the effect was "dismal". The water was pumped by a steam pump in the basement of St George's Hall, and the noise from this tended to disrupt the proceedings in the courts above. The steam pump was later replaced by an electric pump. The fountain was restored in 1992 when the Tall Ships' Race came to Liverpool" (Wikipedia).