Temple Chambers - Board of Executors Building
Frederick McIntosh GLENNIE: Architect 1929
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Offices designed by GM Alexander (Pryce-Lewis list item 2 967).
The first three floors of the original building by GM ALEXANDER in 1893 were retained by FM GLENNIE when he added the top three in 1929.
Description of the sculpture on the corner of Wale and Adderley Streets.
This group was erected in a niche on the corner of the building designed by the architect George Murray Alexander, at whose suggestion the sculptures were executed. The price paid was a modest 94 Pounds. The architect in a letter to the Board proposed that the Statue be "a distinguishing mark, emblem or motto for the Board (of Executors), representing the object of the Board through a shepherdess, holding in her right hand the Crook, while her left hand resting on the Anchor; while approaching her a cupid is submitting a book, or volume containing facts on which information or guidance is required; and another cupid or client(!) having in one hand the Scales of Justice and in the other hand a wreath".
This portentous and absurd subject matter is rendered in an appropriately clumsy manner. Not surprising, therefore, that the large draped female came to be known as "Widow Twanky" the immemorial pantomime dame, always a figure of fun, who nonetheless comes up trumps in the end. (A client or the Board itself?)
The artist, expected, one presumes, to content himself with the 94 Pounds and not to seek notoriety, remains unknown. The sculpture was, after all, the architect's idea, not his. RvN [Raymund van Niekerk]
(Crump et al. 1988:34)
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