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A Celebration of Music in Stained Glass

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posted by alias raaen99 on Monday 16th of November 2020 02:08:17 AM

If you look closely at stained glass, you can see all sorts of themes: religion, flowers, art and music. When considering the theme of music, in ecclesiastical stained glass, Saint Cecilia, the Roman martyr venerated in Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches became the patron of music and musicians, it being written that, as the musicians played at her wedding, Cecilia "sang in her heart to the Lord". She is portrayed playing the flute, the violin, the harp, the harpsichord and most commonly the organ or simply singing. Saint David is portrayed playing the kinnor (also known as a lyre). According to the Book of Samuel, an “evil spirit from the Lord” plagued King Saul, making him agitated and fearful of persecution. Because music was thought to have a therapeutic effect, the king summoned the hero and warrior David, who was renowned for his skill with the lyre. In Victorian times, the muse of music became a common classical figure portrayed, sometimes male, but more often female since it was considered a feminine pastime. During the Arts and Crafts Movement, grand houses and mansions were often built with a “welcome window”. Such windows were often sited on the staircase to greet guests in anticipation of a hospitable visit to the home. They usually featured at least one or two heralds trumpeting welcome in the scene. This year the FFF+ Group have decided to have a weekly challenge called “Snap Happy”. A different theme chosen by a member of the group each week, and the image is to be posted on the Monday of the week. This week the theme, “music” was chosen by Di, PhotosbyDi. I thought a collage of some of the examples of musically themed windows I have photographed in Churches and private houses over the years might be suitable. Far right and far left: Detail of the “Cliveden” welcome window designed by John William Brown in 1887, manufactured by James Powel and Sons, Whitefriars Glass Works. Middle top left: Detail of the Saint Cecelia window of St John’s Church of England, Heidelberg, manufactured by Brooks Robinson and Company. Middle top centre: Detail of the Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School (formerly “Earlsbrae Hall”), Moonee Ponds, muse of music window, painter and manufacturer unknown. Middle top right: Detail of the Saint Cecelia window of Our Lady of Victories Basilica, Camberwell, manufactured by John Hardman Glass Studios in Birmingham in 1924. Middle bottom left: Detail of the Saint David window of Saint Stephen’s Church of England, Richmond, manufactured by Brooks Robinson and Company. Middle bottom centre: Detail of the Saint Cecelia window of Saint Stephen’s Church of England, Richmond, manufactured by William Montgomery. Middle bottom right: Detail of the Saint David window of Our Lady of Victories Basilica Camberwell, manufactured by John Hardman Glass Studios in Birmingham in 1924. Dubbed “Cliveden”, after the famous country estate of the Astor family in Buckinghamshire, the palatial Italian Renaissance style house designed by William Wardell built for director of the Colonial Bank Sir William Clarke, became Melbourne\'s largest residence. Built on the corner of Clarendon Street and Wellington Parade in East Melbourne, no expense was spared in either the construction or the embellishment of the building; oak panelling was shipped from England, stained glass from Italy and a team of craftsman arrived from Florence to work on the fittings. There were twenty-eight bedrooms, five bathrooms, seventeen individual servants quarters and three oversize marble fireplaces in the dining room alone. The entire dwelling cost the then staggering sum of £182,000.00. pounds. It afforded beautiful views across the Fitzroy Gardens and across the Yarra River to Government House. The Clarke family moved into “Cliveden” in 1888 and the house soon became the centre of Melbourne\'s elite social scene. It was bequeathed to Sir William’s wife Janet upon his death in 1897 and when she died in 1909, “Cliveden” was sold to the Baillieu family for only £44,000.00. They converted them into forty-eight luxury apartments (a novelty at the time in Australia) known as “Cliveden Mansions”. By the 1960s, the apartments were no longer luxurious. The property was sold in 1968 and demolished in 1970. The Hilton Hotel (now the Pullman Hotel) was erected on the block. John William Brown (1842–1928) was an English painter and stained glass designer. He was employed by Morris & Co. and later by James Powell and Sons, before he became a freelance designer, when he continued to undertake commissions for Powell\'s. His major works include the Lady Chapel windows and the east window of Liverpool Cathedral. The firm of James Powell and Sons, also known as Whitefriars Glass, were English glassmakers, leadlighters and stained glass window manufacturers. As Whitefriars Glass, the company existed from the Seventeenth Century, but became well known as a result of the Nineteenth Century Gothic Revival and the demand for stained glass windows. They ceased production in 1980. Built to the specifications of architect George Reilly Cox, Saint John\'s Church of England in Burgundy Street Heidelberg, is a fine example of simple Early English Gothic architecture. The building was completed by April 1851. Comprising of a gabled nave, without aisles, a narthex below the west tower and a sanctuary and vestry at the east end, Saint John\'s Church of England is simple, unpretentious and elegant in its design. The nave and chancel are constructed of handmade bricks laid on a bluestone rubble plinth. The church features lancet windows in Early English Gothic style. It has a square tower surmounted by four pinnacles and crenulations. The roof is slated and contains small gable vents, and the roof drains to galvanised steel quad section eaves gutters. The gable parapets are fitted with galvanised sheet steel cappings. The formal opening of Saint John\'s Church of England took place on the 26th of October 1861. The church was dedicated by Bishop Perry the first Bishop of Melbourne on the 30th of September 1861 and named the Church of Saint John the Evangelist. The roof was completely replaced around 1856 with slate after the original shingles had deteriorated. The interior was plastered and the exterior brickwork was covered with cement. Another renovation took place in 1965 at the cost of $56,000.00. The vestry, choir room, chapel and new entrance porch were added at the original back of the church. Interestingly, the congregation today no longer use the 1965 entrance and have reverted to the original entrance. The choir room now serves as a Sunday school for the children of the congregation, whilst the newer chapel is not generally used at all. Brooks, Robinson and Company first opened their doors on Elizabeth Street in Melbourne in 1854 as importers of window and table glass and also specialised in interior decorating supplies. Once established the company moved into glazing and were commonly contracted to do shopfronts around inner Melbourne. In the 1880s they commenced producing stained glass on a small scale. Their first big opportunity occurred in the 1890s when they were engaged to install Melbourne\'s St Paul\'s Cathedral\'s stained-glass windows. Their notoriety grew and as a result their stained glass studio flourished, particularly after the closure of their main competitor, Ferguson and Urie. They dominated the stained glass market in Melbourne in the early 20th Century, and many Australian glass artists of worked in their studio. Their work may be found in the Princess Theatre on Melbourne\'s Spring Street, in St John\'s Church in Toorak, and throughout churches in Melbourne. Brooks, Robinson and Company was taken over by Email Pty Ltd in 1963, and as a result they closed their stained glass studio. Built on Leslie Road in Moonee Ponds, Lowther Hall Ladies’ College originally began its life in 1890 as “Earlsbrae Hall”, a monumental classical edifice with Corinthian columns, balconies and pediments. The original owner was Melbourne brewer Collier McCracken. In 1911, ownership passed to interesting Melbourne character, E.W. Cole, a utopian businessman and visionary, the owner of Cole’s Book Arcade and publisher of the bestselling Cole’s Funny Picture Book. He moved into “Earlsbrae Hall” with his collection of monkeys, added a vast aviary and a long floral rainbow planted in the front garden. He lived here until his death at the ripe old age of 86 in 1918. “Earlsbrae Hall” became Lowther Hall Ladies’ College in 1920 after the amalgamation of several smaller exclusive girls schools, and it remains in their hands to this day, with a well maintained exterior and still retaining some of its original grand features inside. Hardman and Co., otherwise known as the John Hardman Trading Co., Ltd., was founded 1838. It began manufacturing stained glass in 1844 and became one of the world\'s leading manufacturers of stained glass and ecclesiastical fittings. Major commissions include London’s Houses of Parliament, Saint Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney, Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat. The business finally closed in 2008. On 6 October 1918, Our Lady of Victories on Camberwell’s Burke Road was opened by the then Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Rev. Daniel Mannix DD, with 80,000 people in attendance. Special trains and trams had to be provided to enable people to attend the opening. Just prior to this event, Father Robinson altered the parish name to Our Lady of Victories. The church is built of Barrabool stone, from Waurn Ponds, Geelong. The most prominent external feature is the cupola – the rounded copper dome adorning the church roof. It is a notable Camberwell landmark that has been a significant part of Camberwell’s landscape for over a century. The statue of Mary on the cupola is over three metres tall and stands fifty metres from the ground. It was carved in wood by Signor Vincenzo Cadorin, of Venice, and is clad in copper gilt. It was placed in position in 1916, two years before the Church was officially opened. Installation of the suite of stained glass windows was completed over several years, finishing in 1924. There are forty-three windows made by the factory of John Hardman, in Birmingham, whose work is also to be seen in the British Houses of Parliament and in many churches in the Britain, the United States and Australia. William Montgomery (1850 - 1927) was an artist who specialised in stained glass painting and design. He was born in England in 1850, and studied at the School of Art in Newcastle-on-Tyne. In his final year William was awarded one of only three National Art Scholarships that year to study at South Kensington School of Art (now the Royal College of Art). He was employed by the leading London stained glass firm, Clayton and Bell, before joining Franz Mayer and Company in Munich, Germany. Over the next seven years he not only designed windows he also trained others in the English style of glass painting. William arrived in Melbourne, Australia, in 1886 during the Boom Period provided by the Gold Rush. Melbourne was at the time one of the wealthiest cities in the world, and was in the throes of a building boom. He quickly set up his studio at 164 Flinders Street in the heart of Melbourne, bringing with him the latest in European style and design and achieving instant success amongst wealthy patrons. He worked equally for Catholic and Protestant denominations, his windows being found in many churches as well as in mansions, houses and other commercial buildings around the city. This extended to the country beyond as his reputation grew. A painter as well as stained glass window designer William was a founding member of the Victorian Art Society in Albert Street, Eastern Hill. William became President of its Council in 1912, a position he held until 1916. He was a trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria. His commissions included; stained glass windows at Christ Church, Hawthorn: St. John\'s, Heidelberg, St. Ignatius\', Richmond: Christ Church, St Kilda: Geelong Grammar School: the Bathurst Cathedral and private houses "Tay Creggan", Hawthorn (now Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar), and "Earlsbrae Hall", Essendon (now Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School). The success of William Montgomery made Melbourne the leading centre of stained glass in the Southern Hemisphere. William Montgomery died in 1927. Saint Stephen’s Parish, which dates from 1849, was the first to be established in the eastern suburban area of Melbourne. An acre of land was offered in this year by the Reverend Joseph Docker, a local landowner, after whom Docker’s Hill was named, and by the end of the year Arthur Newson and James Blackburn had been engaged to design a church building. The foundation stone was laid in June 1850 and the unfinished church on Richmond’s Church Street opened in November 1851. Further work, mainly on the interior, was carried out in 1854 under the supervision of architect Charles Webb. In 1863 the north aisle was erected to the design of Nathaniel Billing, and the west wall of the church rebuilt. In 1876 the south aisle and chancel were erected under the supervision of architect D. Goldie while in 1923 the choir vestry was erected by Clements Langford, thus completing the fabric of the building as it stands today.

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