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Gold Refiners - Aldersgate Street, Barbican, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 31.284 W 000° 06.391
30U E 700731 N 5711778
Quick Description: This piece of relief art was saved when buildings were demolished in the 1960s. It was re-erected in its present location in 1975 by the Corporation of London.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 9/14/2012 8:55:53 AM
Waymark Code: WMF9BR
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Pensive Travellers
Views: 0

Long Description:

The sculpture is mounted atop a section of brick wall that was erected especially to hold the stonework. A plaque, attached to the brickwork, tells us:

This frieze was removed from numbers 53 and 54
Barbican when it was demolished in 1962 and re
erected by the Corporation of London in 1975.
Numbers 53 and 54 Barbican were the premises
of W Bryer & Sons Gold Refiners and Assayers
whose trade is depicted in the frieze. The building
was one of the few which survived when the area
was largely destroyed by incendiary bombs in
December 1940.

The Barbican Living website [visit link] tells us:

"W Bryer & Sons were a firm of gold refiners. The business is said to have been established in 1815, probably by a Thomas Sirrell, and was located at 54 Barbican. In the early 1870s Sirrell’s firm, by then at 53-4 Barbican, was taken over by John Bryer, a former watchmaker.

Bryer was listed as a gold and silver refiner and smelter. He had a chronometer-making business in the adjoining house. After John Bryer’s death in 1894 at the age of 87, his business was carried on by William, Thomas and Henry Bryer.

The firm was at this time listed as being “gold and silver refiners, wholesale and retail jewellers and watchmakers - diamonds, jewellery and plate bought or valued; bookbinders’, dentists’, jewellers’ and photographers’ waste refined and purchased”. Their premises were rebuilt in 1900.

A frieze showing the process of gold refining which was saved from the original building is to be found in White Lyon Court facing the Barbican YMCA.

There's still a W Bryer & Sons at 25A Hatton Garden London EC1, who are now wholesale jewellers and silversmiths."

Your impression of the sculpture?:

Date Sculpture was opened for vewing?: 1/1/1975

Website for sculpture?: [Web Link]

Where is this sculpture?:
Aldersgate Street
London, United Kingdom

Sculptors Name: Unknown

Visit Instructions:
1. Provide a tasteful picture of the sculpture, with another point of view from the original(no pictures of GPSr or yourself).

2. Provide your thoughts on the sculpture and your impression of it.

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