The New Year is here, and standard iconography demands images of babies. There’s a concentration of babies I’ve come across on my walks in one neighborhood, but they’re not really young any more, having been frozen in time as bronze statues for decades now.
Another old estate
Bordering the grounds of the mansion in last week’s post was another estate, which was carved up into a pretty posh residential neighborhood in the 1920s and 30s. The original estate dated back to the 1800s and one of its features was a series of ponds that were dug both for ornamental reasons and to supply ice for the estate. When the neighborhood was laid out, fortunately the designers detoured the streets around the ponds and they’re a popular spot for walks and picnics. They host a ton of ducks and fish, ranging from natives like bass and bluegills to ornamental Koi and goldfish.
But there are also a number of statues that have been placed nearby over the years.
It’s hard to tell from this angle but the thing this baby is holding is styled like a dolphin from classical Roman sculpture. It was a popular subject for Rennaissance sculptors, although the most famous combinations like this were winged Putti or Cupids. It was common for them to be used in fountains, and I wonder if this wasn’t disconnected at some point and placed on this pedestal.
A Baby Sprite
It’s easier to tell from the shadow that this statue is actually leaning forward quite a bit, as if it is peering forward into the nearby fish pond. She looks more pensive from this angle, but viewed from other angles she looks ready to burst out in laughter.
Nearby are also a pair of fawns in bronze and their mother.
Real deer will occasionally wander through this neighborhood, although it’s little too developed to provide enough shelter for them to stay long term.
And a Grownup
This wolf statue is actually a copy placed here ten years ago to replace the original which was stolen back in the 1940s.
Another time I walked by I noticed somebody had placed a baby animal (another wolf?) right next to it. Was it simply dropped there by a kid, found elsewhere and placed there by a kind person hoping to reunite it with its owner, or some kind of pagan offering?