Six standing, draped female statues with attributes (from east to west): Britannia (trident and shield); Prosperity (cornucopia); Justice (sword and scales); Peace (olive branch); Industry (hank of yarn); Glagow (key and shield with City Arms)
The building was erected by the Union Bank of Scotland as their headquarters, and incorporates part of the 18th century Virginia Mansion. The six statues date from 1841 when the building's original façade was redesigned by David Hamilton (1768-1843) as a classical portico with six Doric columns supporting a ballustraded entablature with pedestals for the statues. (The entablature also featured tiny lion masks along the cornice and paterae in the metopes. See KI/001). The statues were John Mossman's first important architectural commission and he was probably assisted by his father and his brother William. At this time the main entrance was in Virginia Street. In 1854-5 James Salmon (snr) was commissioned to add a single storey banking hall on the south elevation in Virginia Street with sumptuous interior plaster work and sculpture groups on the exterior (see CE/044/3-4). The main entrance was moved to Ingram Street at this time. In 1876 the bank planned a comprehensive rebuilding of the north façade and commissioned John Burnet to produce a grand Italianate design incorporating the statues together with additional sculpture groups (CE/044/2). The statues were taken down from Hamilton's portico and placed in storage while the rest of the façade was dismantled and re-used by the builders at Her Majesty's Theatre, Gorbals (see: KI/001)
Related works : See KI/001
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