67-69, New Bond Street

I have become negligent in writing about buildings between Stepney and Burlington House because the number of those that I haven’t already written about inexorably shrinks.   But yesterday I was walking up Bond Street and saw a building that was shown in a presentation last week and which I didn’t recognise.   It’s towards the north end of New Bond Street (I was also encouraged to differentiate between New and Old), known as Medici Court.   I assume from its name that it must be the building which was originally occupied by Joe Duveen, no less, and commissioned by him from the architect W.H. Romaine-Walker, who himself belonged to a family of art dealers.   It’s in the style that I realise lots of people hate, but adds pomp and ceremony to Bond Street:-





3 thoughts on “67-69, New Bond Street

  1. One can’t quibble with the sheer quality of the craftsmanship and the bronze cast detail, even if the style is not to one’s taste. Thank goodness City and Guilds stone carving course is still turning out great stone and letter carvers.

  2. Edward Chaney says:

    …without being able to check in detail (but having once – as an English Heritage historian – gone into related detail in order to prevent Nick Serota from rebranding the Tate’s Duveen’s sculpture galleries), I suspect it was not ‘Joe’ (Lord) Duveen, but his identically-named father, Sir Joseph Joel, who commissioned Romaine-Walker to design the Bond Street property. ‘Joe’ (Lord) Duveen junior had better taste and pace the garbled summary in the on-line TateArchives site:
    (http://www2.tate.org.uk/archivejourneys/historyhtml/bld_brit_extensions.htm), he commissioned the great John Russell Pope to design the Tate’s 1930s gallery, which Serota proposed should have ‘Sackler Octagon’ carved into its central frieze; see my c.1993 EH London Region report. Since in those days local authorities (Westminster in this case) had jurisdiction over grade II listed London buildings and the Tate was still only grade II, this nearly happened (though we couldn’t prevent the ahistorical renaming being pushed through). Duveen also commissioned Russell Pope to design the British Museum’s Parthenon gallery… Pope died of cancer in 1937 and Duveen likewise two years later, both latterly over-maligned (Duveen was even dropped as National Gallery trustee; cf. James Stourton’s v fine forthcoming biography of Kenneth Clark). Interesting that artist and architect Romaine-Walker was not considered worthy of an ODNB entry…

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