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ID number:  BIRRC-A0317
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Bloye, William James (1890-1975)
Title / Object name:  Mermaid Fountain
Object type:  Sculpture
Culture:  British
Date made:  1960
Materials:  Bronze and stone

This exuberant and impressive fountain is a sculptural version of the mermaid from the University coat of arms, created originally for the precursor of the University of Birmingham, Sir Josiah Mason’s Science College.

The joyful figure offers a warm, welcoming reception to all. Her face is smiling, her arms outstretched and her body curves up to the sky. Perhaps she is simply amused at what is going on around her, being situated directly outside the student bars!

The mermaid is riding bronze stylised waves on top of a layered bowl, shaped like a scallop shell with bronze lily flowers. Birmingham sculptor William Bloye designed both this fountain and the mermaid relief on the exterior of the Guild of Students.

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