Conservatory Fountain c1900
cast iron, granite
Dimensions (H x W x D)
250 cm (height approx.)
City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection
Location: Conservatory, Fitzroy Gardens
(Aka Boy with Serpent or Ornamental Fountain)
This Victorian two-tiered drinking fountain features a snake coiled around a boy with webbed feet and is in a typical 19th-century Italianate style. The lower tier was replaced with a smaller base when the fountain was restored in 1996. Originally, passers-by would have drunk from the water held in its lower tier. Due to shifts in hygiene standards and technology a bubbler was installed.
Previously sited on the corner of Russell and Victoria Streets, it was relocated to Fitzroy Gardens and turned into a drinking fountain after a car damaged it in 1980. In 1996, it was placed in a large pond (minus its bubbler) and relaunched as the Conservatory Fountain. Made in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, England.