web analytics

Lookit this fine lady


Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.

There were three Banbury crosses, all destroyed by the Puritans. So I’ve read. Banburians put up another one in Victorian times, in honour of Princess Victoria (the old lady’s first child).

But this Fine Lady, believe it or not, is a modern commission. 2008. And she’s a very fine bit of civic sculpture, at that. It’s bronze, but I don’t know by what process makes it look whitish instead of the usual brown/green.

Yes, she has rings on her fingers and bells on her toes. If you go poking around Google, you can find closeups of several details. It’s full of pagan-y, hippie symbolism:

Spring Flowers: The Fine Lady wears a crown of thirteen (the ancient months of the year) spring flowers, alternating daffodils and wild roses. Hidden among the flowers you can spot two butterflies and a moth.

The bells on her feet are interpreted as both musical bells and by seven bluebells, (representing the days of the week) on her toes and she drops petals from her raised left hand.

The raised left arm not only balances the raised right leg of the horse, it represents the creative side of the brain while the right arm holds the reins showing motor control.

The frog represents metamorphosis, the cycle of nature and community.

The other symbol to look for is the Sun, which has been a symbol of Banbury since the sixteenth century.

But the whole thing is so beautifully modeled, I do not care. I bitch lots about ugly public sculpture; it’s nice to see something so well done.


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 4, 2017, 10:07 pm

She’s beautiful

Comment from Armybrat
Time: January 4, 2017, 10:55 pm

It is nice to see public art that is truly artistic. I have a large pyramid floating in the harbor by my place. Now, I ask you, what the hell is the connection between a pyramid and Boston harbor? Damned if I could figure it out either. And that is typical of most public art these days.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: January 4, 2017, 11:35 pm

She appears to be a bit….chilly. NTTAWWT.

Comment from Pupster
Time: January 5, 2017, 1:09 am

A “cock horse” can mean a high-spirited horse, and the additional horse to assist pulling a cart or carriage up a hill. It can also mean an entire or uncastrated horse. From the mid-sixteenth century it also meant a pretend hobby horse or an adult’s knee.[2]

So many questions.

Thanks for sharing, Stoaty. I love this statue, it is amazeballs.

Comment from lizardbrain – now with extra class
Time: January 5, 2017, 12:55 pm

Okay, now it’s gonna take me awhile to get this earworm out of my head:


Comment from Fletcher
Time: January 5, 2017, 4:55 pm

The video embedded in the link shows the inspiration, fundraising, and creation of the lady and her steed, as well as their installation and its celebration:

Princess Anne was invited to unveil the statue. Very fitting – one equestrienne to another.

Comment from Timbo
Time: January 5, 2017, 7:03 pm

Banbury. Brings back happy memories of a week long folk festival in the 1970s (1973?). Our happy band of Morris Dancers had a great time, I think. Alcohol consumed on the premises and time have softened the edges of the memories.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: January 5, 2017, 9:25 pm

Timbo, did you guys perform the Morris Dance as done in Lancre, or one of the pale imitations?

Comment from Fritzworth
Time: January 6, 2017, 1:13 am

My kids (especially my daughters) were raised bouncing on my knee while I recited this poem to them. I’ve done the same with several grandchildren as well. Tickled to see this statue.

Comment from Timbo
Time: January 6, 2017, 9:42 am

Naah, we did a lot of the pansy stuff with hankies, but if you happened to get your thumb in the path of a wayward stick the swearing could be impressive.

Nowadays I’m just a Witchmen groupie. It would be interesting to see the SJW reaction to them as they tick a lot of boxes: blackface; all male…

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: January 6, 2017, 2:52 pm

And both the nine-foot and the 100-foot statues should have Kipling’s “The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon” inscribed in the base.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 6, 2017, 6:30 pm

Streptocock-Gee to Banbury-T,
to see a fine bathroom and W.C.

Comment from iamfelix
Time: January 7, 2017, 5:46 pm

That is really lovely.

Comment from Timbo
Time: January 8, 2017, 6:15 pm

I don’t know if I put a hex on it, but just read in the Telegraph that a Morris dance team using traditional blackface was heckled in Birmingham Bullring.

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny