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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.

January 4, 2017 — 9:55 pm
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