*”For from the talk among the apparatus,—blood, flowers, fire, jewels—”
Line from Arthur Rimbaud‘s poem of 1886: “Mouvement”.
NB “…hermetic poems like “Mouvement” were conceived to provoke.” Brian G. Kennelly (2007)
From the Survey of London blog of 24 November 2017:
“The east–west streets at the northern end of the Howard de Walden Estate in Marylebone – Devonshire Street, Weymouth Street and New Cavendish Street – are notable for the prevalence of a particular building type: the so-called ‘bijou’ house fronting the main street at the corner of a mews, where established rights to light restricted building to two, or at most, three storeys. Sometimes detached, often double-fronted, these smaller houses made a major contribution to the streetscape where there had formerly been only the blank return walls of the big houses in the grander north–south streets like Harley and Wimpole Streets, or their lowly mews additions.
Though this was a predominantly turn-of-the-century phenomenon, there were antecedents. A little house facing Devonshire Street (now 117a Harley Street) had been partitioned out of a corner house on Harley Street (No. 117) by the mid 1840s. In 1855–6 a stuccoed, Regency-style two-storey house was added next door (now 21 Devonshire Street) on the site of a stable building at the corner with Devonshire Mews West, and was imitated twenty years later by a pair in like clothing on former mews plots on opposite sides of Weymouth Street (Nos 36 and 43, of 1870–4). But unlike the later examples, these do not appear to have been part of a conscious trend.
That trend began with Barrow Emanuel, partner in the successful London-Jewish architectural practice Davis & Emanuel. In 1886 he negotiated for a sublease of the old stable block at the rear of a corner house at 90 Harley Street, asking if the Estate would be happy for him to rebuild not with stables but with a small house facing Weymouth Street (now No. 32a). Its success encouraged Emanuel to do likewise in 1894–5 with the similar site opposite, at the rear of 88 Harley Street, where he built another new house (33 Weymouth Street); and he was disappointed in 1898 not to secure a further such plot on New Cavendish Street (No. 55), behind 67 Harley Street, but the fashion had by then caught on, and competition and prices were rising sharply. By that date Emanuel had built a comparable ‘bijou residence’ for his own use at 147 Harley Street (since demolished). No. 114a Harley Street, of 1903–4, erected facing Devonshire Street, seems to be the last of his creations of this type in the area…
Stylistically, the red-brick and stone Emanuel-era houses of the 1880s and 90s can be viewed as part of the Queen Anne and neo-Jacobean domestic revival that had proved popular in Kensington for large residences, but here on a more intimate scale. The occasional use of bay windows, porches or asymmetry added to the interest of their façades. Greater variety arrived in the early 1900s when neo-Georgian or freer Flemish styles were also adapted to such plots, and sometimes a more severe Baroque stone-fronted neo-classicism. Such houses were necessarily compact in plan but often offered a more convenient and modern arrangement than the older, bigger terraced house types, all the reception rooms being gathered together at ground-floor level, leaving the upper floor for main bedrooms and bathrooms. As a result they were suited to fewer servants and relatively cheap to run from the domestic point of view. For many turn-of-the-century residents who still preferred a degree of privacy or separation, this was a more attractive alternative to the expensive big houses than the increasingly popular blocks of flats.”
1904 Obituary: Institution of Civil Engineers:
“BARROW EMANUEL, M.A. (Dublin), died at his residence, 147 Harley Street, W., on the 14th February, 1904, aged 62.
Born at Portsmouth on the 4th February, 1842, he served a pupilage to Mr. H. Wood, Superintending Civil Engineer of Portsmouth Dockyard, and was subsequently articled to George Rennie and Sons, of Holland Street, Blackfriars.
After graduating in arts at Trinity College, Dublin, he acted for two years as Chief Draughtsman to Lewis and Stockwell, shipbuilders and dry-dock owners, of Blackwall.
In 1867 he became a member of the firm of Davis and Emanuel, in which he was senior partner at the date of his death.
During that period of thirty-seven years the firm carried out works at Southsea Pier and in connection with the Portsmouth Street Tramways, and were the architects of the City of London School, the London Hospital Convalescent Home at Felixstowe, the Yarrow Convalescent Home at Broadstairs, and Salisbury House, as well as of many other buildings in the City and in the West End.
For many years Mr. Emanuel was the architect to the East End Dwellings Company. He was on the committee of many benevolent institutions, a member of the Jewish Board of Guardians, of the Loriners’ Company, and of the Court of the Patten Makers’ Company, a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex, and a well-known member at the Reform and Savage Clubs.
Mr. Emanuel was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 5th December, 1871, and was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Members.”
From Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:
“Davis, Henry David (1839–1915), architect, was born on 1 June 1839 at 121 High Holborn, London, the son of Abraham Davis, and his wife, Emma Moses. Nothing is known about his education or early life, but he became an architect, and was married on 23 October 1879…”
From A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11, Stepney, Bethnal Green. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1998:
“The East End Dwellings Co. was founded in 1884 to house the very poor while realizing some profit. The Metropolitan Board of Works having cleared the north side of Green Street between Victoria Park Square and Globe Road under the Metropolitan Street Improvements Act of 1883, making 111 people homeless, the company was leased a central plot where in 1888 it opened the four-storeyed Museum House, for 166 people. Meadows Dwellings, two parallel four-storeyed blocks on the west side of Mansford Street, opened in 1894, featuring a new staircase access plan. The architects were Davis & Emmanuel, who were responsible for the company’s most ambitious scheme, Ravenscroft, completed in 1897 under a 99-year lease from Barnet Chancel charity for most of its 2-a. estate, where 194 tenements were constructed in a five-storeyed red-brick building in an Italianate style; a more ornamental roof-line with octagonal towers and cupolas relieved a continuous frontage to Ravenscroft Street, Columbia Road, and Hassard Street. In 1900 the five-storeyed Mendip Houses in a baroque style and four-storeyed Shepton Houses, ‘most uninspired’, opened on part of Pyotts east of Globe Road, between Gauber (or Gawber) Street and Kirkwall (once North) Place. The company then turned to the heart of the green, north of Sugar Loaf Walk, which finally took on the surrounding workingclass character after the Mercerons in 1900 leased the plot stretching from nos. 22 and 23 Victoria Park Square to Globe Road. The flamboyant red- and yellow-brick Merceron Houses and Montfort House, designed by Ernest Emmanuel with a Georgian porch and internal staircase, had been completed by 1901, as had Gretton Houses, five-storeyed parallel blocks with terracotta decoration, to the north. In 1905 the company opened the larger but similar Evesham House, fronting Old Ford Road, and in 1906 a terrace designed by Henry Davis on the site of weavers’ cottages in Globe Road opposite Merceron Houses.”
Historic England: Complex of Funerary Buildings at Willesden Jewish Cemetery (United Synagogue Cemetery):
“…The designer of the cemetery, and of its funerary buildings, was Nathan Solomon Joseph (1834-1909), the most prominent of the first generation of Anglo-Jewish synagogue architects, which included Davis and Emanuel, Hyman Henry Collins, and Edward Salomons…”
Fenster, L., 2018. Exilic Landscapes: Synagogues and Jewish Architectural Identity in 1870s Britain. ARENA Journal of Architectural Research, 3(1):
“As the largest Jewish Reform synagogue in Britain, with around 1,000 seats and costing £20,000 to construct, the third building erected by the West London Synagogue of British Jews was intended as a grand statement of the success of that version of Judaism in the country.
Henry David Davis and Barrow Emmanuel, appointed as the architects by way of a competition of invited firms, were both members of the Reform movement, the latter even belonging to the West London Synagogue. They would therefore have had a close relationship with those commissioning the building, and been well placed to achieve the architectural expression desired by the community….Davis and Emmanuel’s earlier work had been mainly commercial projects for offices, banks and warehouses, and the West London Synagogue largely established their reputation. They would go on to become possibly the most respected Jewish architects in late nineteenth century Britain, designing synagogues, schools and colleges as well as public buildings and working-class housing.”