No 5 Hamilton Place, just off Park Lane London built in 1805  was designed  by  the  architect  Thomas Leverton  and  is  a  fine example of a Georgian town house built in that period. 

The house underwent a major refurbishment in 1878 carried out by the then owner Leopold de Rothschild during which the Library and Staircase were finished out with wonderful  wood carvings. 

In the Library sited above the fireplace there are two wood panels with intricate carvings both of which have a particular engineering flavour. 

The left hand panel shows a Grecian goddess holding aloft what appears to be a pair of batteries in her left  hand with a connecting wire  trailing around the two cherubs on either side of the

goddess to another  pair of batteries in her right hand. Both cherubs appear to have some form of ear piece in their right ears.

Was this carving inspired by the invention of the telephone in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell?

The right hand panel shows another Grecian goddess holding a small boiler shaped appliance with steam/smoke appearing to issue forth from a small chimney?   The left  cherub is holding an anchor and chain, and the right cherub a toothed paddle wheel.

Was this carving inspired by I K Brunel’s ship the “Great Eastern” launched in 1856 and then later converted to lay cables. It laid the first transatlantic telephone cable circa. 1868. 

   FEBRUARY  2002