Those of you have visited the University or the mansion recently may have noticed a strange rectangle of cut limestone standing in the lawn to the left of the mansion. This little platform was added for a new edition to Belmont’s grounds – a cast iron reproduction of Adelicia’s statue of a newfoundland dog (see the image to the right above). The original, which can be found in a garden to the left of the water tower, (see the image to the left above) was probably made by Janes, Kirtland & Co., New York somewhere between 1850 and 1860. Our Director, Mark Brown, has found an illustration of the statue in one of the companies catalogues.
According to an edition of The Boston Daily Advertiser published on October 27, 1863, a writer who had visited Belmont said that “Guarding a parterre is a great black and white Newfoundland, lying faithfully upon the pedestal whereon the artist placed him.” A parterre is a formal garden, which obviously Adelicia had several of, so we cannot be sure where the original statue stood.
Although there is no record of more than one newfoundland statue, it was typical for some statues to be sold in pairs, for example the two sets of lions which guard the front of the mansion. This dog joins 22 other statues that Adelicia would have originally had on the grounds, 10 of which are cast iron and 12 of which are marble. These statues include other animals, figures representing the four civilized continents, and other mythological figures.
This weekend is the perfect time to come out and see all of these statues. And if you have a smartphone, you can take a tour of the garden using our Self-Guided Gardens and Grounds Tour available here http://www.belmontmansion.com/#!music-page/c12fm.