An urban view — 02 March 2018

Every month CabbieBlog hopes to show you a little gem of a building that you might have passed without noticing, in the past, they have ranged from a modernist car park; a penguin pool; to a Hanoverian gatehouse.

This regular post attempts to discover those little architectural delights often overlooked, and for the Apple store, you can only describe it as hidden in plain sight.

I DOUBT if anyone entering Apple’s flagship store realises the beautiful mosaics above their heads as they head towards the latest in technical wizardry.

Much of John Nash’s original Regent Street has been lost as the leaseholders of the world’s first purpose-built shopping thoroughfare put their corporate stamp on their shops’ façades.

One of those leaseholders was glassmaking and mosaic company Salviati, founded by Antonio Salviati in Venice in 1859.

Arriving from the island of Murano just off Venice’s coast in 1898, the company adorned the outside of its newly built Regent Street premises with spandrel mosaics to advertise their London premises.

Overall, four coats-of-arms and two lions are represented [below].

Above them are some of the cities where Salviati’s wares could be found: Paris, New York, St. Petersburg and Berlin.

On the left is the heraldry for the cities of London and Westminster (that’s if they have heraldic symbols), along with the British Royal Lion.

On the right, the islands of Murano and Burano are represented, along with the Venetian winged lion of St. Mark.

Featured image: View of the Apple store on Regent Street, looking south-southwest © Robert Lamb (CC BY-SA 2.0).

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