Below a keystone depicting a distracted-looking Hippocrates, the entrance to the College of Surgeons at 123 St Stephen’s Green has a clock in its fanlight.
The original building was completed in 1805 (by Edward Parke), with further work by William Murray (in 1825-7) doubling the width of the facade looking onto the square. It looks like Hippocrates was added by Murray – it’s not on this drawing (middle thumbnail!) of Parke’s elevation – along with the watchful statues of Athena, Asclepius and Hygieia. The clock is presumably a later addition, and in the 1880s, J. Booth & Son was based at Stephen’s Green. Booth was a watch- and clock-maker, winning awards at the International Exhibition and popular with the fashionable and wealthy.
I’m drawn to the clock mostly by the colour, the thick band of sky blue set off by the black numerals and the golden hands, and bringing out a warmth in the stone and timber. The simplicity of the letters spelling out the makers’ name, too, always brings up some longing for branding that hints at a network of craft and industry rather than a marker of status, although that’s probably completely wrongheaded nostalgia. The clock’s placement in a fanlight seems like it should be strange, but it fits.