Motifs from the Coats of Arms of The British Isles (1933)

Rene Paul Chambellan (American. 1893 - 1955)

Motifs from the Coats of Arms of The British Isles

For this series of carvings, Chambellan borrowed motifs from the coats of arms of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland—the four countries that make up the British Isles. The carvings help publicize the government of Great Britain, the building’s primary tenant at the time. They symbolize what is royally, historically or mythologically significant in each country: Wales is a mighty dragon; England is a lion and large Tudor rose; Scotland is a unicorn and outsized thistle; Ireland is an elegant stag with harp and shamrock.

Fifth Avenue façade sixth-floor spandrels of 620 Fifth Avenue

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