Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Macfarlane's Works
in India


Manufacturer: Walter Macfarlane & Co (fl. 1849-1965)
Location: Nagercoil, near Kanyakumari, southern India
Date erected: Late 1800's

Eagle gatepost finials.
Nagercoil, near Kanyakumari, southern India.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries Walter Macfarlane's Saracen Foundry exported countless numbers of ornamental castings to innumerable towns and cities throughout the British Empire and beyond. The Indian sub continent was a particularly important market for the foundry's output of fountains, gates, bandstands and architectural features, many of which still survive at their original locations or as fragments in private collections.

Macfarlane's Works in India Macfarlane's Works in India Macfarlane's Works in India

Sunil Richardson, a surgeon practicing in southern India, is the proud owner of a pair of eagles cast by the foundry for a gate in Nagercoil, near Kanyakumari, in the late 1800s.

Sunil relates that he was recently prompted to purchase the eagles after noticing the foundry's trademark on their bases. Researching them further, he contacted the team at after comparing them with the identical eagle in our images of the Bailie James Martin Memorial Fountain on Glasgow Green. He told us that the eagles had been ordered from Glasgow by a wealthy family who later moved from Nagercoil to Sri Lanka, leaving the gates and their eagle finials behind.

The eagles stand two feet tall and have a wingspan of two feet also, and are mounted on octagonal bases which once capped the gateposts.

The team at is grateful to Sunil for sharing news of his discovery with us and for his permission to reproduce his images on our website.

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