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Conservatory Fountain (aka Boy With Serpent, and Ornamental Fountain)

Artist unknown
Cast-iron and granite drinking fountain
c. 1900
Conservatory, Fitzroy Gardens

This Victorian, two-tiered, ornamental drinking fountain features a snake coiled around a boy with webbed feet - a typical 19th-century Italianate style. The lower tier was replaced with a smaller base when the fountain was restored in 1996. Originally, passers-by would have drunken from the water held in its lower tier. With shifts in hygiene standards and technology, a bubbler was installed.

Previously sited on the corner of Russell and Victoria Streets, it was relocated to Fitzroy Gardens after a car damaged it in 1980. In 1996, it was placed in a large pond (minus its bubbler) and relaunched as the Conservatory Fountain.

City Of Melbourne