The Maharani, Orford Street, Gymnasium Street
46 Norwich Road
Ipswich Historic lettering: Maharani 1   Ipswich Historic lettering: Maharani 62014 images
Below: a photograph from a similar angle to that at upper right, this taken in the early 20th century at New Year. Clearly it was cold enough to keep the dead flesh from rotting. Perhaps this was a publicity stunt for the photographer as the long trestle table blocks the pavement and projects into the road. One wonders who had the job of, presumably, climbing a ladder to hang the rows of pheasants. The sign on the east wall reads:
Ipswich Historic lettering: Maharani period1   Ipswich Historic lettering: Maharani period 2
The characters are beautifully painted, the last two words in a decorative font, all with a subtle drop-shadow and all fitting cleverly into an awkwardly-shaped area of brick wall. Looking at the 2014 photograph, it's quite likely that the sign is still there beneath the masonry paint.
Ipswich Historic lettering: Maharani 2
The bressummer near the top of the gable has a carved date in its centre:
with what appears to be a carved merchant's mark in the centre. This late Victorian building doesn't seem right for a medieval merchant's mark; perhaps the 'Arts & Crafts' architectural style invited this archaic touch? It is interesting that Bettley/Pevsner (see Reading list) read this date as '1897'; who are we to argue? The building is further described: "[it] has a first-floor canted oriel and a jettied gable with carved bressumer and barge-boards ... as well as a good tiled shopfront. The tiles must be by Carter & Co. of Poole, who sign a large tiled mural of a hunting scene inside what was originally a fishmonger and game merchant's shop (two more murals have been lost)."

The premises to the left boast a fine decorative plaster panel above the dormer window:
Ipswich Historic lettering: Maharani 3   Ipswich Historic lettering: Maharani 4
The whole is protected from evil spirits, perhaps unusually, by a terra cotta flying fish on the apex of the gable:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maharani 5
Directly opposite this restaurant is Serjeants Paints & Wallpapers shop sign.

Orford Street, 30 Norwich Road
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Orford Street 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Orford Street sign2015 images
Above: the building on the corner of Norwich Road and Orford Street was for many years the Hare & Hounds public house, but was converted in 2011, with the help of Coe's store opposite, into a bridal shop. The nicely refurbished facades bear a water valve oval badge (see Street furniture) and cast iron street nameplate: 'ORFORD ST.' The masonry paint has been carefully applied with the street sign in place, but its black frame has also been painted. Six bolts attach the plate to the stucco. The side wall of the Maharani is visible at far left.

Gymnasium Street
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Gymnasium sign
At the rear of the Coe's store is a narrow thoroughfare leading, eventually, north to Newson Street. See our Street name derivations page to indicate the street name links to the nearby Barrack Corner.

Related pages:
Named buildings list; Named (and sometimes dated) buildings examples
Dated buildings list; Dated buildings examples
Origins of street names in Ipswich; Streets named after slavery abolitionists
Street nameplates
Street index

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