Introducing our first ovoid: Burton.
Inspired by the oval spectacles of 19th century, Burton’s refined shape is complemented by the subtle filigree detailing along its diminutive rim.
The sweeping curves of the ‘W’ bridge are also borrowed from the 19th century, although it remained popular until well into the 20th - probably something to do with its canny ability to make longer noses look shorter.
Burton’s name comes from Burton Street, a charming avenue of Regency housing to the south of the Euston Road.
Developed by a man named James Burton (but, of course) the houses have been standing since the start of the 19th century, when they were described as ‘of the best second grade’. Burton’s aim was to attract families from the prosperous middle classes, and that he did.
One such family was the Grays. Their son, John Edward Gray, who in 1840 followed in his great uncle’s footsteps and became the Keeper of the Zoological Department of the British Museum. Here, he described and named many newly discovered species, transforming the zoological collection into one of the most important in the world. This collection now sits in the Natural History Museum, still drawing crowds from across the globe, and for good reason.
In his spare time John Gray worked on improved treatment for the insane, freeing religion from ‘the dogma of the day’, and the emancipation of slaves. So, quite a guy.
Burton Street has also, at one time or another, been home to Henry Holmes, painter and member of the Royal Academy of Arts, James Pierrepont Greaves, the self-described ‘sacred socialist’, and Sydney Smith, founder of the Edinburgh Review and celebrated wit who’s reputation seems to have preceded him.
‘I wish you would tell Mr Sydney Smith that of all the men I ever heard of and never saw, I have the greatest curiosity to see and the greatest interest to know him’ - Charles Dickens
Images by Tian Khee Siong.