The Spirit of #Liverpool. The sculptor who carved the Spirit of Liverpool in the 1870s, John Warrington Wood, created an allegorical statue in which there are many symbols representing the city of Liverpool in the late 19th century.
Liverpool is portrayed as a gigantic royal woman wearing a crown and a laurel wreath on her head. She is sitting on a bale of cotton that portrays Liverpool’s trade and industry. A Liver bird, a fictional bird that is a symbol of Liverpool, is sitting by her left arm and in her left hand she is holding a steamship propeller. In her right hand she is holding a trident. Both the trident and the propeller are symbols of domination over the sea. At her feet is a painter’s palette, a compass and a setsquare.
This combination of objects was meant to symbolise that the arts find their support from trade and industry. This is not an unusual idea to be put forward in the late 19th century, especially by wealthy businessmen who supported grand building and artistic projects in Liverpool at this time.