British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980 - G
An online resource, launched in 2011, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated March 2022. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected]
Giovanni Galizia (c.1896-1958) came to England from Sicily in 1912 (Penny 1992 p.36). He became foreman for Parlanti (qv) (Penny 1992 p.36). When naturalised as British in 1926, as John or Giovanni Galizia, he described himself as head foreman at an art bronze foundry, perhaps that of his Italian contemporary, Giovanni Fiorini (qv) (London Gazette 11 May 1926). At the time he was living at 132 Reform St, Battersea. Galizia entered into a brief partnership with Fiorini (Penny 1992 p.36) but the business closed in 1929. He then set up on his own at 36 York Road in Battersea, in or before October 1930, the earliest date in his order book (Penny 1992 p.36). He specialised in the lost wax process, producing small scale casts and some larger works.
From 1929 until 1941, Galizia provided instruction in bronze casting and the lost wax process at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, helping Mary Spencer Watson cast her bronze head, Thought, in 1933/4, and assisting Kenneth Armitage in 1938/9 (see Benedict Read and Peyton Skipwith, Sculpture in Britain between the Wars, exh. cat., Fine Art Society, 1986, no.103, and Kenneth Armitage and Tamsyn Woollcombe, Kenneth Armitage: Life and Work, 1997, p.15). Alfred Turner exhibited a head portrait of John Galizia at the Royal Academy in 1929.
Galizia’s letter heading in 1943 described his business as 'Fine Art Founders in all Metals/ Teacher of the “Cire Perdue” process/ Central School of Arts & Crafts, London, W.C./ Artistic, Architectural & Ecclesiastical Works’ (Tate Archive, TGA 8812/1/1/22).
In 1947, Picture Post carried a series of 13 very good photographs by Raymond Kleboe and Charles Hewitt illustrating Galizia’s work in casting bronzes and in particular Atri Brown’s The Lady of Peace (John Ormond Thomas, ‘A Bronze for the Academy’, Picture Post, vol.35, no.5, 1947, pp.21-4). In 1956 and subsequently, the business advertised as 'Fine Art Founders in all Non-Ferrous Metals by the Cire Perdue and Sand Processes' (Society of Portrait Sculptors, 4th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1956). John Basil Galizia died age 62 in 1958, leaving effects of £7984, with administration of his estate granted to his wife, Lily, and son, Vincent John.
Galizia’s son, Vincent John Galizia (1921-90), was born in the Wandsworth district in 1921. He managed the foundry following his father’s death. In 1969 he moved the foundry to Chatfield Road, just off York Road in Battersea, where it remained until the business closed in 1984. When Duncan James visited the foundry in about 1970, as part of a series of visits to bronze foundries, he was told by Vincent Galizia that he specialised in reproducing small work ‘to fingerprint standard’ as he put it, by the lost wax process; the business had moved into its purpose-designed new premises just over a year previously (James 1971 p.87, reproducing a photograph of Vincent Galizia with a finished cast).
Vincent Galizia married Marie F. Loewenstein in 1971. The foundry's letter heading in 1977, headed GALIZIA in large impressed gold lettering, describes it as 'Fine Art Founders by the "Cire Perdue" Method' and gives the directors as Vincent Galizia and his wife (National Portrait Gallery records, RP 1748).
At its largest, according to Wally Livingstone, a former employee, the Galizia foundry had nine members of staff (information, May 2010, from Wally Livingstone, who subsequently ran Livingstone Art Founders (qv)). According to Livingstone, John Galizia initially ran the foundry with a friend, Antonio Vichi (1875-1965).
Antonio Vichi’s grand-daughter, June Sharp, has kindly provided further information (May 2013). Vichi was born in Rome in 1875, the son of Gaetano and Angelia Vichi. He studied at a vocational school housed in the Ospizio di San Michele a Ripa in Rome, graduating with awards in figurative and ornamental plasterwork, foundry work and industrial modelling. In 1912 Vichi, with his wife, Adele, and two daughters, moved to England where two further daughters were born and a son, Armando (b.1914). In about 1930 John Galizia and Antonio Vichi started the Battersea foundry, where eventually Vichi was joined by his son, Armando. Antonio Vichi specialised in the lost wax process. Following his death in 1965 a report, ‘Britain’s Master Wax Moulder’ (South London Press 27 August 1965), described how Antonio Vichi taught lost wax techniques to Galizia’s son Vincent, and Galizia taught Vichi’s son Armando about bronze casting methods.
Works in bronze:Sculptors who used the foundry included Kenneth Armitage, Franta Belsky, Laurence Bradshaw, Robert Clatworthy, William Reid Dick, Frank Dobson, Jacob Epstein, Arthur Fleischmann, Elisabeth Frink, Alfred Hardiman, Allan Howes, T.B. Huxley-Jones, Maurice Lambert, F.E. McWilliam, Frederick Mancini, Uli Nimptsch, Eduardo Paolozzi, Oliffe Richmond, Michael Rizzello, William Turnbull and Charles Wheeler (Public Sculpture of South London, p.437; see also Penelope Curtis (ed.), The Sculpture Business: Documents from the Archive, Henry Moore Institute, 1997, p.60).
The Galizia archive, 1930-84, is housed in the Henry Moore Institute (see Sources below). The archive includes an extensive series of photographs, especially of the work of Arthur Fleischmann, as well as papers relating to silver produced by Leslie Durbin, with whom Galizia worked 1955-62. In the following account, sculptor’s names are given in full where they may reasonably be assumed from the appearance of a surname only in Galizia’s order books. These order books deserve fuller study.
Galizia’s order book shows that William Reid Dick provided him with much employment, especially for smaller bronzes (Penny 1992 p.36). Galizia made casts of Reid Dick’s 1926 Catapult, six in 1933 and further casts, 1945-8. In 1946, Galizia cast busts of the King, Queen, Queen Mother and Princess Elizabeth for Reid Dick and in 1950 his equestrian Lady Godiva for £150 and another Lady Godiva for £560 in 1953 (the lifesize version at Coventry was cast by Morris Singer).
Galizia made casts of Charles Sargeant Jagger's work for his widow following a memorial exhibition in 1935 (Ann Compton, The Sculpture of Charles Sargeant Jagger, 2004, p.105), including a statuette of Christ at £25 and a small statuette, described as ‘King’ at £7 in 1935 (perhaps George V seated), a recumbent figure at £15.15s in 1936 and further work in 1938.
Other works in the 1930s include the following in alphabetical order by sculptor. For Gilbert Bayes, the Seagrave Trophy in silver, 1931, commemorating the life of Sir Henry Seagrave. For Richard Garbe, a Madonna and Child plaque for £15 in 1931. For Gertrude Hermes, a small head for £8.10s in 1939. For Albert Toft, a small silver statuette for £8.10s in 1936 and a further small statuette, presumably in bronze for £7 in 1939. For Alfred Turner, a small St George and Dragon, coloured black for £5 in 1930. For John Tweed, a reclining figure study and two other works in November 1930, one of the earliest entries in Galizia’s order book, and a ‘small Rhodes’ for £6 in 1933. Other customers included the Corinthian Bronze Co (qv) and John Tiranti (qv).
During the War, Galizia continued in business although his order book does not survive. In June 1943, he was recommended by the sculptor, Charles Wheeler, to Kenneth Clark as a man who had ‘always done a good job for me’ and indeed Wheeler was one of Galizia’s better customers. Clark was advising the Royal Library on obtaining casts for the Duke of Alba of three bronze busts of his ancestors in the Royal Collection, for which Galizia estimated the considerable sum of £210 each by the lost wax process (Tate Archive, TGA 8812/1/1/22). Anthony Caro visited Galizia’s in September 1944 to show one of his student works to a tutor at St Martin’s School of Art, as he recorded in his notebook diary (Ian Barker, Anthony Caro: Quest for the New Sculpture, 2004, p.18).
Galizia resumed full-scale production in October 1945. Names in his order books in the late 1940s include Charles Wheeler in 1945 and as late as 1962 (two busts of [Montagu] Norman in 1945 at £40 each and a head of Yehudi Menuhin, 1960, at £40), Peter Lambda in 1946 (three works including a bust, Lord Vansittart, for £45), H.J. Hatfield & Son (qv) from 1946, Kathleen Scott, Lady Kennett in 1947 (a group of boys for £150, an exceptionally expensive work), Siegfried Charoux in 1947 (a small mother and child in bronze and lead at £16 each), Alfred Hardiman in 1948 (the memorial fountain to Viscount Southwood in St James Piccadilly churchyard: four boys at £250 each and two caskets at £65 each, an exceptional commission; see also Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.220) and Maurice Lambert, 1948-61. His work included Charles Wheeler's Sea Piece, 1949 for £1650 (Port Sunlight, outside Lady Lever Art Gallery, see Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, p.160).
Oscar Nemon became a fairly regular customer with various orders for heads and busts from 1945 onwards, for example, eight small busts and one large bust of Churchill in 1959, two copies and a large bust of Macmillan in 1960, a large head of Beaverbrook in 1962 and a bust of the Queen in 1962. His bust, Helen Violet Bonham Carter, Baroness Asquith, 1960, was cast 1973 (National Portrait Gallery).
While Henry Moore used Fiorini (qv), the Art Bronze Foundry (qv) and Morris Singer (qv) for some works, he also went to Galizia in the period, 1950-61. In 1953 Galizia supplied a group, King and Queen, for the very large sum of £1000, three small rocking chair statuettes for £37.10s, in 1957 several works totalling £2400 including a Warrior for £500, in 1958 another King and Queen for £1000 and in 1960 a Festival figure for £1100, to list only the more expensive items.
Kenneth Armitage was a frequent patron of the foundry from 1950 until its closure in 1984 as is borne out by Galizia’s order books, 1950-63 and subsequently, and Armitage’s own papers which include numerous orders, often illustrated with identifying sketches, and invoices, 1951-84 (Tate Archive, TGA 20034/1/4/188). Galizia cast his work, The Bed, 1965, edition of 6 (example, Ashmolean Museum, see Penny 1992 p.4).
F.E. McWilliam used Galizia for casting various works, 1953-78, from Le Banc, 1953, to Legs Embraced, 1978 (see Ferran 2012 nos 93, 456 etc). John Skeaping used Galizia as one of a succession of foundries to cast his later work: Fiorini & Carney (qv), c.1962-4, Galizia, c.1965-70, Meridian Bronze (qv), c.1970-6 and Wally Livingstone (qv), c.1977-8 (see A Retrospective Exhibition of Bronze Sculptures by John Skeaping, R.A., exh. cat., Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd, 1979).
Other customers in Galizia’s order books in the 1950s included the Corinthian Bronze Co, Uli Nimptsch, 1950 (two sitting statuettes for £24) and 1956-9, Robert Clatworthy, 1954-69 (including Bull for £100 in 1957), Elisabeth Frink, 1955-6 (including a warrior statuette at £30, a dead leveret at £35 and a pregnant cat at £60; see also Ratuszniak 2013 p.192), Eduardo Paolozzi, 1956, Franta Belsky, 1956-57 (two portrait heads at £45 each), William Turnbull, 1956-62 (numerous entries) and Jacob Epstein, 1957-58 (unspecified heads, busts and portraits, costing between £40 and £80).
Examples of the foundry’s work from the 1950s include Francis William Sargant’s fountain (dolphins only), The Gay Dolphin, 1950 (Battersea Park, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.393), Estcourt Clack's Diana Drinking Fountain, 1954, marked: J. GALIZIA AND SON FOUNDERS LONDON (Westminster, Green Park, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.46), Hubert Dalwood’s Hands and Arms, 1952, cast 1955, edition of 2 (Chris Stephens, The Sculpture of Hubert Dalwood, 1999, pp.84, 111) and Frederick Mancini’s statue, Florence Nightingale, copy after A.G. Walker, cast 1957-8, stolen 1970 (St Thomas’ Hospital, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.52).
From the 1960s, William Turnbull’s Sungazer, 1960-1 (Dulwich, Alleyn Park, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.234), Uli Nimptsch’s Boy on a Dolphin, 1961 (Streatham Hill), Neighbourly Encounter, 1961 (Eugenia Road, SE16, see Public Sculpture of South London, pp.370, 375) and Arthur Fleischmann's St Francis, 1961 (Westminster, Francis St, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.40, and for a preview a film of the statue being modelled and then cast by Galizia, see Birth Of A Statue - British Pathé, with thanks to Aileen Reid for the link) and The Miner, part of the Anderton Mining Monument, 1964 (St Helens, St Helens Linkway, see Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, p.182).
George Fullard had various works cast by Galizia from c.1960, including Infant with Flower, 1958, unique cast 1960 (Tate, see Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, 1984, p.94), Mother and Child, 1958, posthumous cast 1974 (Norfolk Museums Service, displayed Norwich Cathedral Upper Close, see Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk, p.17) and Falling Woman (3), 1961 (Bretton Hall University College, Wakefield). See Gillian Whiteley, Assembling the Absurd: The Sculpture of George Fullard, 1998, nos 20, 29, 31, 33, 35, 42-47, 49, 51, 53, 55, some cast posthumously.
Sources: John Galizia and Son Ltd’s archive, 1930-84, is housed in the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds. It includes about 500 photographs, often showing the process involved in casting sculpture, 1940-80, four order books, 1930-65, detailing foundry users, sculptures and the cost of casts, and various printed pamphlets about the foundry and the artists whose work it cast, 1947-84 (see Penelope Curtis (ed.), The Sculpture Business: Documents from the Archive, Henry Moore Institute, 1997, pp.19, 21, 60). See also 'John Galizia', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database at http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib4_1250773487, accessed 19 March 2011, for Galizia’s period of teaching at the Central School. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Gaskin’s, see Art Bronze Foundry
John Baptist Giannelli by 1777-1813, bust, statuary and plaster figure manufactory. Giannelli & Son 1806,1811, John Dominic Giannelli 1805-1840, sculptor and plaster figure manufacturer. Louisa Mary Giannelli 1818-1840, plaster of Paris manufacturer and figure maker. John Baptist Giannelli 1841, plaster of Paris manufacturer and figure maker. At Cock Lane, Smithfield, London by 1777, 33 Cock Lane 1789-1841.
The Giannellis have been studied by Desmond Fitzgerald and by Timothy Clifford, to whom this account is indebted (see Sources below). There were apparently three generations of the family trading as statuaries and plaster figure makers from Cock Lane, off Snow Hill, Smithfield from the 1770s to the early 1840s. There was a closely related branch of the family working in Copenhagen in the late 18th century, as Fitzgerald has explored.
Giovanni Battista Giannelli, usually styled John Baptist Giannelli (active 1777, died 1814) was in London by 1777. He should be distinguished from the Giovanni Battista Giannelli (1787-1825), perhaps a cousin, active in Copenhagen. His daughter Louisa married John Dominic Giannelli (1775-1841), who appears to have been the older brother of the Giovanni Battista Giannelli working in Copenhagen.
The Giannellis were clearly well-known. When Francis Chantrey approached his neighbour, the sculptor Joseph Nollekens, for the loan of some of his casts from the antique, Nollekens refused, telling him, ‘You may hire casts at Papera's and Genelli's’ (John Thomas Smith, Nollekens and His Times, 1828, vol.2, p.356). The business may have had some connection with Humphrey Hopper (qv), since a plaster signed by both Giannelli and Hopper is known (Clifford 1992 p.58).
John Baptist Giannelli: It is not known when Giovanni Battista Giannelli came to England but ‘Ginnelli’ occupied premises at 3 Cock Lane as early as 1777 when he exhibited a figure of George III on horseback at the Society of Artists. The same year Giannelli’s leasehold premises, part of a larger estate leased from Eton College, were advertised for sale (Daily Advertiser 3 November 1777). His address was usually given as no.33 Cock Lane and the occasional reference to no.3, as in directories in 1790 and 1794, may have been in error.
In 1783 J.B. Giannelli was paid £1.11s.6d for a bust supplied to the Duke of Richmond (West Sussex Record Office, Goodwood MS 240 p.214). In or before 1785, ‘Robert Giannelli’, otherwise unknown, charged £63 for four small and four large classical figures for the Prince of Wales at Carlton House (Dorothy Stroud, Henry Holland, 1966, p.72; see also Fitzgerald in Sources below). By 1796, John Baptist Giannelli was advertising as statue and figure maker to the Prince of Wales, as can be seen from his 10-page trade catalogue, A Catalogue of the Statues, Basso-relievos, Bustos, &c. of J.B. Giannelli, statue and figure maker &c. to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Royal Academy, &c. &c. N.B. plaster of Paris manufactory, wholesale and retail (Avery Library, Columbia University). In about 1810 he issued a small card advertisement from 33 Cock Lane, his Plaster of Paris manufactory, wholesale and retail, ‘J.B. Gianelli, statue, bust and figure maker to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales… is happy in having finally succeeded to obtain the mould of the much-esteemed Venus of the Medici moulded from the real statue at Florence. Likewise the moulds of Perseus and Andromeda, altorelievos in the Capitol at Rome’ (National Library of Scotland, Crawford, Misc.12).
In 1797, premises east of Brewers Yard, Cock Lane, occupied by ‘Genelli, plaster figure maker’ were insured by George Pasmore, presumably his landlord; later, John Baptist Giannelli took out insurance on 33 Cock Lane, and also on 11 and 12 Providence Buildings, Kent Road, in 1808 and 1813 (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 409/662880, 447/819255, 462/883455). In his lengthy will, made 4 April 1812 and proved 9 September 1814, John Baptist Giannelli, figure maker and plaster of Paris manufacturer, records that he came from Toreglio [to the north of Lucca] and that he had been married twice. He wished his business to be continued by his daughter, Louisa and her present husband, Dominick Giannelli, and he made bequests to his grandchildren, John Baptist, Louisa and Rosa, on attaining the age of 21.
Giannelli’s early works include exhibits at the Great Room by Exeter Exchange in 1777, plasterwork at Bowood in 1777, commissions from the architect Robert Milne in 1785 and 1790, and modelling work apparently for Old Hall pottery works in the early years of the 19th century (see Roscoe 2009).
‘Mr Gianelli’ sold a plaster bust of Shakespeare after Scheemakers to Sir John Soane in 1804 (Helen Dorey, ‘Sir John Soane’s Casts as Part of his Academy of Architecture at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields’, in Frederiksen 2010, p.599) and it was to Giannelli that Soane turned in 1810 when he required casts for Lord Liverpool (Sir John Soane’s Museum Archive, Soane notebooks, transcripts, VII p.108). ‘Giannelli & Son’ was one of several figure makers whom the watercolourist, John Samuel Hayward, approached for plaster casts; in 1806 they billed Hayward for a large basso relievo, Perseus and Andromeda, at £5.5s, as part of a larger order totalling £13.13s (summary listing by Robert Barnes from bills for casts supplied to Hayward, V&A National Art Library, MSL/1943/920C). In his autobiographical notes, William Etty described how as a young and budding artist, probably in about 1805 or 1806, his ‘first academy was in a plaster-cast shop, kept by Gianelli,’ where he studied and drew the ‘Cupid and Psyche’ after the antique (William Etty, ‘Autobiography of William Etty, R.A. in letters addressed to a relative’, Art Journal, vol.11, 1849, p.13).
Louisa and John Dominic Giannelli: John Dominic Giannelli (1775-1841) studied at the Copenhagen Academy, winning gold and silver medals in 1797 and 1799. He applied for permission to come to England in 1801 (see Fitzgerald in Sources below). He married John Baptist Giannelli’s daughter, Louisa Mary, in 1802; they shared a surname and were presumably related (London Parish Records, see also London Gazette 25 October 1817). As a plaster of Paris manufacturer, of Cock Lane, he was made bankrupt in 1814 (London Gazette 25 March 1815). It was his wife who was recorded in London directories as continuing the plaster of Paris manufacturing business, listed as L.M. Giannelli (or occasionally as L.N. or L.O., presumably in error) and as Maria Louisa Giannelli in Pigot’s 1827 directory. Louisa Maria Giannelli took out insurance on 32 and 33 Cock Lane in 1818 (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 480/946716) and a further policy was taken out by John Page on ‘Giannilli's plaster figure manufactory’ in 1826 (506/1047886). Antonia Giannelli, otherwise undocumented, was trading as a plaster cast figure maker from 2 Little Bath St in 1826.
Giovanni Domenico Giannelli exhibited a number of portrait busts at the Royal Academy between 1809 and 1820, including Richard Porson in 1809 (plaster example, dated 1808, National Portrait Gallery, see Walker 1985 p.401 with details of other casts). Other busts include Samuel Pett, plaster, 1823 (Dr William's Library) and Unknown Man, small wax, 1829 (Victoria and Albert Museum). Giannelli also produced furnishings in plaster such as a pair of painted and gilt Chinese figures, 1807 (Wateringbury Place, Kent, Christie's 31 May 1978 lot 204, again Christie’s 23 November 2006 lot 93), a set of four small-scale painted busts of Fox, Pitt, Nelson and Duncan, published 1808, to ornament furniture (example, Victoria and Albert Museum, repr. by Fitzgerald, pp.12-13, see Sources below) and a pair of gilt plaster and bronze candelabra, 1809 (Christie’s South Kensington 19 February 2003 lot 459).
John Dominic Giannelli was imprisoned for debt in 1833 as a sculptor and plaster figure manufacturer, formerly of Cock Lane and at the same time of 9 Providence Buildings, New Kent Road (London Gazette 5 February 1833). John Dominick Giannelli of Leather Lane died age 65 and was buried in February 1841 in St Pancras parish (London Parish Records).
John Baptist Giannelli junr: The business seems to have been carried on into the next generation by a son, John Baptist Giannelli, who was recorded in the 1841 census at 4 Giltspur St, off Cock Lane, as a figure maker, age 30 (ages were rounded down to the nearest five in this census), born in Middlesex. The death was recorded of two other members of the family, apparently children, Louisa Buc[hk] Giannelli in 1840 in the Shoreditch district and John Dominick Buck Giannelli of Leather Lane in 1841, age 6, in the Holborn district, followed by his burial in July that year.
Sources: Desmond Fitzgerald, ‘A Sheraton designed bookcase and the Gianellis’, Victoria and Albert Museum Bulletin, vol.4, 1968, pp.9-16; Clifford 1992 p.55; Roscoe 2009. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Michael Gillespie, sculptor and bronze caster.
The sculptor and bronze caster, Michael Gillespie (1929-2012), trained at Hammersmith College of Art, 1952-6. With his fellow student at Hammersmith, John W. Mills, he published a short book, Studio Bronze Casting: Lost Wax in 1969. He taught bronze casting at Hammersmith, and at Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology and Hertfordshire College of Art. He also taught sculpture, portraiture and life drawing. Gillespie died in 2012. This account draws on an obituary by his friend, Boni Sones, in The Guardian (see Sources below).
Gillespie’s own bronzes can be seen in several Cambridge colleges, at the former Gas Research Centre at Loughborough University and in private collections in Britain and abroad. Sones described Gillespie’s work: ‘His sculpture was often abstract, dealing with balance and weight in a way that created a sensation of movement and dance in bronze, but he also created figurative works, including a number of commissioned bronze portraits, and a powerful series based on images from the second world war.’ He exhibited from 38 Warwick Gardens, W14, at the Royal Academy, 1962-3, and was recorded at Histon, Cambridgeshire, in Who’s Who in Art, 1992-2002.
Work as a bronze caster: Gillespie cast works by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska for H.S. Ede in the 1960s (see Silber 1996 pp.267, 270, 275), including Seated Woman, 1914, cast by 1964 (edition of 7, examples at Tate, Bradford Art Galleries and Museums, and Kettle's Yard, Cambridge), Torpedo Fish, 1914, cast 1968 (edition of 9, examples at Tate and Kettle's Yard) and Red Stone Dancer, 1913, cast 1969 (Kettle’s Yard).
Gillespie is reported to have made small casts for Jacob Epstein (which would have been in the years before his death in 1959), and later for Elizabeth Frink. According to Sones, Frink called Gillespie the best bronze caster in England and in 1979 arranged for him to cast a copy of the great bronze sanctuary knocker on the door of Durham Cathedral.
After suffering a stroke in 2002, Gillespie was no longer able to cast bronze, but continued working until the end of his life. As recently as 2007 he supervised the production of a number of crystacal casts of Gaudier-Brzeska’s small Torpedo Fish for sale through Kettle’s Yard (see Kettle’s Yard and Friends’ News, autumn 2007, p.1, formerly available online)
Sources: Boni Sones, obituary for Michael Gillespie, The Guardian 5 February 2012, accessed online at www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2012/feb/05/mike-gillespie-obituary.
Lorenzo Giuntini, Frome, Somerset 1866-1869, Islington, London 1871,39 Devonshire St, Queen Square, London 1874, Seymour Place, Brompton 1891, 47 Rotherwood Road, Putney by 1899-1912. Plaster modeller and moulder.
Andrew Lawrence (‘Lorenzo’) Giuntini (?1845-1920) was born in 1845 or possibly a year or two earlier in Cheltenham, the son of an Italian father, Andrea Giuntini (b. c.1808) and an English mother, Mary Woulds (Ian Graham, Alfred Maudslay and the Maya, 2002, especially p.294). He can be found in the 1851 census, age 8, born Cheltenham, living in Manchester with his father Andrew, a figure maker, born Lucca.
Lorenzo Giuntini, as he was known professionally, married Susannah Louisa Barnett in 1866 in Frome, Somerset, where they had children in 1867 and 1869. J.W. Singer (qv) of Frome was not then casting bronzes on any scale so there is no particular reason to suppose that Giuntini was acting as a moulder for this business. In subsequent censuses, Giuntini can be found with his wife Susan in 1871 in Islington as a modeller, age 27, with two children, ages 2 and 3, born in Frome, in 1891 in Seymour Place, Brompton as a modeller and moulder, with eight children, in 1901 in Putney as a plaster moulder, with two sons who were also plaster moulders and in 1911 in Wandsworth with 10-year-old Edward. Giuntini died in December 1920, age 76, in the Wandsworth district. His name is sometimes found spelt Guintini in official records. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1874. He is recorded at 47 Rotherwood Road, Putney, in his invoices to the South Kensington Museum, c.1899 (see below).
Like other members of his family, including his brother, Frederick, Lorenzo worked as a plaster modeller, at one time for Brucciani (qv). Lorenzo Giuntini took part in several archaeological expeditions: in 1883 and 1885, to Mexico and Honduras with Alfred Maudslay, where he made plaster piece moulds of low-relief Mayan sculptures, and in 1892 to Persepolis with Herbert Weld-Blundell, where he used a form of papier-mâché to make piece moulds of Achaemenid sculptures (The Times 9 September 1892, 27 November 1893; see also St John Simpson in British Museum Magazine, Spring 2000, no.30, pp.28-9). Maudslay described Giuntini as ‘a very good fellow and good companion – does not grumble’ (Ian Graham, Alfred Maudslay and the Maya, 2002, p.111). Many casts from these expeditions were presented to the British Museum, which also houses Giuntini’s plaster bust of Maudslay, 1885 (Aileen Dawson, Portrait Sculpture: A catalogue of the British Museum collection, c.1675-1975, 1999, pp.137-40).
Giuntini’s subsequent career has been explored by Aileen Dawson. He was employed by the South Kensington Museum in making casts of early plaster ceilings at Broughton Castle in Oxfordshire in 1899 and 1902 and at Great St Helens, east London, in 1901. He also made casts for the museum of Giovanni Da Maiano’s two terracotta Caesar roundels and Cardinal Wolsey’s arms at Hampton Court Palace in 1904-5.
Sources: Aileen Dawson, Portrait Sculpture: A catalogue of the British Museum collection, c.1675-1975, 1999, pp.137-40; see also British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum collection databases.
Contributed by Peter Malone, March 2019
George M. Glass, London, late 19th century. Plaster cast maker.
George Michael Glass was born in October 1843 in Walworth, the son of George Michael Glass, chemist. His father employed six men as a ‘gelatine, color (sic) and paper makers’ size maker’ (1861 census; London commercial directory, 1850). George (junior) can be found in the following census records, always as unmarried. In 1871 living with a cousin in Lambeth, occupation given as traveller. In 1881 a visitor living at 3 The Terrace, Lambeth, occupation Clerk. By 1891 he had set himself up as a cast maker, describing his position as manager, although at the time of the census he is once again a visitor, at an address in Folkestone. In 1901 the census entry is much the same but this time he is a visitor at a Clapham address. In 1911, recorded as a boarder at a further Clapham address, still described as a plaster cast maker. In the English BMD register there is a George Glass of the appropriate age who died at Hackney in 1930, who may or may not be him. A brief look through commercial directories of the period in which he was active revealed no entries.
Two casts made by Glass are currently known: a mask of the composer Mendelssohn (presumably from a bust, rather than nature), offered by Inman’s auction, Hove, 23 July 2018, lot 274. It is inscribed in capitals on the underside below the throat: ‘G. M. Glass/ 20 High Holborn/ No 44 London WC/ Mendelssohn’. Another mask taken from the bust of Filippo Strozzi by Benedetto da Maiano in the Louvre was offered by Bellman’s auction, Billingshurst, 19 January 2019, lot 1305. It is inscribed ‘G M Glass 20 High Holborn, 61 Strozzi Louvre’. The number ‘61’ is more likely to be Glass’s than the Louvre’s. At this time the Holborn address, a comparatively new building, contained a number of disparate businesses.
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