British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980 - L
An online resource, launched in 2011, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated March 2022. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected]
Daniel Landi (c.1838-1925) married Agnes Walker in 1860 at St Philip Bethnal Green, when he was described as a moulder, age 21, of 10 Collingwood St, with his father named as Charles Landi, also a moulder. In censuses, Daniel Landi was listed in 1861 at 101 Leather Lane as a moulder and figure maker, age 22, with wife Agnes, a mourning flower maker, and in 1871 at 38 Charles St, Saffron Hill, as a moulder, age 32, with wife Agnes.
In 1880 Landi took over premises at 1 Leather Lane, which had been occupied by Domenico Brucciani (qv) until his death earlier the same year, raising the possibility that Landi had managed these branch premises for Brucciani. Landi was recorded at this address in subsequent censuses, in 1881 as a moulder and modeller, age 42, born Lucca, with mother Maria and sister Agnes, age 38, born Clerkenwell, and in 1891 and 1901 as a modeller. He was at 36 Charles St in the 1911 census, described as a plaster merchant, age 73, trading on his own account at home. He died in 1925, age 87, in the Holborn district. In a notice concerning his estate, he was described as an architectural modeller (London Gazette 16 February 1926). He left effects worth £1919, with probate granted to Oswald Valli, dealer, and Raffaelo Tomei, architectural modeller.
A son or grandson of the same name appears to have continued the business and was pehaps the Daniel Landi who was named in 1919 as the source for a ‘head of Gibson's Venus’ (British Journal of Photography, vol.66, 1919, p.44). Daniel Landi can be found trading at 106 Talbot Road, W.11, c.1932-73.
Romolo Landi (c.1840-1883), another figure maker and moulder, was presumably Daniel’s brother. When he married in 1862, Romolo was described as living at 37 Charles St, with his father, named as Charles Landi, gentleman. He was trading from 140 New Cross Road by 1869 until 1881. In the 1881 census, Romolo Landi was listed as an inmate at Kent County Asylum, Maidstone, where he died in 1883, age 43 (information from Peter Malone). Whether connected or not to Daniel Landi, it is worth noting that a Florence Landi married Enrico Cantoni (qv) in 1888.
Sources: Information kindly supplied by Peter Malone from directory and census records.
Romolo Landi, see Daniele Landi
*William Larson, north side of Piccadilly (between Sackville St and Swallow St), London 1670 to 1692. Sculptor and bronze founder.
Outside the time frame of this online resource but see Roscoe 2009 and Sullivan 2005 p.32, on whom this summary depends. William Larson junr (d.1692) was the son of William Larson senr, an Anglo-Dutch carver, who bequeathed him his 'plaister moulds and brass moulds whatsoever’. Larson junr was responsible for making and casting an equestrian statue in cannon brass of James II for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, commissioned 1686, completed 1688, destroyed by 1695.
Added March 2021
Julian Leverotti (1844-1916). Plaster figure maker.
‘Sculptor. Born in England in 1844, the son of a sculptor and died in 1915 [actually 1916]. Served his apprenticeship under Richard Westmacott and worked for the rest of his life for Messrs. Brucciani of London. Exhibited a bust of D. Brucciani at the R.A. 1881. A life-size medallion of Robert Owen by him is in the N.P.G. London.’ This succinct note, dating to 1929, was made by Charles Kingsley Adams, future director at the National Portrait Gallery, from information provided by Paul Ryan, Brucciani’s nephew and head of the firm, which by then had been taken over as the Department for the Sale of Casts at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Westmacott must be Richard Westmacott (1799-1872), sculptor, son of the better known Sir Richard Westmacott.
Leverotti’s birth in in Marylebone in about 1844 has not been traced. He was the son of Joseph Leverotti (c.1801-1861 or later), an immigrant Italian sculptor who was in London by 1833 when, as Giuseppe Leverotti, he married Ann Halker (1810-67). He was living at 45 Chapel St, Lisson Grove, at the time that he exhibited a bust at the Royal Academy in 1838. A stone carver by the name, Leverotti, was an assistant to Thorvaldsen in Rome from 1824 (‘Thorvaldsen's Assistants’ at https://arkivet.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk/articles/thorvaldsens-assistants, accessed 5 February 2021, information from David Bridgwater).
Julian Leverotti can be found in census records. In 1851 in Somers Town as a scholar, age 6, in the household of his father, Joseph, ‘carver in marble’, age 50, with his mother, Ann, age 40, brother Ernest, age 15, and sister, Priscilla, age 11. In 1861 in Chelsea as a student, age 16, in his father, Joseph’s household, with his mother, Ann, and sister, Priscilla. Age 22, he married Lisette Mary Ann Hutchins (c.1845-1907), the daughter of a mason, at St Mary Battersea in November 1866, when both he and his father, Joseph, were described as sculptors.
In subsequent census records he is always described as a sculptor. In 1871, age 25, in Southampton Row with his wife Lizette, daughter Edith, age 5, and brother-in-law, Edward Hutchins. In 1881, age 37, in Hammersmith with his wife, Lisette, daughter Edith, age 15, and son Ernest, age 4. In 1891, age 46, in Hammersmith with his wife, Lisette, and son Ernest, age 14. In 1901, age 56, in Hammersmith with his wife, Lisette. In 1911, age 69, in Hammersmith in the household of Charles Kruse, his son-in-law. Julian Leverotti died at the age of 73 in 1916 in the Kensington district.
Works in sculpture: Few sculptures are known by Leverotti and it is assumed that much of his energies went into his role in the business of Domenico Brucciani (qv). An unsigned bronze profile relief of Robert Owen, can be dated to 1858 or probably later (National Portrait Gallery). His bearded bust of Brucciani was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1881, the year after Brucciani’s death (this bust, or a cast, with David Bridgwater, 2020). It was shown again at the Albert Hall, together with ‘a refined bust of Mrs. John Bennett’ ('Fine Art at the Royal Albert Hall', The Standard, 30 May 1882, p.2, information from Rebecca Wade, 2015). Leverotti was living at 45 Woodstock Road, Shepherds Bush, 1881-2.
Sources: A detail of Leverotti’s bust of Brucciani is repr. 'The Duplication of Genius', The Graphic: An Illustrated Weekly Magazine, no.2138, 19 November 1910, p. 806, information from Rebecca Wade, 2015; see also Rebecca Wade, Domenico Brucciani and the Formatori of Nineteenth-Century Britain, 2019. David Bridgwater, 2020, kindly provided information.
Livingstone Art Moulders by 1979-1984 or later, Livingstone Art Founders from 1986. At Bexley 1975, Ryde House, Short Lane, Brenchley, Kent by 1979-1984, Maidstone Road, Matfield, Tonbridge, Kent TN12 7LQ from 1986. Art founders.
The following account is based on information kindly supplied by Walter ('Wally') Livingstone, May 2010. Apprenticed to John Galizia & Son (qv) in 1955 at the age of 15, Livingstone was employed by the business for ten years before setting up independently as Livingstone Art Moulders in the mid-1970s. He then worked freelance for Galizia, Fiorini & Carni (qv) and Meridian Bronze (qv), supplying them with moulds and waxes.
Livingstone’s business was initially located in Bexley, before it moved out of London to larger premises at Brenchley in Kent and then to nearby Matfield. There it employs seven people, two of whom for nearly 30 years. Livingstone’s eldest son, Simon, has worked at the foundry since 2004.
Livingstone Art Founders’ business card, dating to about 1991, ornamented with a profile of John Skeaping's Workhorse, characterised the business as ‘a small Art Foundry. Specialists in The "Lost Wax" process of Bronze Casting in the traditional Plaster and grog investment and Ceramic Shell coatings' (example in National Portrait Gallery records, RP 6163).
Works in bronze: The client list provided by Wally Livingstone, May 2010, includes Clive Barker, Steven Cox, Philip Jackson, Philip King, Eduardo Paolozzi, Tessa Pullan, John Skeaping and Ian Walters. The foundry’s website, at January 2011, also features the work of Maurice Blik, Gill Brown, Kate Denton, Mo Farquharson, Graham High and William Turnbull.
Skeaping used Wally Livingstone as the last in a succession of foundries to cast his later work: Fiorini & Carney (qv), c.1962-4, John Galizia (qv), c.1965-70, Meridian Bronze (qv), c.1970-6 and Livingstone, c.1977-8 (see A Retrospective Exhibition of Bronze Sculptures by John Skeaping, R.A., exh. cat., Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd, 1979). Livingstone cast his statuette, Workhorse, 1978 (example, numbered 9/15, Woolley & Wallis, Salisbury, 25 March 2009 lot 251), and five bronzes which Paul Mellon presented to the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1982: Racing Greyhounds and Cats Playing, both 1977, and Work Horse, Pointer and Tiger, all three 1978 (Fitzwilliam Museum Annual Report, 1982, p.21, pl.xxiv).
Examples of the foundry’s work (*information from Wally Livingstone) include Ian Walters’ Memorial to the International Brigade, 1984-5 (Lambeth, The Queen’s Walk, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.82) and his statue, Fenner Brockway, 1985 (*Red Lion Square), various works by Maurice Lambert, 1988 (generally editions of 6, for Belgrave Gallery's exhibition, Maurice Lambert 1901-1964, 1988, with catalogue acknowledgement to Wally Livingstone at Livingstone Art Founders), William Turnbull’s Blade Venus 2, 1989, with foundry mark (see Modern British Art, Offer Waterman & Co, catalogue, c.2009, p.24), Richard Browne's half-length figure, Dame Alicia Markova, 1961, cast 1991 (National Portrait Gallery), Maurice Blik’s Renaissance, 1992 (*East India Dock), Barry Sutton’s Macaque, 1993 (*Natural History Museum, primates exhibition) and Eduardo Paolozzi’s Newton after Blake, 1993, impressed foundry seal (with Fine Art Society, see The Twentieth Century, Fine Art Society, exh. cat., 2008, p.48), Mondrian Head, 1996 (Christie’s 21 November 2003 lot 169a) and London to Paris Maquette, 1999, impressed foundry seal (with Flowers Gallery, 2010).
Lunts Castings Ltd, Hawthorns Industrial Estate, Handsworth, Birmingham, West Midlands B21 0BJ. Fine art and sculpture foundry.
Outside the time frame of this online resource but see www.luntscastings.co.uk.
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