British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980 - M
An online resource, launched in 2011, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated March 2021. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected]ME] [MI] [MO]
Added August 2019
McDonald & Creswick c.1916-1920, McDonald & Creswick Ltd 1920-1956, Charles Creswick c.1938-1965. At 20 Harrison Road, Edinburgh by 1917-1965, 60 Gorgie Road by 1921-1940 or later. Metal workers and bronze founders.
This Edinburgh bronze founding and metalworking business began as a partnership between William McDonald (1887-1932) and the sculptor, Charles d’Orville Pilkington Jackson (1887-1973), in 1911 or 1912. Jackson enlisted at the outset of the First World War and McDonald followed in 1916 but by then he had brought Charles Creswick (1883-1965), a silversmith from Birmingham, into the business. Following the war, the foundry was incorporated as M’Donald and Creswick Limited in April 1920, with McDonald, Creswick and McDonald’s father, John William McDonald, a brewer’s manager in Glasgow, as directors (National Records of Scotland, BT2/11161).
The foundry’s premises at 20 Harrison Road, Edinburgh were originally built for a monumental sculptor, and comprised a two-room office, studio and yard. McDonald and Jackson had met at Edinburgh College of Art during Jackson’s fellowship year. McDonald was committed to perfecting the process of cire perdue casting, which Jackson described in detail at the time their first pieces were produced. In the 1920s, the business, now McDonald & Creswick Ltd, Bronzefounders (Cire Perdue) & Metal Workers, expanded by taking on further premises at nearby 60 Gorgie Road, where Thomas Schooler Bowman joined the business and eventually took over the branch at these premises. The company continued operating until about 1950, leaving Charles Creswick and his wife Norah, a jewellery designer, in the Harrison Road premises. This paragraph is based on the history researched by Louise Boreham, which draws on Jackson’s memoirs, held by his family, and other information (see William McDonald - Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951).
The above account is supported by the evidence of a military tribunal held in July 1917 into Creswick’s claim for ongoing exemption from military service, a claim which was refused (National Records of Scotland, HH30/18/3/10). McDonald was away on military service but submitted a statement to the tribunal, in which he described their work in bronze casting by the cire perdue process as unique in Scotland. It was stated that Creswick was alone in running the business and that there were no employees.
McDonald & Creswick Ltd prospered in the 1920s and 1930s, with the bronze foundry being listed in telephone books at 20 Harrison Road until 1936 and thereafter in Charles Creswick’s own name until his death in 1965. The business continued to be listed as architectural metal workers at 60 Gorgie Road until 1940.
More detailed information is available from the annual returns submitted by McDonald & Creswick Ltd (BT2/11161). At its incorporation in 1920 McDonald was designated as managing director and Creswick as works manager. In 1928 the business was reorganised with McDonald becoming chairman and managing director for life and Thomas Schooler Bowman and John Creswick being allocated shares, for which see below. McDonald died in 1932. The business was reorganised again in 1937 with the registered office moving from 20 Harrison Road to 60 Gorgie Road, Creswick resigning as a director and Bowman becoming managing director. In 1956 the then shareholders agreed to wind up the business voluntarily, a process which was complete by 1958.
The business’s directors and shareholders: William McDonald was for many years the majority shareholder. He was born in Kirkcudbrightshire in 1887. He exhibited a Mother and Child at the Royal Scottish Academy from 20 Harrison Road in 1913. He was listed as a teacher of bronze casting at Edinburgh College of Art, 1914-21, but was serving in the army from early 1916. He was badly wounded in the head and did not completely recovere from his injuries, but nevertheless returned to the business. In 1932 he was found drowned in a mill lade not far from his home. See William McDonald - Mapping Sculpture.
Charles Creswick was born in Enfield in London in 1883. In the 1901 census he was recorded in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, as a student at art school, in the household of his father, Benjamin, sculptor and teacher of modelling, with two older brothers, one a modeller, the other an art metalworker, and three younger siblings. For his father the sculptor, Benjamin Creswick, see http://benjamincreswick.org.uk/. Creswick married Sarah Edith Norah Hanman in the Aston district of Birmingham in 1909. He has not been traced in the 1911 census.
Creswick worked for the Edinburgh and Glasgow founders, R. Laidlaw & Sons before joining William McDonald (Military tribunal papers, see above). He was called up for active service in 1917. In valuation rolls he can be found as an art metal worker at 14 East Mayfield in 1915, as an artist at 3 Hope Park Crescent in 1920, as a bronze founder at 47 North Castle St in 1930 and as a director at 9A Dundas St in 1935. He resigned as a director of the business in 1937 and gave up his shareholding in 1953 (BT2/11161).
Creswick was active in teaching and sometimes exhibiting in his studio. His wife, Norah (1883-1976), was a jewellery designer. He can be seen with her giving a demonstration at the studio and foundry at 20 Harrison Road in a photograph taken in 1939 (Edinburgh Evening News 27 February 1939); she was showing her artistic jewellery and he was explaining the processes of silver and bronze casting. Both Charles and Norah produced silverware in the 1940s and 1950s. He died in 1965, described as a retired silversmith.
Thomas Schooler/Scouller Bowman (1883-1952), born in London and bred in Gateshead, married Annie White in Glasgow in 1908 when he was described as an architectural draughtsman residing in Bromsgrove near Birmingham. He exhibited sketches of Beverley Minster at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1926. He was probably working for McDonald & Creswick in the 1920s before becoming a shareholder in 1928, when described as an architectural metalwork designer. He became managing director in 1937 (BT2/11161). He died in 1952, named as Thomas Scouller Bowman, metal designer, the son of Thomas Bowman, deceased, also a metal designer (ScotlandsPeople).
Like Bowman, John Creswick, known as Jack (c.1881-1934) became a shareholder in 1928, described as a bronze founder. An older brother of Charles Creswick, he had been a witness to the deed of incorporation in 1920 as an art metal worker (BT2/11161). Presumably he worked for the business in the 1920s. He exhibited a bronze group of dogs at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1922. He died in 1934, with his widow, Margaret, inheriting his shares in the business.
McDonald’s father, John William McDonald (c.1858-1939), a brewer’s manager in Glasgow, seems to have been a sleeping partner in the business.
Works in bronze: McDonald & Creswick Ltd carried out much decorative architectural metalwork in the 1920s and 1930s, as well as domestic furnishings. The business proclaimed in 1927, ‘We have successfully carried out contracts for practically all the leading architects in Scotland’ (Dundee Evening Telegraph 14 February 1927). This side of the business is not treated here. The focus of this account is on McDonald & Creswick Ltd’s activities in casting sculpture in bronze, listed here by decade, later including pieces apparently cast by Charles Creswick independently.
From the 1920s, various works for Charles d'Orville Pilkington Jackson, former partner in the business, including his statue, Peace, 1920 (Edinburgh, Murrayfield, Ellersly Road, see Public Sculpture of Edinburgh, vol.1, p.118) and his sculptural hanging signs, 1925 (Edinburgh, formerly at Crawford’s Luncheon and Tea Rooms, Princes and Hanover St, see Public Sculpture of Edinburgh, vol.2, p.473); also a working cast in bronze for his medal, Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer, in 1922 (see Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer - National Portrait Gallery). It is likely that Pilkington went to his old business for other work but this remains to be researched.
Other work in the 1920s included George Henry Paulin’s war memorial, 1921 (Kirkcudbright, see www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/5866) and his Monument to Lord Lister, 1924 (Glasgow, Kelvingrove Park, see Public Sculpture of Glasgow, p.242), William Lamb’s David W. Carnegie memorial bas relief and The Young Fisherman, 1925, cast in cooperation with George Mancini (qv) (John Stansfeld, The People's Sculptor: The Life and Art of William Lamb, 2013, p.75) and Alexander Carrick’s statue, William Wallace, 1928-9, said to have been cast by Mancini (Edinburgh, Esplanade gatehouse, see Public Sculpture of Edinburgh, vol.1, p.126).
From the 1930s, Onslow Ford’s Folly, cast from the original plaster model for the National Gallery of Scotland in 1936-7 (Gallery minutes, 22 June 1936) and Herbert Tyson Smith’s George V, 1937, bust from dismantled memorial (Birkenhead, Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, see Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, p.17). Described as cast by Charles Creswick, rather than McDonald & Creswick Ltd, various pieces were on display in Creswick’s studio in October 1938 (The Scotsman 7 October 1938). These included Josef Heu’s busts, Sir John Fraser and Sir Albert Bingham, as well as a mermaid study, and Clemence Dane’s bust, Noel Coward (example, National Portrait Gallery, London) and a study of an old woman. Also on display was Thomas Burn’s bronze fountain memorial pedestal to Sir James Barrie, intended for Kirriemuir, his birthplace, decorated with carved figures based on Barrie’s works. Creswick was reported as remarking that ‘his process of burning colour into the bronze was becoming increasingly popular with sculptors’.
From the 1940s and 1950s, Charles Creswick’s bronze mural war memorial tablet, 1947, for Monikie church (Dundee Evening Telegraph 6 September 1947); McDonald & Creswick Ltd’s design for plaques on the war memorial at Milngavie, near Glasgow, approved 1948 (Milngavie & Bearsden Herald 30 October 1948); and Charles Creswick’s cast of Dugald Gillespie’s bronze bust, John Anderson, 1952, for Airdrie Academy (Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 24 May 1952).
Domenico (‘Mac’) Mancini, see below
Updated January 2017
Frederick Mancini, 416 Fulham Road, London 1911-1920, bronze founder. Frederick Mancini & Son 1932, Frederick Mancini 1933-1934,17a Maxwell Road, Fulham, art bronze founders.
Frederico Mancini (c.1866-1943) was in England by the late 1890s. He had worked at the Fonderia Nelli in Rome and then for Alexander Parlanti (qv) in London, according to his son, Domenico (James 1986 p.25), before setting up independently in or before 1911.
Frederico Mancini was described as a sculptor at 13 Meek St, Kensington, in 1901 when his daughter Dorothy was christened. In the 1911 census Mancini was recorded at 416 Fulham Road as a bronze worker, age 45, born in Italy, with his wife and six children, who included Domenico, age 14, born in Italy, and Eve, age 12, born in London, suggesting that the family moved to England c.1897-9. He was recorded in business as a founder at 416 Fulham Road in the Post Office London directory from 1912, where he followed Guglielmo Cuccioli & Co, bronze founders, a business first listed in 1909. [Guglielmo Cuccioli (b.1870) was apparently an Italian anarchist and wax moulder.] From 1921 the foundry in Fulham Road was taken over by Mario Manenti (see below). Mancini died in 1943, age 77, in the Halifax district.
Three of Mancini’s sons were active in related businesses, Domenico (‘Mac’) Mancini (1897-1976) as a sculptors’ moulder, George (1904-89) as a founder and Frederick (1905-90) as a sculptor. For Domenico and George, see separate entries below. For Frederick, see here.
It would appear that H.H. Martyn & Co (qv) purchased Frederick Mancini senior's foundry in 1918 and moved the entire organisation to Cheltenham (Pearson 1989 p.127), so introducing the lost wax process into Martyn’s operation. Frederick Mancini junr was an apprentice (or journeyman sculptor) for H.H. Martyn in the 1920s (see Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Sources below). He exhibited a work at the Royal Academy from an address in Cheltenham in 1926. In another account, it was said that Frederick Mancini senior ‘did not stay long’ at Martyn’s, according to the recollections of a member of Martyn’s foundry team (John Whitaker, The Best: A History of H.H. Martyn and Co., 1996, pp.99, 105).
Works in bronze: According to Frederick’s son, George, his father set up in Maxwell Road and cast works by Albert Toft, Bertram Mackennal, John Tweed, Hamo Thornycroft and Alfred Gilbert. Little is known of specific pieces but for Gilbert’s figures of saints, 1926-7, for the Albert Memorial Chapel, Windsor (Dorment 1985 p.313) and Lindsey Clark’s Victory figure for the Queen Victoria Memorial in Calcutta, 1921? (Pearson 1989 p.127, pl.20, showing Mancini at the foundry with the figure). Further information is needed on Mancini’s work as a founder.
Sources: For Frederick Mancini junr, see 'Frederick Mancini', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, 2011, at http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk, accessed 2 July 2015. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
D. Mancini 1958-1960, Mancini-Tozer Ltd1961-1981. At1 Griffith’s Road, South Wimbledon, London SW19 1959-1968, Hunters Moon Farm, Dorking Road, Abinger Hammer, Surrey 1968-1981. Fibrous plasterers, waste moulders, piece moulders, architectural plasterworkers, cold cast bronze.
The business seems to have been a partnership between Domenico (‘Mac’) Mancini (1897-1976), the son of Frederick Mancini (see above), and Vic Tozer, probably to be identified with Victor Maurice Tozer (b.1906), the son of a plasterer, Henry Tozer, recorded in Notting Hill in the 1911 census.
In 1959 Mancini was offering ‘Waste moulding, Piece moulding, Architectural plasterwork’ (Society of Portrait Sculptors, 7th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1959). By 1963 Mancini-Tozer Ltd was advertising ‘Casting in Cold Cast Bronze. Brass Copper Lead Nickel Silver. Also Waste Moulding, Architectural plasterwork’ (Society of Portrait Sculptors, 11th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1963). In 1966 the business was describing itself as 'Casting. Sculpture for 50 years in Plaster and for 15 years in Resin Bronze' (Society of Portrait Sculptors, 14th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1966), advertising in identical terms until at least 1976. Mancini-Tozer Ltd was struck off the companies’ register in 1973 (London Gazette6 March 1973) but continued to be recorded in exhibition catalogue advertisements.
Works in sculpture:‘Mac’ Mancini, described as ‘the renowned plaster caster’, managed the casting in 1958 of Barbara Hepworth's earlier work,Oval Sculpture (No.2), 1943, according to one of her assistants at the time, Brian Wall (Matthew Gale and Chris Stephens,Barbara Hepworth: works in the Tate Gallery Collectionand the Barbara Hepworth Museum, St Ives, 1999, p.84). Hepworth chose to make bronze casts of selected earlier carvings, starting with this piece which apparently horrified Mancini when he saw its complexity. Nevertheless, he succeeded in making a plaster cast, using a forty-piece mould, as the first of several of Hepworth’s works to be cast (Brian Wall, interviewed by Chris Stephens, 3 May 1996, see Tate Collection website).
A photograph featuring Maurice Lambert in 1962, close to the end of his life, shows him with his own assistants and, in the back row the sculptor Fred Mancini, together with Mac Mancini, Bert, Vic Tozer and Wally Wolford from Mancini-Tozer, against a backcloth of the outsize plaster model of Lambert’sGrand Fountainfor the Presidential Palace, Baghdad (Vanessa Nicolson,The Sculpture of Maurice Lambert, 2002, pp.90-1).
Victor Tozer supplied a bronze resin cast of Frederick Mancini’s statue after A.G. Walker,Florence Nightingale, cast 1977-8, to replace an earlier stolen statue (St Thomas’ Hospital, seePublic Sculpture of South London, pp.52-4). Tozer is said to have had access to Frederick Mancini's studio and to have discovered his model there.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated and rewritten January 2017
*George Mancini, 16 Eyre Terrace from 1931, 125 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh 3, 1935/6-1973. Artistic bronze founder.
George Mancini (1904-89) was the son of Frederick Mancini (qv). The best source for his life is the history by Fiona Pearson (see Sources below, cited here as Pearson 1989). George Mancini trained as an apprentice with Ercole Parlanti (qv, see Parlanti 2010 p.34). He joined the bronze founding business of McDonald & Creswick in Edinburgh in about 1925 (Stansfield 2013 p.75, see Sources below). In 1930 he rented a yard and workshop at 16 Eyre Terrace from Rintoul & Co (Edinburgh) Ltd (see Valuation Rolls, accessed through ScotlandsPeople). He may have set up on his own as early as 1931 at 16 Eyre Terrace, a road which housed the studios of two sculptors, William Birnie Rhind and Tom Whalen (Pearson 1989 p.128). He moved to 125 Fountainbridge in 1935/6, and his foundry stood near the top of Grove St (Pearson 1989 p.129). He was listed in Edinburgh telephone books at 125 Fountainbridge as an artistic bronze founder, 1940-73. He gave up his own foundry in the late 1970s but continued to cast some work in other foundries (Pearson 1989 p.130).
Mancini struck up a close professional relationship with the sculptor, William Lamb, who claimed that Mancini knew far more about sculpture that any of the lecturers at Edinburgh College of Art. Among other works, Mancini cast Lamb's three royal heads in 1933, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and the Duchess of York, and cast The Young Fisherman II for the Royal Scottish Academy in 1946 (Stansfield 2013 pp.135, 174). Also in 1933 Mancini cast bronzes for William Birnie Rhind’s war memorial at Fettes College, Edinburgh, said to be the only work he ever signed as a founder.
Other works from the 1930s include Pittendrigh Macgillivray’s Skeoch Cumming, 1932 (Edinburgh City Art Centre), John Massey Rhind’s Lord Dalhousie, 1932, Alexander Proudfoot’s Christ, 1932, and two works seen in a studio photograph of 1934 (Pearson 1989 pl.21), Alexander Carrick’s Felicity and Tom Whalen’s Fountain Group for Prestonfield School, Edinburgh. Mancini cast Archibald Dawson’s massive figure, St Andrew, 1938, for the Scottish pavilion at the 1938 Empire Exhibition, and Carrick’s large figures, Safety and Security, for the Caledonian Insurance Company in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. All the above works are listed by Pearson 1989 p.129.
In the Second World War, Mancini was formally warned by the authorities that if he cast any more bronzes his foundry would be closed down; it was not until 1945 that he was allowed to resume casting work (Stansfield 2013 p.167). After the war Mancini cast John Mortimer’s Madonna and Child, 1951 (Glasgow, St Aloysius), Tom Whalen’s The Sower, 1956 (Kirkcaldy Municipal Building) and Ballerina, 1961 (Dalkeith High School), among other works (Pearson 1989 p.130).
In 1960, Mancini was describing himself on his letterhead as ‘Artistic Bronze Founder (cire perdue)’, offering ‘All kinds of plaster casting for sculptors’, as can be seen from an estimate he provided for the sculptor, Charles D’Orville Pilkington Jackson (National Library of Scotland, Acc.7445, box 28, item 633). This estimate, for £250, was accepted for casting a bronze bust of Jackson’s Lord Lugard (Hong Kong University). The animal sculptor, Phyllis Mary Bone’s letters to Mancini, 1965-72, on the casting of her work and other matters, are in the National Library of Scotland (Acc. 5777). Mancini cast Gerald Laing’s relief, The Wise and Foolish Virgins, 1982 (Edinburgh, George St, Caledonian Insurance Building) and the one-ton Fountain of Sabrina (Bristol, Broad Quay), and in 1982 helped Laing set up his own foundry at Kinkell Castle (see Pearson 1989 p.130). Later Laing’s son, Farquhar Laing, set up the Black Isle Bronze Foundry (qv).
In later life, Mancini was employed as a consultant by the firm, Charles Henshaw & Sons, Edinburgh, to supervise repair work on Alfred Gilbert’s Eros (see Timothy Bidwell, ‘The Restoration of Eros’, in Dorment 1986 p.39; see also a photograph of Mancini working on the sculpture, repr. The Times 1 November 1984). He made casts of the figure of Eros for the Fine Art Society (for cast 5 of 10, see Alfred Gilbert, Frederic Leighton & the New Sculpture, exh.cat., Fine Art Society, 2015, p.34).
Sources: Fiona Pearson, ‘George Mancini: Bronze Caster’, in Scotland & Italy. Papers presented at the fourth annual conference of the Scottish Society for Art History, 1989, pp.124-31 (kindly drawn to my attention by Helen Smailes; not known to me when this history was first written); John Stansfield, The People's Sculptor: The Life and Art of William Lamb ARSA (1893-1951), 2013.
Mario Manenti, 416 Fulham Road, London 1921-1928 as moulders and founders in metal, 416C Fulham Road 1929-1933 as an artist.
A bronze founder and an artist, Mario Manenti (1885-1954) took over an existing foundry at 416 Fulham Road in 1921 from Frederick Mancini (qv). He employed the architect, Allan M. Danfall, to remodel the foundry in 1922 (seeSourcesbelow), which he ran, together with associated studios, until 1927, in partnership with Ralph Evangelisti (1871-1950), as Garden Crafts, moulders and founders in metal (London Gazette 7 October 1927). His business was described in telephone books as ‘artistic works’. He exhibited bronzes at the Royal Academy, 1923-5.
Ralph Evangelisti (c.1872-1950), born Raffaelo Evangelisti, came to England at the age of 8 with his father and three brothers; he was apprenticed as a lead moulder and eventually set up his own business as Garden Crafts at 158 New Kings Road (Metropolitan Police Special Branch report concerning Evangelisti’s naturalisation, 19 February 1949; information from Emma Desmier, Evangelisti’s great-grand-daughter, April 2011). He died in 1950, leaving effects worth £1007.
Manenti created the so-called 'Italian Village' of picturesque low pantiled buildings around his workshops (Bridget Cherry, Nikolaus Pevsner,London 3: North West?, 1991, p.249), adding three studios with rooms behind 414 Fulham Road in 1925-6, a further six residential studios behind no.412 by 1930 and additional units subsequently, which were occupied by various artists and sculptors (Giles Walkley, Artists' Houses in London 1764-1914, 1994, p.238, giving Manenti’s life dates).
Manenti married Germaine P.A. Auger in 1911 in the Fulham district and petitioned for divorce in 1929 (National Archives, Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, file 3162). In 1930 he married the sculptress, Bushka B. Kosminski. He died in Florence in 1954, leaving effects worth £15,359.
Works in bronze: Examples of the foundry’s work, all for war memorials, include Hector Bulmer and Hermon Cawthra's Bootle War Memorial, 1920-2, bronze figures, marked: FOUNDRY. M. MANENTI/ LONDON (Bootle, Stanley Road, see Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, p.49), P. Lindsey Clark’sSt Saviour’s Southwark War Memorial, 1922, marked: M. MANENTI/ FOUNDER (Southwark, Borough High St, see Public Sculpture of South London, pp.212-14) and hisCameronians War Memorial, 1924, marked: M. MANENTI FOUNDRY (Glasgow, George Square, see Public Sculpture of Glasgow, p.242), Paul Montford’s Croydon War Memorial, 1921, marked M MANENTI/ FOUNDER (Croydon, Town Hall, see Public Sculpture of Outer South and West London, p.23) and George Thomas’s Milnrow War Memorial, 1924 (Rochdale, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.447).
Sources:London Metropolitan Archives, Building Act case files, GLC/AR/BR/06/049391, plan, elevations and correspondence on foundry rebuilding, 1922-3, kindly examined by Olivia Oldroyd. See also 'Bushka B. Kosminski (Manenti)',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, accessed 19 March 2011. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Manor Iron Foundry, see Robert Masefield & Co
Vincent Marchetti (or Merchitti) (b. c.1800), see Louis Brugiotti
*Baron Carlo Marochetti, foundry, Sydney Mews, off Fulham Road, London, 1849-1867. Sculptor and bronze founder.
Baron Carlo Marochetti, RA (1805-67) is not treated in depth here since sculptors’ own foundries lie outside the immediate scope of this online resource but see Roscoe 2009. His foundry was housed in Sydney Mews, off Fulham Road, from 1849 until his death in 1867 (see Survey of London, vol.41, Brompton, 1983, p.103). It is worth noting that he cast Sir Edwin Landseer’s lions for Nelson’s Column, 1864-6 (Trafalgar Square; see Survey of London, vol.20, St Martin-in-the-Fields, 1940, p.18, see also Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.284). John Ballantyne’s painting, Sir Edwin Landseer, c.1865, shows Landseer modelling one of the lions in Marochetti‘s studio (National Portrait Gallery).
Marochetti explained to an English patron in 1853, 'Casting in my own establishment is only a speculation in the interests of perfection. It is as expensive in every way as it would be if done by a professional founder, and I accept this consequence for the simple reason that the founder is out to drive a hard bargain and one has to accept what one is given, under threat of being taken to court etc, etc… and because your servant and friend is only concerned to have a good cast, reproducing faithfully what he has been at pains to do, and because he knows that good workmanship is worth more to him than a bargain casting job. Once you would have had three statues by Marochetti cast by Soyer or Eck and Durand [in Paris], and now you will have three Marochetti statues cast by Marochetti, that is to say by the man most interested in doing the job properly.' (Philip Ward-Jackson, 'Carlo Marochetti: Maintaining Distinction in an International Sculpture Market', in Cinzia Sicca and Alison Yarrington (eds), The Lustrous Trade: Material Culture and the History of Sculpture in England and Italy, c.1700-c.1860, 2000, pp.185-6).
*Henry Martyn 1888-1898, H.H. Martyn & Co 1898-1900, H.H. Martyn & Co Ltd 1900-1971. At Sunningend, High St 1888-1922, also at 59 High St, Cheltenham by 1899, Sunningend Works, Lansdown, Cheltenham 1908-1971, 5 Grafton St, London W1 from 1914, also other addresses. Architectural and monumental sculptors, later art metal workers, decorators and architectural specialists.
The history of this leading Cheltenham business has been traced by John Whitaker in his book, The Best. A History of H.H. Martyn & Co.(see Sources below), cited here as Whitaker. The changing focus of the business, founded by Herbert Henry Martyn, can be traced in local Cheltenham directories: in 1894 as monumental masons, in 1902 as monumental sculptors, in 1907 as architectural and monumental sculptors, in 1919 as sculptors and art metal workers, in 1927 as sculptors, fibrous plaster & art metal workers, in 1931 as art metal workers, and in 1963 as architectural specialists. By 1914 the business was advertising as architectural decorators and it is this description which gives the best sense of its activities in the 20th century. It became the largest employer in Cheltenham and diversified into aircraft production through the Gloster Aircraft Company.
Herbert Henry Martyn (1842-1937) was born in the Worcester district and married Amelia Fanny Clissold in the Kidderminster district in 1865. By 1875 he was trading as Martyn & Emms, sculptors, a partnership with Alfred Jeffrey Emms which was dissolved in 1888 (London Gazette23 March 1888). He then set up independently at Sunningend in the High St, premises which seem to have been maintained until let out in 1923. He can be traced in census records, in 1881 as a sculptor employing 16 Men and 3 boys, in 1891 as a sculptor and carver, and employer, in 1901 as a retired sculptor and in 1911 as a company director with the business given as sculptors, carvers and decorators. He died in 1937, leaving effects worth £103.3s.4d.
In 1898 Martyn took his son Alfred William Martyn (1871-1947) into partnership together with Henry Arthur Dutton (?1852-1904) (Whitaker p.16). From 28 May 1900 the partnership was incorporated as a limited company (Whitaker p.19). Alfred served as chairman and managing director, 1898-1927 (Whitaker, pp.21, 31); at his death he left effects worth the considerable sum of £137,120. The business took over the Vulcan iron works in 1908, which were renamed Sunningend Works (Whitaker p.18). A London office was opened at 5 Grafton St in 1914 (Whitaker p.22) and other offices were opened. The business was acquired by Maple & Co of London in October 1933 (The Times10 November 1933, 19 and 28 March 1934). It closed in 1971 due to reduced demand. For the business’s role in architectural decoration, ship decoration and aircraft production, see John Whitaker,The Best. A History of H.H. Martyn & Co. For sculptural works in bronze, see below.
Works in bronze: As early as 1899 H.H. Martyn & Co, architectural and monumental sculptors, advertised as specialists in ‘Gun-Metal, Bronze, Marble and Brass Memorial Tablets’ (advert repr. Whitaker p.312). But bronze sculptures were the exception to their normal work until the 1920s. The long-serving foundry manager, from 1919 until 1949, was Arnold Edwards, who took responsibility for sand casting work.
After the First World War, two of Martyn's employees, Walter Gilbert, art director, and Louis Weingartner, designed a number of war memorials, for which the bronze figures were cast by the business. They include Weingartner's Gas Department War Memorial, 1921 (Birmingham, Woodacre Road, see Public Sculpture of Birmingham, p.156), Gilbert and Weingartner's Ecclestone Park War Memorial, 1921-2 (St Helens, St Helens Road, repr. Whitaker p.294, Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, p.183) and Gilbert's Crewe War Memorial, 1923-4, marked: H.H. MARTYN & Co. Ltd./ BRONZE FOUNDERS (Crewe, Memorial Square, Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, p.95). Gilbert was also responsible for the Masonic Shrine (London, Masonic Memorial Building, Great Queen St, repr. Whitaker p.114) and another bronze memorial (Jesmond Dene, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, repr. Whitaker p.296).
H.H. Martyn & Co employed Frederick Mancini (qv) to introduce or extend the use of the lost wax process in producing bronzes, probably in about 1926, the year Mancini exhibited a work at the Royal Academy from an address in Cheltenham. However, Mancini ‘did not stay long’, according to the recollections of a member of Martyn’s foundry team (Whitaker pp.99, 105).
Other works cast in the 1920s and 1930s include Robert Lindsey Clark’s small-scaleThe Broken Limber, 1924 (Cheltenham Museum & Art Gallery; see Whitaker pp.133-4 for other casts), Sir William Reid Dick’s crowning centre-piece paired female figures in iron, 1929/30, for Selfridges’s department store, Oxford St (Whitaker pp.139,326) and Sir Charles Wheeler’s Bank of England doors (Lothbury front), c.1937 (Public Sculpture of City of London, p.20; Sarah Crellin,The Sculpture of Charles Wheeler, 2012, p.133).
Works cast in the 1950s and 1960s include William Bloye's copy of Thomas Brock's statue,Queen Victoria, 1901, cast 1951 (Birmingham, Victoria Square, see Whitaker pp.100-1; Public Sculpture of Birmingham, p.144), William McMillan bronze figures and plaques for the Plymouth Naval Memorial, 1954 (Plymouth Hoe), Oscar Nemon’s seated Sir Winston Churchill, 1955 (Guildhall, London, see Whitaker p.132), Henry Moore’s Upright Internal External Form, 1952–3, cast 1958? (repr. Whitaker p.141; example, Kunsthalle, Hamburg), John Skeaping'sHyperion, 1961, marked: H.H. MARTYN & CO LTD, CHELTENHAM (Newmarket, High St, see Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk, p.236), Edward Bainbridge Copnall’s outsize aluminium sculpture,The Stag, 1963, made for Stag Place in Victoria, London (now Maidstone, Lockmeadow Centre, repr. in production Whitaker pp.262-4) and C.d’O. Pilkington Jackson’s equestrian statue, Robert the Bruce, 1964 (Bannockburn, see Whitaker pp.118-31 for 16 illustrations of the sculpture in production) and his Royal Scots Fusiliers Monument (Ayr, see Whitaker p.306). The business also worked for Lynn Chadwick and Thomas Bayliss Huxley-Jones (Whitaker p.133).
In 1966 the business described itself as 'Statuary Foundry Specialists. Castings in all Non Ferrous Metals. Modellers and carvers in wood and stone' (Society of Portrait Sculptors, 14th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1966).
Sources: H.H. Martyn & Co Ltd, Memorials, trade catalogue, 32pp, n.d. but c.1933-39, available as part of the Internet Archive online at https://archive.org/, accessed July 2015; John Whitaker,The Best: A History of H.H. Martyn & Co, 2nd ed., Cheltenham, 1998, with a selection of the business’s advertisements (Whitaker deposited some records relating to the business in Gloucestershire Archives); 'Herbert Henry Martyn', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII online database, 2011, at http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk, accessed March 2015; Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History at www.gracesguide.co.uk/H._H._Martyn.
Updated March 2018
Robert Masefield & Co, Manor Iron Works, 93, 95 and 97 Manor St, Chelsea, London 1871-1886. Statue founders in bronze and iron, iron and brass founders, smiths and general casting warehouse.
Robert Masefield (1845-1926) was born at Ledbury in Herefordshire in 1845 and died there, age 81, in 1926, leaving effects worth £4905. According to his proposal form for membership of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1882, he was a pupil of Messrs Ordish & Lefevre, civil engineers of 18 Great George St and was subsequently employed in their drawing office for four years before becoming sub-manager at Holbrook & Co and then, for 12 years, managing partner at the Manor Ironworks (Institution of Civil Engineers Archive, ‘Candidate Circulars’, 1882).
In census records, Masefield was recorded in 1871 at 23 Trafalgar Square, Chelsea, as an iron founder, in 1881 at 105 Manor St as a civil and mechanical engineer, unmarried, employing 99 men, a substantial business, and in 1891 at 14 Markham(?) Square, Chelsea as a civil engineer. The business described itself in London directories as statue founders in bronze and iron, iron and brass founders, smiths and general casting warehouse.
Prior to the Manor Iron Foundry becoming the premises of Masefield & Co, it had been in various different ownerships, including those of David Lower, Henry M’Colley and Francis Hocking until 1850, Maurice Hartland Mahon and Thomas Hudson Holbrook, trading as Mahon & Holbrook, founders, smiths and iron merchants, until 1857, and then as Holbrook or Holbrook & Co, still trading in 1872 (London Gazette 7 May 1850, 2 June 1857, 14 December 1869).
Works in bronze: Statues cast by Holbrook & Co include Thomas Woolner’s Lord Palmerston for Palace Yard, 1869 (the statue was replaced by a larger one in 1876) and Marshall Wood’s Queen Victoria, 1869 (Montreal; see Holbrook & Co’s letter, 18 March 1869, National Archives, WORK 20/3/2).
Statues by John Henry Foley cast by Robert Masefield & Co (# information supplied by Duncan James) include General Stonewall Jackson, 1874 (Charleston, South Carolina, see Sheffield & Rotherham Independent 24 November 1874), his equestrian Gen. Sir James Outram, cast 1872/3 (#Calcutta, Government House, see Illustrated London News, 2 August 1873, pp.113-4), his standing Henry Grattan, 1875, marked: R. MASEFIELD & CO. Founders. LONDON (Dublin, College Green, see Illustrated London News, 16 April 1875, p.350) and his equestrian Lord Gough, completed by Thomas Brock, cast 1878 (#Dublin, Phoenix Park, now in store, see Art Journal, November 1878, p.222).
Other statues include William Brodie's Thomas Graham, 1871, marked: R MASEFIELD & CO/ FOUNDERS (Glasgow, George Square, see Public Sculpture of Glasgow, p.139) and his seated Sir James Simpson, 1877 (#Edinburgh, West Princes St, see Illustrated London News, 9 June 1877, p.547), Thomas Woolner’s Lord Lawrence, 1874 (Calcutta, see Bradford Observer 14 November 1874, Illustrated London News, 10 November 1877, p.461) and Lord Palmerston, 1876, marked: R. MASEFIELD & Co./ Founders./ CHELSEA (Parliament Square, see also Sheffield & Rotherham Independent 6 February 1875), Amelia Hill’s David Livingstone, 1876, marked: R MASEFIELD & Co./ Founders/ LONDON. (Edinburgh, Princes St Gardens, see The Scotsman 16 August 1876), Albert Bruce Joy’s John Laird, statue, 1877, marked: R MASEFIELD & CO/ FOUNDERS/ CHELSEA (Birkenhead, Hamilton Square Gdns, see Illustrated London News, 10 November 1877, p.461, and Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, p.24) and Percy Wood’s Captain Joseph Brant, 1886 (Brantford, Ontario, see Daily News 4 January 1886). The business also supplied dolphin lamp standards in iron for the Albert Embankment and the Victoria Embankment, 1870 (see Public Sculpture of South London, p.22).
Sources: Information on works marked # kindly supplied by Duncan James. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
William Matthews, see Deville & Co
Alfred Mazzoni (Alfred Mazzoni & Co 1858), 13 Endell St, Long Acre, London 1852-1855 or later, 7 High St, St Giles 1858-1859, 25 High St 1861-1876, 7 High St 1877-1879, 23 High St 1880-1881, 39 Endell St 1882, 25 Crown St 1883-1884. Statuary 1852, modeller in composition, carton pierre, papier mache, cement, etc by 1867, modeller and plaster cast figure maker, secondhand bookseller and picture dealer from 1881.
Alfred Joseph Mazzoni (c.1827-1884) was christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1827, the son of Matthew Mazzoni (see below). He married Martha Ann Briggs in 1856 at St Pancras Old Church and died in 1884 in the Holborn district, leaving personal estate of only £7. In census records, he can be found in 1841 living with his father, in 1851 as a visitor at 3 St Martin’s Court, described as a modeller from Italy, age 23, in 1861 at 435 Oxford St as a phrenological bust maker with his wife Martha, a dealer in lamps, and in 1881 as a modeller, age 52, with his son Alfred, a wood carver, age 22, lodging in the house of Charles Target at 23 High St, Bloomsbury. Following his death in 1884, his premises at 25 Crown St were taken over by William Herbert, modeller.
Mazzoni advertised an 18in-high coloured reduced copy of the bust of William Shakespeare from the monument in Holy Trinity at Stratford, price 21s (The Antiquarian, vol.1, 6 May 1871, p.iv). In the same issue of this magazine, he advertised as the ‘cheapest house in London for garden vases, brackets, reliefs, pedestals, busts, and plaster ornaments of every description. Gilding, bronzing, marbling, and interior decorations, on reasonable terms. Marble, alabaster, terra-cotta, and other works of art restored. Competent artists sent to all parts of the United Kingdom. Masks taken from the living and deceased persons and modelled into busts’. He advertised models relating to contemporary criminal cases, from 7 High St, Bloomsbury, in 1877 and 1879 (e.g.The Era 26 January 1879).
In 1878, Mazzoni used his headed invoice paper to describe himself as ‘Architectural and General Modeller and Decorator’, offering ‘Plaster and Cement Figures, Garden Vases, Gas and Lamp Figures, Reliefs, Busts, Centre Flowers for Ceilings, Trusses And Ornaments of every description’ (British Museum, Dept of Prints and Drawings, Bill Book, vol.1, item 44). A pair of large gilt corbels appeared at auction in 2011, inscribed: A Mazzoni, 24 High Street Bloomsbury (Carter’s, Kidderminster, 25 June 2011, information from Peter Malone).
Updated March 2019
Matthew Mazzoni, 18 Queen St, Bloomsbury, London 1808, 44 Wells St, Marylebone 1813, 27 Princes St, Leicester Square 1815-1816, 44 Old Compton St, Soho 1817-1819, 49 Old Compton St 1820, 377 Strand 1822-1827, 42 Drury Lane 1827-1829, 6 York St, Covent Garden 1831, Holywell St, St Clement Danes 1841, other addresses, see below. Plaster figure maker.
Matthew Mazzoni (1781-1847), born Barga and christened Giovanni Matteo Mazzoni, was in England by c.1803 and possibly before. He married three times: (1) to Mary Pare in 1804, (2) to Hannah Pemberton in 1812, declared as a bachelor, with witnesses Jacob Torck and William Robinson (‘Register of Marriages of St Marylebone 1809-1812’, Publications of the Harleian Society: Registers, vol.57, 1927, p.91), and (3) to Ann Jones in 1825. By his second marriage, he had a short-lived son Francis, baptised 1813; by his third, two sons who later practiced as modellers, Matthew O’Neil, baptised 1826, recorded as a modeller in the 1840s, and Alfred Joseph, baptised 1827 (see entry above).
In January 1806, Matthew Mazzoni was tried and acquitted of stealing an Egyptian plaster figure and two other plaster figures, total value £4.2s, the property of John Hamilton, statuary and mason, of 162 Sloane St, Chelsea (Old Bailey). According to Hamilton, Mazzoni had been employed by him as a journeyman from 31 July 1804 until November 1805 at 30s a week plus task work, also stating that Mazzoni had previously worked for Mr Blore (presumably Robert Blore senr or junr), while Mazzoni claimed that he had moved to Hamilton’s under the ‘colour’ of a partnership.
In 1808 ‘Mazon, plaster figure maker’, presumably Matthew Mazzoni, was at 18 Queen St, Bloomsbury, when Henry Morrell insured these premises (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 447/821467). He first appears in London directories as I.M. Mazzoni at 27 Princes St, Leicester Square in 1815. Mazzoni was imprisoned for debt in 1831 as a plaster figure maker, formerly of 44 Drury Lane, then of 6 York St, Covent Garden, and late of 3 New Church Court, Strand, and also of 400 Strand (London Gazette 22 November 1831). In the 1841 census, he was listed in Holywell St, St Clement Danes, as an artist, born overseas, age 60 (ages were rounded down to the nearest five in this census), together with his wife Ann, age 40, and five children. He died in 1847 in the St Giles district.
Works in sculpture: In November 1815, Benjamin Robert Haydon used ‘Mazzoni’ to make moulds of some of the Elgin Marbles, pushing him and his workmen to complete the work in as short a time as possible, worried that his permission would be revoked; in July the following year Mazzoni’s name occurs again in Haydon’s diary in a discussion between Haydon and David Wilkie concerning figures for the Edinburgh Academy (W.B. Pope, The Diary of Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1963, vol.1, pp.479-80, vol.2, p.41). Mazzoni was employed by Richard Westmacott (qv) in making plaster casts of classical marbles in the British Museum, including the Elgin Marbles, in the period 1816-23 and perhaps subsequently (Jenkins 1990 pp.101-5). For five years, much of the moulding work at the Museum was undertaken for Mazzoni by Peter Sarti (qv), according to the latter’s testimony.
In March 1816, Mazzoni began supplying the watercolourist, John Samuel Hayward, with plaster casts from the Elgin marbles and over the next year sold him casts to the considerable sum of £85.12s.6d, including an ‘Elgin bas-relief’ for £1.1s and Theseus and Neptune, as they were described, for £8.8s each (summary listing by Robert Barnes from bills for casts supplied to Hayward, V&A National Art Library, MSL/1943/920C). In 1817, through the intervention of the landscape painter Hugh ‘Grecian’ Williams, Mazzoni supplied casts from some of the Elgin marbles to the Board of Manufacturers at Edinburgh for the Trustees’ Academy; these casts were sold off some twenty years later when the Trustees acquired a full set from Peter Sarti (qv) (see Margaret Stewart, ‘Scenery and Scenes: the plaster cast collection and its architecture at Edinburgh College of Art’, forthcoming article).
In 1827 Mazzoni was paid £22.9s for ‘cleaning, repairing & glazing’ the collection of plaster casts in the Liverpool Royal Institution, perhaps following the arrival of casts of the Aegina marbles. (Liverpool University special collections, LRI 3/2, p.47). In about 1828 he modelled the massive bearded terms supporting the grand staircase at Stafford House, now Lancaster House (James Yorke, Lancaster House: London’s greatest town house, 2001, p.29). In 1835, ‘Mazzoni’ contributed a model of a statue of David Garrick to the vestibule of Drury Lane Theatre (The Times 2 October 1835).
Sources: Information on Mazzoni’s birth and christening kindly provided by Bruno Caproni, July 2011; information on Mazzoni’s third marriage from Alex Bingham, September 2018. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Pellegrino Mazzotti, Norwich by 1819, Charing Cross, Norwich by 1830, Goat Lane, Norwich 1830, 1836, 1839, Bull Lane, Ely 1850, Cambridge 1851, Wisbech 1842, by 1854 and probably to 1879. Sculptor and modeller.
Pellegrino Mazzotti (c.1794-1879) was born at Coreglia near Lucca. He settled in Norwich in or before 1819 (Walker 1985 p.135). His premises seem to have been situated in the front part of Strangers’ Hall, in Charing Cross, St John Maddermarket, the rear part of which was occupied by a priest or priests who ministered at the nearby Roman Catholic chapel. This arrangement was described as early as 1829 by the historian, John Chambers, who also identified that Mazzottti’s busts and vases ornamented many Norwich residences (John Chambers,A General History of the County of Norfolk, vol.3, 1829, p.1173, accessed through Google Book Search). Mazzotti’s life and works have been studied by Kristel De Wulf, to whom this account is indebted.
Pellegrino Mazzotti married Mary Leeds in February 1822 at St John Maddermarket. They had four daughters, Maria, Caroline, Teresa and Rosina. There are various references to individuals by the name of Mazzotti or Mazzotte in Norwich until as late as 1861. Pellegrino Mazzotti seems to have separated from his family, perhaps in about 1840. In census records, in 1841 his wife and children are listed in Norwich without him, in 1851 he appears as an artist, age 58, lodging in Cambridge, in 1861 as a modelling artist, age 65, born Coreglia in Tuscany, lodging in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, and in 1871 as Pilgrim Mazzotti, an artist and widower, age 76, still lodging in Wisbech. He died in the workhouse in Wisbech on 22 October 1879, age 85.
There was a James Mazotti (c.1804-1849), plaster figure maker, in Cambridge in 1846, who died age 45 in the workhouse in 1849. He was followed by Edmund Leeds, plaster figure maker, who was born in Norwich and may have been related to Pellegrino Mazzotti’s wife, Mary (as proposed by Kristel De Wulf).
Works in sculpture: Mazzotti’s work can be linked to Norwich, Cambridge and Wisbech. Information on some works has been supplied by Kristel De Wulf.
In Norwich, he used his trade card as an artist, engraved locally, to advertise, ‘Busts taken from the living and dead and executed at the shortest notice. Figures, &c repaired, cleaned & bronzed in the neatest manner’, also offering to repair alabaster, china and marble ornaments (Heal coll., 106.18, see Roscoe 2009 p.824). He exhibited various busts at the Norwich Society of Artists in 1821, 1822, 1828 and 1829, the subjects including Captain Parry, Dr Rigby, Philip Taylor and John Crome in 1821, John Taylor, Sarjeant Blossett, T.W. Coke MP and the late Dr Rigby in 1822 and the Bishop of Norwich in 1828. There are plaster busts of Nelson, Bathurst, Shakespeare and Wesley by Mazzotti in the Norwich Castle Museum, that of Shakespeare inscribed ‘Mazzotti fecit Norwich 1838’, together with death masks of Napoleon and of convicted Norwich murderers (Walker 1985 p.135). Other works include a ‘painted terracotta’ of Bishop Bathurst, 1820, and a small painted unidentified judge or ecclesiastic (Roscoe 2009 p.824), a plaster bust, John Crome, c.1820 (National Portrait Gallery, see Walker 1985 p.135, version Norwich Castle Museum) and a bust,The Duke of Wellington, 1830, marked: P. Mazzotti, Goat Lane, Norwich, 1830 (Norwich Evening News, 31 July 1956).
In Cambridge, there are works in plaster by Mazzotti, whether by Pellegrino or James, in local collections. These include a death mask of an unidentified woman, contained in a box marked: Sig. Mazzotti fecit 1834 (St John’s College) and two casts after busts by Roubiliac, Sir Francis Bacon, marked: Mazzotti Fecit, and Sir Isaac Newton, scratched: T.I. Mazzotti Fecit/ Amundti(?) 1836 (English Faculty Board Library, see J.W. Goodison, Catalogue of Cambridge Portraits: The University Collection, 1955, pp.72-3). The attribution to Mazzotti of another bust,George Basevi (Fitzwilliam Museum) cannot be sustained. Both Pellegrino and James (perhaps a brother or a cousin) are documented in Cambridge, while ‘T.I. Mazzotti’ is otherwise unrecorded.
In Wisbech, Pellegrino Mazzotti produced a bust, Admiral Lord Nelson, marked: P. Mazzotti Fecit, Wisbech 1854 (destroyed; bronze cast sold by Toovey’s auctioneers, West Sussex, 30 January 2009 lot 2601). Mazzotti gave a death mask of Napoleon and a medallion, Napoleon at Arcola, to the Wisbech Museum in 1842, and a plaster bust,Prof. Poison[Porson], in 1855. Wisbech & Fenland Museum also owns his plaster busts, Rev. Henry Fardell, 1854 (first President of Wisbech Museum), Thomas Clarkson, 1855, and William Shakespeare, as well as a set of twelve casts from carving in All Saints church, Elm, by 1857.
Sources:Information kindly supplied by Kristel De Wulf on Pellegrino Mazzotti’s studio, his Norwich Society exhibits, marriage and four daughters, the Wellington bust, works in Cambridge and Wisbech collections and his death certificate, and on James Mazotti and Edmund Leeds, now available on an excellent website put together by Kristel De Wulf at https://sites.google.com/site/pellegrinomazzotti/home. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Fernando Meacci (c.1836-1893) worked for various leading sculptors in Chelsea as a sculptors’ moulder in the late 1880s and early 1890s. In the 1881 census, he was recorded at 53 Cale St, Chelsea, as a figure modeller, age 45, born in Italy, with his English-born wife, Mary, a son James, a modeller’s apprentice, age 17, and a daughter Louisa, age 9, both born in London, suggesting that Meacci was in England by 1863, when he would have been about 26 or 27. Meacci was one of three moulders, along with Ferdinando Lucchesi and T. Millon, recommended by the sculptor E. Roscoe Mullins in 1889 (E. Roscoe Mullins, A Primer of Sculpture, 1889, p.21). At this time Meacci was calling himself a piece moulder and figure maker on his invoice paper. He died in 1893, age 56, in the Chelsea district. His estate was valued at £987.0s.4d.
Meacci’s work in waste and piece moulding, preparing gelatine moulds, casting in plaster and wax, painting and bronzing, and squeezing in clay between 1886 and his death in 1893, can be traced from his account book and associated copy invoices (see Sources below). His most important customers were the leading sculptors, Edward Onslow Ford and Alfred Gilbert. Other customers were George Cowell, Fountain Elwin, Thomas Essex, Edward Geflowski, Miss Mary Grant, Captain Harrison, Thomas Maclean, Briton Riviere and, occasionally, Gustav Natorp and ‘Mr Singer’, the latter presumably one of the partners in J.W. Singer & Sons (qv).
Meacci would undertake waste moulding, chipping out the mould to reveal the cast within and, for larger works, piece moulding and making joints, sometimes called roman joints, to allow a mould to be joined in pieces. Meacci would arrange for the transport of sculpture from one part of London to another and occasionally further afield. On occasion, he would arrange for the firing of sculpture, presumably in clay, including going to Doulton’s for two dogs to be fired for Thomas Maclean in 1888 and to Fulham Pottery for a statuette to be baked for Edward Geflowski in 1890 and for a small head of Irving and another work to be fired for Onslow Ford in 1891. He went to the ‘pottery’ to bake a large cup with figures round it for Alfred Gilbert in 1892.
The following details derive from Meacci’s account book and associated copy invoices. This documentation warrants further study.
Work for Edward Onslow Ford: For Edward Onslow Ford, between December 1886 and September 1893, Meacci undertook a great variety of work. He moved Ford’s studio contents from his old studio in Fulham to 62 Acacia Road, St Johns Wood, in January 1887. He cast a bust of Arthur Balfour in plaster in April 1887 and then in wax the following month, presumably related to Ford’s Grosvenor Gallery exhibit that year. He was paid for ‘taking a head from a dead man, & also his hand’ for £1.15s in 1887. He waste moulded a bust of the Lord Mayor, James Whitehead, and made a gelatine mould and cast two copies, totalling £6.10s in 1889, as well as working on a companion bust of the Lady Mayoress.
Meacci performed considerable work on Ford’s memorial images of General Gordon, most notably for General Gordon on a Camel, which was cast in bronze by J.W. Singer & Sons (qv). For this sculpture, he undertook one of his most expensive jobs, for £82 on 24 January 1889, ‘To waste moulding a large Statue of a Camel cast & chipped out & making some roman joints including material labour and all expenses’. Meacci also assisted with a statuette of Gordon in 1887 and a bust in 1888. He undertook work relating to camel mouldings and castings in 1887 and 1888 including ‘Going to the Zoological Gardens & Moulding 2 legs & head of a camel from nature, cast & chipped out’ for £6.10s including expenses in 1888.
Work forAlfred Gilbert: On his return to England in 1884 or 1885, Alfred Gilbert took a studio in the complex at The Avenue in Fulham Road, close to his master Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, and also to his fellow sculptor and friend Onslow Ford. Meacci worked for Gilbert extensively from at least June 1886 until April 1893, even providing a man to act as Gilbert’s studio assistant from mid-1889 to mid-1890, at the considerable cost of £152 with materials. For a sculptor like Gilbert, whose work is made up of many small intricate parts, the interest of the Meacci account book is that it allows one to follow some of the intricacies of the creative and construction process of major works such as the Memorial to Henry Fawcett, completed 1887 (Westminster Abbey), the Jubilee Memorial to Queen Victoria, completed 1887 (Winchester Castle), the early stages of the Memorial to the Earl of Shaftesbury (‘Eros’), begun 1886 (Piccadilly Circus) and the beginnings of theTomb of the Duke of Clarence, begun 1892 (Albert Memorial Chapel, Windsor). In the following account, Richard Dorment’s Alfred Gilbert, 1985, provides the basis for dating Gilbert’s commissions while Meacci’s account book gives the date for individual components.
For Gilbert’s Fawcett Memorial, Meacci made various charges in 1886: taking it down in June, casting in wax the seated figure of the reaper [‘Brotherhood’] and six ornamental brackets in September, casting in wax two statuettes of a seated figure and piece moulding Fawcett’s head and the figures with a beehive [‘Industry’] and sword [‘Justice’] in October, casting in wax two statuettes of ‘Industry’, two of ‘Justice’, one of ‘Zeal’ and masks of Fawcett in November and, in January 1887, moulding a small head of Fawcett in relief and casting two copies in wax and going to Westminster to help in fixing the memorial.
For Gilbert’sQueen Victoria Memorial in 1887, Meacci charged for waste moulding the Queen at £8 in February, waste moulding a large statue of the Queen sitting in a chair for £35 in April, moulding a piece of ornament for the Queen’s chair and casting three copies in May, waste moulding a small angel on a ball in June perhaps for the memorial or for the figure,Victory (later example, Ashmolean Museum), making a gelatine mould of a small victory and casting one copy in plaster and two in wax for £3.10s in July, waste moulding Britannia (the small statue at the rear of the memorial) and the two seated statues on top of the Queen’s chair in August. He also charged for casting and moulding the Art Union jubilee medal of the Queen in February 1887 (examples of finished medal in bronze, National Portrait Gallery, British Museum) and a shield of the Queen in April 1887. The following year, in 1888, the full-scale plaster was exhibited at the Royal Academy, and in preparation Meacci put the plaster together in March, polishing it and taking it to the Academy in April. He undertook further work including making a gelatine mould of a small bust of the Queen and casting four copies in December 1892.
For Gilbert’s Shaftesbury Memorial, Meacci charged for work on a sketch in October 1888 and for piece moulding ‘a quarter of the large Fountain’, for casting eight copies in plaster and fixing them together with Roman joints at the very considerable sum of £130 in July 1889 and for work on panels for the fountain in 1890.
For Gilbert’s Clarence Tomb in 1892, Meacci charged for making a gelatine mould of a statuette of the Duke, casting four copies and waxing them for £12 in May. He also waste moulded two medals and made a gelatine mould of one of the Duke and cast one copy for £3.10s in October and made further moulds and cast two copies in November. It is worth noting the survival of a bronzed wax model on a plaster base, dated to 1892 (Victoria and Albert Museum, see Bilbey 2002 p.279, no.427).
Meacci’s portrait work for Gilbert included waste moulding a bust of Robert Glassby in April 1887 and casting a copy in plaster and another in wax in December 1887, making a gelatine mould of Gilbert’s friend, the landscape painter Matthew Ridley Corbet’s earlier medal and casting four copies in plaster and four in wax in September 1887 (earlier bronze example, Musée d’Orsay, Paris), casting in wax a bust of a gentleman with a ‘heavy moustache’ in June 1887 and waste moulding a bust of the artist, G.F. Watts in October 1888 (finished bronze, Tate).
Meacci waste moulded ‘a bass relievo of flowers’ for Gilbert in April 1888 for £3.10s and moulded a snake from nature the following month, probably for the Memorial to William Graham, 1886-91 (Glasgow Cathedral). Meacci’s papers also include a note of a large group of a mermaid, supplied to the Duchess of Bedford in November 1892, which he took to Woburn Abbey, joining it together and painting it, as well as transporting there a terracotta group on a large ebonised plinth, at a cost to Alfred Gilbert of £26.10s (2683/002/1). Whether this mermaid group can be linked to model of a kneeling figure on the back of a mermaid in the Victoria and Albert Museum requires further exploration (Bilbey 2002 p.280 dates the model to c.1892 on the basis of a possible link with the Clarence tomb).
Work for other sculptors:For George Cowell at 4 Carlyle Studios, 296 King’s Road, Chelsea, Meacci undertook several jobs between June 1888 and January 1893, most expensively for £14 in March 1889, ‘To waste moulding a large group cast & chipped out…’ (a statuette of Babes in a Cradle). The previous year, in June and July 1888, there are four successive entries for a female bust: for waste moulding it at 15s, piece moulding at £2.10s and squeezing twice, at 14s a time, the second time specified as in clay. In 1890 he charged for waste moulding a statue,The Death of First Born, later removing it from the Royal Academy and painting it a terracotta colour. He also charged for painting a group with a donkey a terracotta colour.
Edward Geflowski (spelt ‘Geploskie’ by Meacci), a customer from July 1887 to October 1893, was recorded at 428 Fulham Road, and then in August 1890 at 27 Trafalgar Square, Chelsea. Meacci undertook waste and piece moulding for lifesize and small busts in 1887 and 1888, waste moulding a statuette of the Queen, charged at £10 on 24 December 1887, as well as piece moulding a Sailor Boy and casting six copies in plaster for £5 in 1888.
For Mary Grant at Camwell House, 29 Tite St, Chelsea, December 1888 to April 1893, Meacci’s most expensive job at £10 on 26 August 1889 concerned collecting a large relief from Tite St, providing a waste mould, casting and chipping it out, and then removing it to Lambeth. Other work described in general terms included in 1888 casting and chipping out a death mask and a hand, in 1889 and subsequently waste moulding, casting and chipping out busts and reliefs, as well as supplying pedestals for busts and moulding, and in 1891 casting and chipping out a hand and a portion of an arm from nature. In 1892 he undertook waste moulding, casting and chipping out a bust of [Charles Stewart] Parnell, subsequently making a gelatine mould and supplying three copies (example in plaster, National Portrait Gallery).
For the animal painter Briton Riviere at 82 Finchley Road Meacci undertook several commissions between February 1888 and April 1893, most expensively ‘piece moulding a tiger’ in 1888 for £6. He undertook work on a tiger, 1888-89, 1891 and 1893 and on a lion in 1890. He also charged for going to the Zoological Gardens in 1888 to waste mould four legs and one head of a wolf.
Meacci’s limited work for ‘Mr Singer’ in June 1888 may indicate that he was acting as a sub-contractor for J.W. Singer & Sons (qv). The entry for the more expensive item, at £10, reads ‘To Making two Piece Moulds of a statuette of the reeper one for running the wax one for the core & supplying a case & packing the same…’.
Meacci worked for other sculptors. In alphabetical order: Fountain Elwin, October 1887-May 1888, undertaking minor casting and transport work; T[homas?] Essex, October 1887 to March 1891, supplying anatomical figures, including a horse and a lion, and other minor work; Captain Harrison, 11 Holland Park Road, in February 1888, making a gelatine mould of a child on a cushion and casting four copies in terracotta colour for £9; Thomas Nelson Maclean, 13 Bruton St, September 1888 to August 1893, including piece moulding and waste moulding a statue of an Indian in March 1889, waste moulding a large statue made with several roman joints for £35 in January 1892 and piece moulding a marble bust,Robert Burns, in May 1893; and Gustav Natorp of 70 Ennismore Gardens from February to November 1888, including ‘squeezing a female bust’ for £1.
Work for museums: Meacci undertook some work for regional museums at the instigation of the South Kensington Museum, in particular in 1886 he supplied Bradford Art Museum with a cast of a Virgin and Child relief in the Victoria and Albert Museum, then thought to be by an Italian Renaissance artist but now considered to be a forgery, and he made a piece mould and cast of John Flaxman’s marble statue,William Pitt, in Glasgow Museum in 1890 for £80, with the intention of making casts for Dublin and Edinburgh (Victoria and Albert Museum Archive, A0319, vol.1, and Meacci nominal file, MA/1/M1692).
Sources:Meacci’s account book and associated copy invoices, 1886-93 (London Metropolitan Archives, ACC/2683/001, 2683/002). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Vincent Merchitti (or Marchetti) (b. c.1800), see Louis Brugiotti
Updated March 2020
Meridian Bronze Company 1968-1988, Meridian Fine Art Co Ltd 1989-1995 or later, Meridian Sculpture Foundry Ltd 1997-1998, M.S. Meridian Foundry Ltd 1999-2001. At Greenwich, London 1967, Pontypool Place, Blackfriars Road, SE1 1968-1969, 39a Consort Road (Arch 837), Peckham, SE15 3SS 1971-1995 or later, The Arches, Consort Road 1998-2001. Bronze sculpture founders.
The Meridian foundry was run by Jack Crofton and his wife, Megan Jones, both of whom trained at Newport College of Art in south Wales. Jack Crofton (c.1940-2013) was born in Limerick but moved to Newport as a child. He worked at Morris Singer Co (qv) in Dorset Road, Lambeth, as an apprentice wax moulder until the company moved to Basingstoke, and then at Galizia (qv) in Battersea. After an illness he became sculptor’s assistant to Enzo Plazzotta. A sculptor in his own right, he wished to cast his own work and decided to start his own foundry in 1967, using the lost wax process. The foundry was initially located in Greenwich, close to the prime meridian, hence its name. Crofton approached ex-Morris Singer employees, Peter Morley, also from Newport Art College (wax moulder), Bill Payne (chaser) and Bill Waldren (chaser), none of them wanting to move to Basingstoke. Crofton took Morley and Payne into partnership. Much of the above information was kindly supplied by Megan Crofton, August 2015.
In 1968 Meridian advertised as sculpture founders from Pontypool Place, Blackfriars Road (Society of Portrait Sculptors, 16th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1968), moving in 1969 to larger premises at arch 837 in Consort Road, Peckham, adjacent to Corinthian Bronze Foundry (qv) but quite independent, and then into part of Corinthian's premises by 1971, following Corinthian's closure. Eventually the business occupied arches 840, 841 and 842, which became the sand shop (information from Megan Crofton). Bill Payne and Peter Morley left the partnership and Crofton took his brother Noel as a partner, 1971-3 (information from Megan Crofton).
When Duncan James visited the foundry in about 1970, as part of a series of visits to bronze foundries, he identified Jack Crofton as heading the foundry team, and Bill Payne, an expert metal worker, as being responsible for the chasing shop (James 1971 p.87, reproducing a photograph showing a crucible of bronze being transferred from the furnace). At that time, the business was using the lost wax technique but had plans to extend into sand casting for the production of very large bronzes, perhaps as a result of Corinthian’s closure. James saw Franta Belsky’s imposing bronze statue, Sir Winston Churchill, in production for Fulton, Missouri, as well as a full size Chesterfield sofa, cast for Clive Barker.
Meridian Foundry cast in bronze and precious metals, using both the lost wax and sand processes in due course. It advertised in 1978 as ‘Sculpture Founders. Castings in sand and lost wax', illustrating the staff of the foundry in front of James Butler's outsize statue, President Kenyatta, for Nairobi (Society of Portrait Sculptors, 25th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1978, p.38). Meridian became the second largest art foundry to Morris Singer, employing around twenty-five highly skilled craftsmen (information from Megan Crofton).
In 1998, the company’s directors, as given on its notepaper, were Mr J.A. Crofton and Mrs G.M. Crofton, i.e. Jack and Megan Crofton (Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2005.456/C/4/1). The foundry was bought out by Morris Singer (qv) the following year, with the Croftons remaining as managers for a short while. The business’s new name, M.S. Meridian Foundry, presumably was chosen to reflect Morris Singer’s ownership.
Works in bronze: The foundry worked for many sculptors including Elizabeth Frink, Franta Belsky, John Skeaping, Ivor Robert-Jones and James Butler.
Elizabeth Frink used the foundry from c.1968 until her death in 1993, including for Horse and Rider, 1975 (London, Dover St, information from Megan Crofton), Paternoster, 1975, marked: CAST BY/ MERIDIAN BRONZE Co/ LONDON (Paternoster Square) and Horse, 1980, cast 1986, marked: MERIDIAN BRONZE/ LONDON (repr. Antonia Boström et al., The Fran and Ray Stark Collection of 20th-century Sculpture at the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008, p.75). The process of casting sculpture for Frink meant that Jack Crofton, 'often went to the south of France to work on her plasters, combining with work for John Skeaping and Shirley Watts, bringing their plasters back to the foundry to cast', according to Megan Crofton, writing in 2012 (Ratuszniak 2013 p.192).
Franta Belsky is said to have used Meridian from at least 1969 and their letters to him, 1978-88, mainly from Jack Crofton, can be found in Belsky’s papers (Henry Moore Institute, 2001.94/I/4). Examples of Belsky’s work in public locations include Sir Winston Churchill, statue, 1969 (Fulton, Missouri), Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, head, 1979, marked: Meridian/ LONDON/ Bronze (National Portrait Gallery), Queen Elizabeth II, head, 1981 (National Portrait Gallery; 2nd cast of 9, St Thomas’ Hospital, see Public Sculpture of South London, pp.46-7), Earl Mountbatten of Burma, statue, 1983 (off Horse Guards Parade, see The Times 8 September 1983) and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, head, 1984, marked: Meridian London Bronze (National Portrait Gallery). Other works mentioned in Belsky’s correspondence with the foundry include portrait heads, Thelma Wade, 1979, and Harry S. Truman, 1979; Three Rearing Horses, 1980; Sir Winston Churchill, plaque, 1980; Sir John Methuen, 1980; Queen Elizabeth, 1982-3; 'Torso', 1983; Winston Churchill, bust, 1984; Prince William, 1986; and John Piper, 1987.
John Skeaping used Meridian as one of a succession of foundries to cast his later work: Fiorini & Carney (qv) c.1962-4, John Galizia (qv) c.1965-70, Meridian Bronze 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).
Ivor Roberts-Jones used the foundry from c.1972, abandoning his long-term commitment to the Art Bronze Foundry (qv) when it came to the casting of his life-size statue of Sir Winston Churchill (see Jonathan Black, Abstraction and Reality: the Sculpture of Ivor Roberts-Jones, 2013, p.45). Works cast for Robert-Jones include Sir Winston Churchill, statue, 1973-4 (Parliament Square, see The Times 12 September 1974), Oliver Lyttelton 1st Viscount Chandos, head, unveiled 1980, marked: MERIDIAN/ LONDON/ BRONZE (Lyttelton Theatre, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.85), George Thomas, Viscount Tonypandy, head, exh.1982, marked: MERIDIAN/ LONDON/ BRONZE (National Portrait Gallery), two statues, Field Marshal Slim, 1990, and Viscount Alanbrooke, 1993, both marked: CAST BY/ MERIDIAN FINE ART/ LONDON (both Whitehall, Ministry of Defence, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, pp.425-6), Sir Nicholas Goodison, head, 1990, cast 1992, with foundry mark (National Portrait Gallery) and Mrs Griffiths second version, figure, 2001? (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge). Roberts-Jones’s archive provides further documentation on the casting of his work (Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2005.456/C/4/1).
Works by James Butler, from 1973 onwards, include President Kenyatta, 1973 (Nairobi, Kenya, see above and Public Sculpture of South London, p.449), Burton Cooper, 1977 (Burton-upon-Trent, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.449), King Richard III, 1980 (Leicester, Castle Gardens, see Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland, p.81), Field Marshal Alexander, statue, 1985, marked: MERIDIAN BRONZE LONDON (Wellington Barracks, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.409) and John Wilkes, 1988 (Fetter Lane, see Public Sculpture of the City of London, p.106).
Works by other sculptors from the 1960s and 1970s include Ghisha Koenig’s Reliefs: London, 1966, and Tent Makers I, 1978 (Royal Festival Hall, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.366), John Poole’s Bronze Doors, 1973-5 (Monument Yard, Moorgate, see Public Sculpture of the City of London, p.269), Robert Thomas, Mother and Child, 1974 (Blackburn, Astley Gate, see Public Sculpture of Lancashire and Cumbria, p.8), Edwin Russell’s Dolphin equinoctial sun dial, 1978 (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, see Journal of the British Astronomical Association, vol.88, 1978, p.485, accessed through Google Book Search), and William Turnbull’s Mask 1, 1979, marked: … MERIDIAN/ LONDON/ BRONZE (Sotheby’s 5 December 2001 lot 149).
Michael Ayrton had used the Art Bronze Foundry (qv) but from 1972 used Meridian for most of his work (see Jacob Nyenhuis, Myth and the Creative Process: Michael Ayrton and the Myth of Daedalus, the Maze Maker, 2003, p.225), including Icarus III, 1960-2, later cast, marked: CAST BY/ MERIDIAN BRONZE Co/ LONDON (Old Change Court, see Public Sculpture of the City of London, p.293). F.E. McWilliam used Meridian for casting some works, 1976-80, including Homer I, 1958 (cast later), the large-scale Help!, 1976 (Harlow New Town) and Judo Players (Wrestlers), 1980; see Ferran 2012 nos 170, 436, 470.
From the 1980s and subsequently, Arthur Fleischmann’s Bondi Beach, c.1944, cast early 1980s, Sir Charles Mackerras, 1983, Spring, 1949, cast 1989-90 (Joanna Barnes Fine Art, Arthur Fleischmann: A Centennial Celebration, exh. cat., 1996, nos 18, 22, 53), Paul Hamann’s life-masks, Sir Noël Coward and Aldous Huxley, both 1930, cast 1981, marked: MERIDIAN/ LONDON (National Portrait Gallery), Kevin Atherton’s Three Bronze Deckchairs, 1983 (for International Garden Festival, Liverpool, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.449), John Ravera’s In Town, 1982-3 (Battersea Bridge Road, SW11, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.282), Dolphin Fountain, 1987 (Barbican, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.449) and the bust, John Rennie, 1992 (Wapping, Spirit Quay, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.449), Tom Merrifield’s Spartacus, 1984 (Chichister Festival Theatre, see Public Sculpture of Sussex, p.109), Siegfried Charoux’s The Cellist, 1959, replacement in bronze 1984 (Lambeth, Queen’s Walk, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.360), Maurice Lambert’s aluminium head, Edith Sitwell, c.1926-7, cast 1985 (example National Portrait Gallery, see Benedict Read and Peyton Skipwith, Sculpture in Britain between the Wars, exh. cat., 1986, no.72), Brian Yale’s Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow, 1987 (Southwalk, Gatehouse Square, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.262), Alan Thornhill’s Load, 1988-9, marked: MERIDIAN/ LONDON/ BRONZE (Wandsworth, Lower Richmond Road, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.311) and Michael Rizzello’s bust, James Walker, 1988, marked: MERIDIAN/ LONDON/ BRONZE (Rotherhithe, Greenland Dock, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.253).
Works by Diane Gorvin from the 1980s and 1990s, Rock and Roller Panel, 1982 (Runcorn, Barnfield Avenue), Dryad, 1984 (Runcorn, Norton Priory sculpture trail), Ghost of the White Lady, 1984 (Warrington, Bewsey Old Hall Maze), Bo Peep and her Sheep, 1985, statue of Bo Peep (Birchwood, Forest Park) and Arial and Belphoebe, 1986 (Runcorn, Stuart Road); these works are recorded in Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, pp.170, 174, 243, 4 and 179 respectively). Also Dr Salter’s Daydream, 1990-1 (Southwark, Bermondsey Wall East, see Public Sculpture of South London, pp.174-6).
Jonathan Kenworthy stated that Meridian cast all his work for his Coe Kerr gallery exhibition in New York in 1986 (Foundry Trade Journal, vol.161, 1987, p.344). The foundry cast his The Leopard, 1985 (Cannon St, see Public Sculpture of the City of London, p.60).
From the 1990s, Allan Sly's The Window Cleaner, 1990 (Westminster, Chapel St, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.28), John Mills’ Blitz: The National Firefighters' Memorial, 1990-1, marked: CAST BY/ MERIDIAN/ LONDON (Sermon Lane, City of London, see Public Sculpture of the City of London, p.392), Alfred Gilbert’s bust, John Hunter, replica c.1991 (St George’s Hospital, Tooting, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.318), Peter McLean’s Sunbeam Weekly and the Pilgrim’s Pocket, 1991 (Rotherhithe, Cumberland Wharf, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.251), Ivan Klapez’s Unity, 1992 (London Wall, see Public Sculpture of the City of London, p.235), Philip Bews, Diane Gorvin, Nathan David, Althea Wynne and Marjan Wouda’s David, part of Barnard’s Wharf Animals, 1992 (Rotherhithe, Barnard’s Wharf, other figures by other founders, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.248), David Wynne’s pierced and painted relief centrepiece, Lion and Unicorn, 1993 marked: CAST BY/ MERIDIAN/ FOUNDERS/ LONDON (Hyde Park Corner, Queen Elizabeth Gate), Angela Conner's statue, Gen. Charles de Gaulle, 1993 (Carlton Gardens, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.19), Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Pears and Nuts, 1994-6 (Edinburgh, Hunter Square, see Public Sculpture of Edinburgh, vol.1, p.241), Laura Ford’s Nature Girls, 1995 (Rotherhithe, Surrey Water, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.257), William Pye’s bust, Douglas Hurd, Baron Hurd, 1996, with foundry mark (National Portrait Gallery) and Thompson Dagnall's St Helens Mining Monument, unveiled 1996, cast iron (St Helens, Duke St, see Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, p.180).
Trading as MS Meridian, Nigel Boonham’s outsize Archbishop Mannix, c.1999 (Society of Portrait Sculptors, 36th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1999, p.53) and Rick Kirby's figures for Southern Arch, 1999-2000 (Glasgow, Castlemilk, Carmunnock Road, see Public Sculpture of Glasgow, p.50).
Sources: Obituary by Osi Rhys Osmond, ‘Jack Crofton’, The Guardian online, 15 December 2013; Terry Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, 2007, pp.xvii, 449. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Little is known of Moore, Fressange & Moore, a short-lived partnership active from 1848 to 1852. Peter Fressange, chaser, was listed as a partner in the business in 1849, and the other partners were John Moore and James Moore, perhaps brothers. There is no evidence of a connection with James John Moore, manager and, from 1882, joint owner, as Moore & Co, of the Thames Ditton Foundry (qv), but who would have been only 22 in 1848, nor with his father, John Moore, engineer.
The partnership collapsed when the partners were charged with fraud over the casting of the bronze reliefs for Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square. In August 1852 the Office of Woods was informed anonymously that the business had been fraudulent in respect of the purity of the bronze, a fraud which led to the trial and imprisonment of the partners in 1853 (The Times 5 July 1853, misnaming the defendants as Moon and Tressange). Apparently, the informant was a former employee, who had seduced Fressange’s wife, and left the country with her for Australia (see Rodney Mace,Trafalgar Square: emblem of empire, 1976, pp.104-7).
The case is well documented in the National Archives (WORK 20/3/1, items 103, 124, 152, 262, 280, 311). Moore, Fressange & Moore put in estimates in 1848. Their use of iron in place of bronze to reach the expected weight in Musgrave Watson’s relief, Battle of St Vincent, was anonymously denounced on 20 August 1852. Two French workmen came forward as witnesses, Messrs Cabrat and Veniat, as correspondence in September 1852 and January 1853 reveals. The unfinished relief was then purchased by and finished by Robinson & Cottam (qv) in 1853-4.
Fressange is Pierre Antoine Fressange (c.1816-1886), whose arrival at Dover is recorded on 10 July 1843, when he was described as a brass founder, travelling with Louis Perry or Berry (Returns of Alien Passengers). He married Catherine Gambette at St Anne Soho in 1846, when his father was named as Marie (?) Antoine Fressange, brass founder. By 1858, Fressange was listed as a gold and silver caster at 60 Poland St. In census records, he was recorded in 1871 at 60 Frith St as a bronze caster, age 55, with his wife, Julie, and four children, and in 1881 at Portsmouth Road, Long Ditton, Surrey, as a bronze founder, age 64, born Paris. His location in 1881 at Long Ditton may suggest a connection by this time with the Thames Ditton Foundry (qv). He died age 70 in 1886 in the Pancras district. Another member of the family, Victor Fressange, was recorded in the 1881 census as a bronze modeller, age 57, living at 80 Hampstead Road.
Works in sculpture:Few examples of Moore, Fressange & Moore’s work are recorded. They include John Ternouth’s relief, Bombardment of Copenhagen, 1848, and W.F. Woodington’s relief, Battle of the Nile, 1848, cast in five pieces, erected 1850, both marked: MOORE, FRESSANGE, & MOORE. FOUNDERS (both Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square, see Morning Post 4 March 1850 and Essex Standard 22 November 1850), as well as J.E. Thomas’s statue, Henri de Londres, Archbishop of Dublin, 1852 (House of Lords, see The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal?, vol.17, 1854, p.85, accessed through Google Book Search). The foundry made iron castings of The Dogs of Alcibiades, Diana attiringand a Candelabra (Robert Hunt, A descriptive guide to the Museum of Practical Geology, 2nd ed., 1859, p.73, accessed through Google Book Search).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Moore & Co,1882-97, see Thames Ditton Foundry
The Morris Art Bronze Foundry 1921-1929, Morris Singer Co1927-1949, Morris Singer Co Ltd 1950-1965, Morris Singer Foundry Ltd 1966-1990, Tallix Morris Singer Ltd 1990-1992, Morris Singer Foundry Ltd 1992-1993, Morris Singer Ltd by1995-2005, Morris Singer Art Founders 2005-2010. At 60-66 Rochester Row, SW1 1921-1931, 123 Dorset Road, South Lambeth, London SW8, 1932-1966, Ferry Lane Works, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London E17 1943-1968, Bond Close, Kingsland, Basingstoke, Hampshire 1967-1998, Highfield Industrial Estate, Church Lane, Lasham, Hampshire GU34 5SQ 1999-2005, 9 Swinborne Drive, Springwood Industrial Estate, Braintree, Essex CM7 2YP 2006-2010. London office/studio at Hope House, Great Peter St, Westminster c.1950-1965, 18 South Parade, Chelsea 1968-1978, 2 Rossetti Studios, Flood St, Chelsea 1976-1980. Bronze founders and architectural metalworkers.
Morris Singer Art Foundry Ltd, Unit 10, Highfield Industrial Estate, Lasham, Hampshire, GU34 5SQ 2011 to date. Bronze founders.
The history of the Morris Art Bronze Foundry and of the subsequent Morris Singer business has been traced in some detail by Duncan James, to whom this account is indebted (see Sources below, cited here as James 1984). Despite various changes in ownership, Morris Singer was the leading foundry in Britain for much of the 20th century, certainly after the demise of A.B. Burton (qv) at Thames Ditton in 1939.
The Morris Art Bronze Foundry was set up in Lambeth in 1921 by Leonard Grist (1879-1964) with financial backing from William Morris & Co (Westminster) Ltd, specialists in ornamental metalwork and stained glass. Grist had previously been foreman at J.W. Singer’s Frome foundry (qv), which, with its rival, A.B. Burton, was a source of labour for the new foundry. However, Grist left the Morris Art Bronze Foundry in 1925 to set up the Corinthian Bronze Foundry (qv). In 1927, Singer’s sold off the art foundry part of its business to William Morris & Co (Westminster) Ltd, which renamed its foundry the Morris Singer Company.
Morris Singer Co became part of the Pollard Group in 1935 (James 1984 p.23). Morris Singer Co Ltd’s trade catalogue of about 1950 shows the range of their activities, which are grouped by category: Statuary, Balustrades, Doors, Grilles, Gates and Grilles, Details, and Bronze plaques and Memorial tablets (Architectural Metalwork, 1950 or later, 28pp). Their notepaper in 1953 specified ‘Colossal Statues and Statuettes Tablets and Architectural Bronze Work by Sand & Cire Perdu Process’ and in 1967 ‘Sculpture Founders in non-ferrous & precious metals’ (see Penelope Curtis (ed.), The Sculpture Business: Documents from the Archive, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 1997, p.20, and Tate Archive, TGA 20034/1/4/240/9). For many years, Morris Singer operated from two sites, Dorset Road in Lambeth as a sculpture foundry and Ferry Lane Works in Walthamstow for various castings (James 1984 p.24).
The business moved to a new foundry off Reading Road in Basingstoke in 1967, with a London studio at 18 South Parade, Chelsea (The Times 12 June 1967). It remained within the Pollard Group until 1970 when ownership was transferred to a private trust company maintained by Percy Matthews and the Hon. Jacob Rothschild (James 1984 p.30). It advertised in 1970 as the most advanced sculpture foundry in the world (Studio International, vol.179, June 1970, p.xxiii).
When Duncan James visited the foundry in about 1970, as part of a series of visits to bronze foundries, he described its light and spacious buildings at the new site in Basingstoke (James 1971 p.87, reproducing a photograph of finishing work on a bronze cast). He met with Eric Gibbard, director, and G.E. Knell, foreman in the sand foundry, who had worked with Corinthian Bronze (qv) until 1956. For smaller works, the business employed lost wax, using a patent ceramic shell process to form the mould. In 1974, Morris Singer’s directors were P. Matthews (chairman), Eric L. Gibbard (managing director), F.B. Barnes, J.M.S. Walter and D.B. Ball (associate director) and the foundry manager, A. Markwell (see Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, Thornycroft archive, item 592, foundry correspondence with Mrs W.O. Manning). Both Gibbard and Ball left Morris Singer to set up the Burleighfield foundry (qv) in 1976.
Barbara Hepworth was one of Morris Singer’s leading clients and Eric Gibbard expressed his gratitude to her in 1973, ‘it has been your confidence in me and the foundry that is the reason for the reputation of the company in the field of modern sculpture’ (Bowness 2011 p.54). Nevertheless, Hepworth was worried lest Henry Moore’s giant sculptures should take priority, urging Gibbard to employ more men, telling him ‘I cannot afford to wait two years between doing the work and getting it on show’ (Bowness 2011 p.55). Morris Singer’s workforce of 35 in 1971 was much larger than that of the Art Bronze Foundry (qv), Hepworth’s other British foundry, but half that of her Paris founder, Susse, in 1959 (Bowness 2011 p.53). On 31 January 1973, Morris Singer merged with Susse Fondeur (The Royal Society of British Sculptors Journal 1971-73, n.d. but c.1974, p.55, advertisement). An exhibition of small modern works from the two foundries, Bronze, Silver & Gold, was held at the Alwin Gallery in London in August 1973. However, this merger was not sustained in the longer term.
In 1982, the business advertised its ‘large and small castings in bronze and aluminium by cire perdue & sand processes’ and claimed that technical refinements now allowed for the reproduction of ‘even the most minutely textured concept to a finish which virtually eliminates the need for chasing’, also promoting ‘a new method of negative moulding’ which made possible very keenly priced editions (Society of Portrait Sculptors, 29th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1982).
Morris Singer Foundry Ltd was reported to be brought to the Unlisted Securities Market as William Morris Fine Arts in 1984 (Observer 15 April 1984). For a view of the foundry’s interior in 1987, see Foundry Trade Journal, vol.161, 1987, p.344. In 1988, their notepaper described the business as ‘The World’s Largest Professional Art Foundry’ (Tate Archive, TGA 20034/1/4/240/140). Between 15 March 1990 and 15 January 1992 the foundry traded as Tallix Morris Singer Ltd, part of Bullers plc, ‘the fine art and sculpture foundry group’, which included premises in Basingstoke, Beacon NY, Birmingham and Toronto (see announcement sent to Kenneth Armitage, Tate Archive, TGA 20034/1/4/240).
The business was put into receivership in 1993 (London Gazette 7 December 1993, 15 February 1994) and met with subsequent financial problems. It moved to Lasham in Hampshire in 1999, publishing an illustrated notice, featuring works by Elizabeth Frink, Philip Jackson, Henry Moore and Michael Sandle, and announcing that the new foundry would be fully operational from March 1999 (V&A National Art Library, Information File).
At the end of 2005 the Morris Singer name was acquired by Art Founders Ltd (qv), and Morris Singer Art Founders moved to Nautilus’s premises at Braintree, Essex. Morris Singer, Nautilus (qv) and Burleighfield (qv) were trading names of Art Founders Ltd (see advertisement, Society of Portrait Sculptors, 47th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 2010, p.88). In May 2010, Rod Seaman was Managing Director of Morris Singer Art Founders Ltd, which was 10% owned by Finch Seaman Enfield Group, according to a statement available on the Group’s website when accessed May 2010. Morris Singer Art Founders Ltd went into administration again in May 2010. The business’s assets were purchased by Nasser Azam, who formed a new business, Zahra Modern Art Foundries (The Times15 June 2010), which in turn went in to liquidation in February 2013 (London Gazette 4 March 2013).
In September 2011 Morris Singer Art Foundry Ltd was set up by John Berelowitz to trade on Morris Singer’s Lasham Basingstoke site (website www.morrissinger.org.uk).
Works in sculpture pre-1950 (*listed on the foundry’s former website; **documented through trade catalogue of c.1937, see Sources below).
Works produced by the Morris Art Bronze Foundry in the 1920s include Percy George Bentham's Dukinfield War Memorial, 1922 (Tameside, Dukinfield, see Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, p.367), Thomas Brock’s memorial, Joseph Lister, 1922, marked: CAST BY THE MORRIS ART BRONZE FOUNDRY./ LONDON. S.W.8 (Portland Place, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.231), Frederick William Pomeroy’s Perseus, 1898, cast c.1924, edition of 3 (James 1984 p.45), John Tweed’s Lord Ronaldshay, c.1924 (Bombay, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.451), Francis Derwent Wood’s Machine Gun Corps Memorial, 1925, guns and figure of David (Hyde Park Corner, see James 1984 pp.21, 35, 46) and George Edward Wade's statues,General William Booth and Catherine Booth, c.1927 (Southwark, Champion Park, see Public Sculpture of South London, pp.226-7).
In the following listings, it is not always clear which business was responsible for the production of individual works before the amalgamation of J.W. Singer’s and the Morris Art Bronze Foundry in 1927. Works from the late 1920s include Gertrude Meredith-Williams’ relief frieze for The Scottish War Memorial, completed 1927 (**Edinburgh Castle), Sir Edwin Lutyens’s Mercantile Marine Memorial, 1926-8 (**Tower Hill) and Ferdinand Blundstone’s bust, Samuel Plimsoll, 1929 (*Victoria Embankment).
Works from the 1930s produced by Morris Singer include George Tyson Smith's Liverpool Cenotaph reliefs, 1930, one marked: THE MORRIS-SINGER CO/ LONDON SW1/ FOUNDERS (Liverpool, Lime St, see Public Sculpture of Liverpool, p.98), Alfred Hardiman’s St George, 1930 (*Eltham Palace), his equestrian statue, Earl Haig, 1936-7 (Whitehall, see James 1984 p.23, see also Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, pp.419-23) and his heraldic lions, 1938 (Norwich City Hall, repr. Morris Singer Company, Architectural Metalwork, 1950 or later, p.8), Alfred Drury’s statue,Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1931 (Burlington House courtyard, Piccadilly, see James 1984 p.46, see also Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.14), Bertram Mackennal’s statue, Lord Curzon, 1931 (*Carlton House Terrace), James Woodford’s doors for the Liverpool School for the Blind, 1931-2 (**Liverpool, Church Road North, see Public Sculpture of Liverpool, p.21) and for the RIBA Building, 1934-5, marked: MORRIS/ SINGER/ COMP. S.W.8./ FOUNDERS (**Portland Place), Raynor Hoff’s relief panel for Anzac War Memorial, completed 1934 (**Sydney, Hyde Park, Australia), Alfred Gilbert’s allegorical figures, Truth? and Religion?, posthumously cast 1935-6 (Private coll., see Dorment 1986 p.198), Ginette Bingguely-Lejeune’s bronze head, Rudyard Kipling,1936-7 (possibly National Portrait Gallery, see RP 2955) and Charles Hartwell’s large-scale memorial,St George and the Dragon, 1937 (**Wellington Road, facing St John’s Wood church, see James 1984 p.47).
From the 1940s, Cecil Thomas’s reclining memorial figure, Admiral Philip Nelson-Ward, 1947, marked: CAST BY MORRIS SINGER Co./ LONDON. S.W.8. (Boxgrove Priory, Sussex).
Works by particular sculptors pre-1950: By Gilbert Ledward from 1922 onwards, Blackpool War Memorial, 1922-3 (Blackpool), Awakening, 1924 (Chelsea Embankment, see James 1984 pp.35, 45, by Morris Art Foundry), Guards Division Memorial, 1923-6 (Horse Guards Parade, see The Times 12 October 1926), Submarine Service War Memorial, 1946-7 (Westminster Abbey cloister), Venus Fountain, 1949-53 (Sloane Square), St Nicholas, 1952, and St Christopher, 1954-5 (Great Ormond St Hospital, see James 1984 p.37), The Seer, 1957 (formerly Mercury House, Knightsbridge). For more details, see Catherine Moriarty, The Sculpture of Gilbert Ledward, 2003, pp.106, 121-3, 126.
By Sir Charles Wheeler from 1924 onwards, Ilford War Memorial, 1924, Spring, 1929-30 (Tate, see James 1984 p.46), five pairs of doors for the Bank of England, 1925-35 (**Threadneedle St), Springbokover entrance of South Africa House, 1933 (**Trafalgar Square), bronze groups for the western Trafalgar Square fountain, 1939, installed 1948 (repr. Morris Singer Company, Architectural Metalwork, 1950 or later, pp.6-7;see also National Archives, WORK 20/9/2), Doors to Barclays Bank, 1950 (Lombard St), St George and the Dragon, c.1950 (Lombard St, see James 1984 p.48), Power, two figures, 1960 (formerly English Electric Building, The Strand, see James 1984 pp.48-9).
By Gilbert Bayes from 1931 onwards, the wall tablet, Ralph Knott, 1931, marked: MORRIS/ SINGER/ Co/ FOUNDERS (**County Hall, now Marriott Hotel, see Public Sculpture of South London, pp.106-7), H.G. Selfridge Memorial, 1940 (*Selfridges, Oxford St), Gold Coast Forces War Memorial, 1946-50 (*Accra, Ghana) and the figure and relief, Robert Owen, 1953 (Newtown, Wales). For the last three, see Louise Irvine and Paul Atterbury, Gilbert Bayes: Sculptor 1872-1953, 1998, pp.178, 185, 186).
By Dora Gordine from 1943/4 onwards, numerous works of which the following are examples in the Dorich House Museum, Kingston University (see Jonathan Black and Brenda Martin, Dora Gordine: Sculptor, Designer and Artist, 2008): Aleck Bourne, 1943-5, Dame Beryl Grey, 1954, and Dorothy Tutin in the Role of Hedwig, 1956. In other collections,Sir Richard Winstedt, 1943-4 (Royal Asiatic Society), Jasmine, 1948-9 (Indianapolis Museum of Art, one of various works by Gordine in this collection), Lucien Pissarro, 1956-7 (Ashmolean Museum) andPower, 1960, relief (Milford Haven Heritage & Maritime Museum, Pembrokeshire). Gordine had used the Valsuani foundry in Paris until the outbreak of war.
By William Reid Dick, statues from 1944 onwards, the equestrianLady Godiva, 1944, marked: CAST BY MORRIS SINGER CO (Coventry, Broadgate, see Public Sculpture of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull, pp.124-5), Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1948 (Grosvenor Square, repr. Morris Singer Company, Architectural Metalwork, 1950 or later, pp.4-5), David Livingstone, 1948 (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, see James 1984 p.37) and King George V, 1953 (*Canberra, Parliament Square).
Works by particular sculptors post-1950: By Jacob Epstein from 1953 onwards:Social Consciousness, three figures, 1953-4 (Philadelphia, Fairmount Park, see James 1984 pp.26, 48), Sir Stafford Cripps, bust, 1953-4 (St Paul’s Cathedral, see The Times 27 March 1954), Liverpool Resurgent, 1955-6 (Liverpool, Lewis's Store, see Public Sculpture of Liverpool, pp.164-5), the aluminium Christ in Majesty, 1955-6 (Llandaff Cathedral), Jan Christian Smuts, head, 1957 (Jerusalem, Israel Museum), St Michael and the Devil, 1958 (Coventry Cathedral, see Public Sculpture of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull, p.142), Edward Sydney Woods, bust, 1955, cast 1958 (Lichfield Cathedral, see Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, p.222), Princess Margaret, 1959-60 (University College of North Stafford) and the Bowater House group, Pan, 1959-61 (Edinburgh Gate, Knightsbridge, see Survey of London: vol.45: Knightsbridge, 2000, p.59). See Silber 1986 pp.212-13, 217, 218, 220, 223, 225, 226-7.
By Michael Rizzello from 1957 onwards, Lloyd George, 1957 (*House of Commons), Sculptural Map of Surrey Commercial Docks in 1896, 1989 (Rotherhithe, Dock Hill Avenue, Public Sculpture of South London, p.252), Memorial to K.C. Irving, 1994, and Standing Man: K.C. Irving, 1995 (*both Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada) and Edward Jenner, bust, 1996 (St George's Hospital, Wandsworth, see Public Sculpture of South London, pp.328-9).
Barbara Hepworth is described as appreciating the skills of the French foundry, Susse Frères, but to have found it stressful travelling to the continent, so that she employed Morris Singer exclusively from 1959, despite the fact that they did not always meet her exacting standards (Sally Festing, Barbara Hepworth: A Life of Forms, 1995, p.243). However by 1970 she declared that she could not work with any other foundry, ‘as they are highly trained to carry out particular qualities which I desire’ (Bowness 2011 p.54). Her 21 feet highSingle Form, which formed the Hammarskjöld Memorial (United Nations building, New York, seeThe Times 12 June 1964) was the largest single work Morris Singer had ever produced (Sally Festing, Barbara Hepworth: A Life of Forms, 1995, p.263). Single Form (Memorial), 1961-2, is a reduced scale version (Battersea Park, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.292).
Other works by Hepworth, generally marked: Morris Singer FOUNDERS LONDON, include Figure for Landscape, 1959-60, cast 1960 (Tate, see Bowness 2011 p.116), Landscape Sculpture, 1944, cast 1961, marked: CIRE PERDU/ Morris/ Singer/ FOUNDERS/ LONDON (Tate), the aluminium Winged Figure, 1963 (John Lewis Building, Oxford St, see Bowness 2011 p.124), Squares with Two Circles, 1964 (Tate; another Liverpool, University of Liverpool Senate House, see Public Sculpture of Liverpool, p.226), Sea Form Atlantic, 1964 (Norwich, St George’s St, see Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk, p.54), Four-Square (Walk Through), 1966 (Tate; another cast Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, lent to Churchill College), Forms in Movement (Pavan), 1956-9, cast 1967 (Tate),Two Forms (Divided Circle),1969 (Tate, another Dulwich Park, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.235), Construction (Crucifixion), 1969 (Salisbury Cathedral, see Bowness 2011 p.156) and Ancestor II from the Family of Man, 1970 (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, displayed at Snape Maltings, Suffolk, see Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk, p.244). Further works by Hepworth cast by Morris Singer belonging to Tate can be found in Matthew Gale and Chris Stephens, Barbara Hepworth: Works in the Tate Gallery Collectionand the Barbara Hepworth Museum, St Ives, 1999, and in Bowness 2011 (see index). Works sold by Christie’s and Sotheby’s can be identified by searching their past sales archives, using the term ‘Morris Singer Hepworth’.
By Reg Butler from 1961. After the death of André Susse in 1961, Butler decided to try Morris Singer. He found their first trial was ‘a smasher’, declaring that ‘Their metal is much richer than the Susse stuff’; however, he subsequently came to prefer the Valsuani foundry at Paris (Margaret Garlake,The Sculpture of Reg Butler, 2006, pp.66-7). Morris Singer produced his Bride, c.1961, edition of 8 (example, Princeton University Art Museum, see Garlake p.159).
By Enzo Plazzotta from 1966 onwards, Battle of Lewes Memorial, aluminium and bronze, 1966 (Lewes, Sussex, see James 1984 p.49, see also Public Sculpture of Sussex, p.77), Study for Jackie, 1975 (repr. Society of Portrait Sculptors, 25th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1978, p.57), Homage to Leonardo, 1982 (*Belgrave Square) and Jeté (David Wall), 1975, unveiled 1985, with foundry mark (46 Millbank, Westminster).
By Oscar Nemon from 1969 onwards, Winston Churchill, statue, 1969 (House of Commons, see Walker 1988 p.21), Winston Churchill, statue, 1969 (Brussels, repr. Society of Portrait Sculptors, 17th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1969), Sigmund Freud, 1970 (Swiss Cottage, Fitzjohns Avenue at Belsize Lane, see James 1984 p.50), The Queen Mother, bust, 1980 (repr.Society of Portrait Sculptors, 29th Annual Exhibition, exh. cat., 1982), Field Marshal Montgomery, statue, 1980 (Whitehall, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.423), RAF Memorial, 1984 (*Avenue Road, Toronto, Canada) and Winston Churchill, statue, 1986 (*Toronto, Canada).
Henry Moore came to prefer Noack in Berlin for his large-scale pieces but he felt for practical reasons that he needed to use Morris Singer for his Knife Edge, completed 1978 (Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art), writing to the architect, I.M. Pei in 1976, ‘The English foundry has much less experience in doing large bronzes and I, and my boys, will need to spend much more time working at the English foundry to help them in producing as highly finished surface as I desire’ (Burlington Magazine, vol.153, 2011, p.253, n.36).
Works by Henry Moore in the Henry Moore Foundation produced by Morris Singer include the following (catalogue number and dating from Mitchinson 1998). Apparently from the late 1940s and early 1950s but possibly cast later:Family Group, 1948-9, edition of 5+1 (no.156) andKing and Queen, 1952-3, edition of 5+2 (no.170). From the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, in editions of 9+1 unless stated, many large-scale works including Oval with Points, 1968-70, edition of 6+1 (no.220), Reclining Connected Forms, 1969 (no.225), Sheep Piece, 1971-2, edition of 3+ 1 (no.230), Three Piece Reclining Figure: Draped, 1975, edition of 7+1 (no.238),Upright Motive No.9, 1979, edition of 6+1 (no.218),Reclining Woman: Elbow, 1981 (no.271), Large Upright Internal/External Form, 1981-2, edition of 1+1 (no.162), Reclining Figure, 1982 (no.246), Draped Reclining Mother and Baby, 1983 (no.272), Mother and Child: Block Seat, 1983-4 (no.275), Large Reclining Figure, 1984, edition of 1+1 (no.103) and Large Figure in a Shelter, 1985-6, edition of 1+1 (no.237).
Works by Moore in other collections includeVertebrae in Three Pieces, 1978 (*Dallas City Hall, Texas), Sundial, 1979 (*Chicago, Waterfront), Working Model for Reclining Woman: Elbow, 1981, marked: Morris/ Singer Founders London (Christie’s New York 4 May 2010 lot 32) and King and Queen, 1984 (*Dumfries, Scotland).
Works by Eduardo Paolozzi from 1987 onwards,The Artist as Hephaistos, 1987 (formerly 34 High Holborn, auctioned at Bonham’s 14 November 2012 lot 110),Newton after James Watt, 1989-90 (Design Museum, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.177), The Wealth of Nations, 1993 (*Edinburgh, Royal Bank of Scotland) and the monumental Newton after Blake, 1995, with foundry mark (British Library, forecourt).
By Michael Sandle from 1988 onwards, A Mighty Blow for Freedom, 1988 (*Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow), St George and the Dragon, 1988 (Blackfriars, Dorset Rise, see Public Sculpture of the City of London, p.95), St Margaret, 1992 (*Peterborough, Pearl Assurance Headquarters), The Malta Siege Bell Memorial, 1992 (*Valletta, Malta), International Memorial to Seafarers, 2001, marked: CAST BY MORRIS SINGERS LTD 2001 (Albert Embankment, International Maritime Organization, see Public Sculpture of South London, pp.25-8) and Royal National Life Boat Institution Monument, 2002 (*Douglas, Isle of Man).
By Philip Jackson from 1992 onwards, The Yomper, 1992 (*Royal Marines Museum, Eastney, Portsmouth), Young Mozart, 1994 (*Orange Square, Belgravia), Jersey Liberation Memorial, 1995 (*St Helier, Jersey), Raoul Wallenberg Memorial, 1997 (*Great Cumberland Place), Gurkha, 1997 (*Whitehall Place), St Richard, 2000 (*Chichester Cathedral), Chelsea Pensioner, 2000 (*Royal Hospital, Chelsea), HM Queen on Horseback, 2003 (*Windsor Great Park) and Mahatma Gandhi, statue, 2015, marked: Morris/ Singer/ FOUNDERS (Parliament Square). The sculptor has stated that Morris Singer is one of the businesses used by him for casting his large and medium-sized works, the other being Burleighfield (qv); for small-scale works, he has used Lunts of Birmingham (Philip Jackson: Sculpture since 1987, 2002, p.24).
By Wendy Taylor from 1994 onwards,Jester, 1994 (*Emanuel College, Cambridge), Equilibrium, 1995 (*Embankment Place), Jester II, 1995 (*PepsiCo Collection, New York), Rope Circle, 1995 (*Hermitage Waterside) and Opus, 1997 (*Yorkshire Sculpture Park).
Other works post-1950: From the 1950s and subsequently, William Leslie Bowles’s equestrianGeneral Sir John Monash, 1950 (Government House, Melbourne, Australia, repr. Morris Singer Company, Architectural Metalwork, 1950 or later, p.8), David McFall’sTwo Unicorns, 1950 (pair on roof of Bristol Council House, see Public Sculpture of Bristol, p.79), F.E. McWilliam’s Patriarch, 1953, cast in iron cement (Ferran 2012 no.107), William McMillan’s King George VI, 1955 (Carlton Gardens, see James 1984 p.29),Sir Walter Raleigh, 1959 (Whitehall, Raleigh Green, see James 1984 p.29), Lord Trenchard, 1960-1, marked: MORRIS SINGER Co LTD/ LONDON SW8 (Victoria Embankment at Air Ministry, see James 1984 p.49, and Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.363) and Thomas Coram, 1962 (Brunswick Square, see James 1984 p.49), Paul Vincze’s Mayflower Medal, 1957 (advertised, Studio, April 1963, vol.165, p.xxii), Robert Clatworthy’s The Bull, 1957, cast 1959 (Roehampton, Danebury Avenue, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.313) and Horse and Rider, 1983 (*Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith).
Works from the 1960s and subsequently, Patrick Glyn Heesom's aluminium, Littlewoods Sculpture, 1965 (Liverpool, Old Hall St, see Public Sculpture of Liverpool, p.125, Philip Bentham’s Coventry Boy, 1966 (Coventry Cathedral, see Public Sculpture of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull, p.179), Percy George Bentham’s Fisherman and Nymph, 1968 (Coventry, Coombe Park, see Public Sculpture of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull, p.19), David Wynne’s River God Tyne, 1968, Swans in Flight, 1968 (*both Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Civic Centre) and Boy and Dolphin, 1975 (*Oakley St at Chelsea Embankment), Cubitt Bevis’s seated statue, Sir Thomas More, 1969 (Chelsea Old Church, see James 1984 p.49), Lynn Chadwick’s Folded Winged Figure, conceived 1968, edition of 4, Conjunction XIV, 1970, and Shiny Diamond, 1970 (all three Christie’s 27 May 2010 lots 5, 7 and 76, all with foundry mark). For the National Portrait Gallery in the 1960s, all cast from earlier works, the electrotype figure, Tom Sayers, made 1960 after Angelo Bezzi (NPG 2465a), the bust, Nicholas Hawksmoor, cast 1962 after a bust attributed to Sir Henry Cheere, 1736, marked: CAST BY/ MORRIS SINGER Co/ LONDON S.W.8 (Kerslake 1977 p.136) and the life-mask, John Hunter, 1962, from an original of c.1785 (Ingamells 2004 p.273). Elizabeth Frink used the foundry from about the 1960s until her death in 1993 (Ratuszniak 2013 p.192).
From the 1970s and subsequently, Samuel Tonkiss’s bust, L.S. Lowry, 1971, with foundry mark (National Portrait Gallery), Michael Ayrton’s outsizeReflective Head or Corporate Head, 1971/2 (S.S. Kresge Co, Troy, Detroit, see Jacob Nyenhuis, Myth and the Creative Process: Michael Ayrton and the Myth of Daedalus, the Maze Maker, 2003, p.225), Stephen Tomlin’s Lytton Strachey, c.1929-30, cast 1973 (example, Christie’s 20 June 1996, marked: Morris Singer Founders London 5/8), Nigel Boonham’s head, Sir Geoffrey Keynes, 1976, marked: Morris/ Singer/ Founders/ London. (National Portrait Gallery) and John Huggins' Classic Flight, 1979 (Bristol, Royal Fort Gardens see Public Sculpture of Bristol, p.208). Also Henri Gaudier-Brzeska’s Major Smythies, 1912, cast 1971 (edition of 5, examples at Tate, Southampton City Art Gallery, Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery and Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, see Silber 1996 p.253), Gorilla, 1912, cast by 1973 (edition of 7, see Silber 1996 p.256, example Sotheby's 15 December 2010 lot 158) and Maquette for a Bird Bath, 1913, scaled up and cast 1992 (edition of 3, see Silber 1996 p.267, example McMaster Art Gallery, University of Hamilton, Ontario).
From the early 1980s, Alexander’s Jubilee Oracle,1980 (Queen’s Walk, Lambeth, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.81) and the 29 ft high The Great Tower, 1980, marked: Morris/ Singer/ Founders/ London (Empingham, Rutland, see Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland, pp.289-90, and Alexander, ‘The Great Tower: Conception and Construction of a Very Large Bronze Sculpture’, Leonardo, vol.18, 1985, p.25), Martin Ludlow’s John Wesley Conversion Place Memorial, 1981, marked: Morris/ Singer/ FOUNDERS/ LONDON (London Wall, Barbican, see Public Sculpture of the City of London, p.233), Astrid Zydower’s 9 ft highOrpheus, 1984 (*Harewood House), Catharine Marr-Johnson’s Swans, front swan cast by Morris Singer, 1984 (Battersea Bridge Road, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.282),
From the later 1980s and subsequently, George Fullard’s Mother and Child, 1956, cast 1985, Running Woman, 1957, cast 1985, and Angry Woman, 1958, cast 1985 (all Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust, see Gillian Whiteley, Assembling the Absurd: The Sculpture of George Fullard, 1998, nos 28, 30, and Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, p.177), Stephen Joyce's St Odilia and the Bird, 1985, andJohn Cabot, 1986 (respectively Bristol Eye Hospital and Narrow Quay, Bristol, see Public Sculpture of Bristol, pp.143, 158), James Butler’s statues Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis, 1985 (*Guards HQ, Birdcage Walk) and Thomas Cook, 1993, marked: MORRIS/ SINGER/ FOUNDRY/ ENGLAND (Leicester, London Road, see Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland, pp.138-9), three casts of Alfred Gilbert’s Eros (Foundry Trade Journal, vol.161, 1987, p.346, repr.), Frank Dobson’s bronze,London Pride (Leisure),cast 1987 (outside Royal National Theatre, see Public Sculpture of South London, p.68), Ian Walters’ bust, Nelson Mandela,1982, cast 1988 (outside Royal Festival Hall, see Public Sculpture of South London, pp.74-7), Philip Blacker’s life-sizeRed Rum, 1988 (*Aintree Racecourse), and Bronze Arms & Swords, 1988 (*Victory Arch, Baghdad), Alexander Stoddart'sMercurial, 1989 (Glasgow, John St, see Public Sculpture of Glasgow, p.216) and his statue, Adam Smith, 2007 (Edinburgh, High St), and Chris Dunseath's Hand and Cross, 1989 (West Bromwich, High St, see Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, p.186) and Spirit of the Waterfront, 1992 (Brierly Hill, Waterfront East, see Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, p.32).
From the 1990s and subsequently, Althea Wynne’s The Minster Court Horses, 1990 (Minster Court, Mincing Lane, see Public Sculpture of the City of London, p.259), Richard Perry’s Boulsover Monument, 1991, marked: Morris/ Singer/ FOUNDERS/ London (Sheffield, Tudor Square, see Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, p.215), Rudy Weller’s fountain, Horses of Helios, 1992 (Piccadilly Circus, Criterion Building, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.227) and hisEagle, 1994 (*Bedford School), Glynn Williams’ Gateway of Hands, 1993 (*Chelsea Harbour), Gerry Downes’sLeda and the Swan, 1994 (*Golden Square, now at Rochester), Bruce Williams’ Tony Hancock Memorial, 1995 (*Birmingham, Old Square), Shona Kinlock’s Two Swimmers and a Fish, 1995 (*Main Street, Kilmarnock, Scotland), Annette Yarrow’s Figures for Fireplace, 1997 (*Goodwood House, Sussex), Keith Maddison’s statue, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, 1997 (*Hatfield, Hertfordshire) and Jonathan Wylder’s 1st Duke of Westminster, 1998 (*Belgrave Square).
From the 2000s, Annette Yarrow’s Baby Elephant, 2000 (*Chester Zoo, Chester), Peter Walker's statue, Izaak Walton, 2000 (Stafford, Victoria Road, see Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, p.129), Andrew Burton’s Crucible & Cannon, 2000 (*Dudley), Walrus, 2001, and Large Elephant, 2002 (*Newcastle University), Vivien Mallock’s R/M Tank Memorial, 2000 (*Whitehall Place), Kay Potts’s Douglas Bader, 2001 (*Goodwood Sculpture Park), Maty Grunberg’s Sundial Sculpture, 2001 (*New York, NY Hall of Science), Sally Matthews’s 5 Wolves, 2001 (*Goodwood Sculpture Park), Ben Panting’s Dennis Law, 2002 (*Manchester United Football Club) andArch, 2002 (*Dulwich College), Liam O'Connor’s Constitution Hill Memorial, 2002 (*Constitution Hill), Alma Boyes’s Cordwainer (Seated Figure on a Stool), 2002 (*Bow Churchyard, Cheapside), Anita Lafford’s Base/Frame, 2003 (*Hillingdon Town Centre), Robert Thomas’s Girl Dreaming, 2004, Family Group, 2004, Miner, 2004, and Mother & Child Shopping, all 2004 (*all Cardiff City Centre), Nicolas Dimbleby’s Whistler Memorial, 2005 (*Embankment), Paul Day's Battle of Britain Monument, 2005, marked with seal: Morris/ Singer/ FOUNDERS/ LONDON (Victoria Embankment, see Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol.1, p.372) and his outsize The Meeting Place, 2007 (St Pancras Station, see David Fraser Jenkins, ‘The Meeting Place by Paul Day: A very public commission at St Pancras Station, 2006/9’, Sculpture Journal, vol.19, 2010, pp.94-5) and Romany Mark Bruce’sTay (Aids Memorial), 2009 (Brighton, New Steine Gardens, seePublic Sculpture of Sussex, p.32).
As at August 2014 the revived business lists Philip Blacker, Simon Dyer, Nic Fiddian Green, Philip Jackson and William Pye among the sculptors whose work they have cast and illustrates Dyer’sHelp for Heroes Sculpture, 2013 (Tedworth House Recovery Centre) as an example of their work.
Sources:**Trade catalogue, Morris Singer Company branch of William Morris & Co. (Westminster) Ltd. And incorporating the Architectural Metal Department of “Singers of Frome”, c.1937, 51pp; Duncan S. James, A Century of Statues: the History of the Morris Singer Foundry, 1984; supplementary information on dating taken from website of Morris Singer Co, accessed April 2010. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Museum of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DA.
The history of institutional plaster cast collections lies outside the scope of this online resource, but see M. Beard et al., Museum of Classical Archaeology: Guide to the Cast Gallery, 1998, and the museum’s collection database at www.classics.cam.ac.uk/museum/. The collection originated with the gift of some 40 casts made by a fellow of Trinity College in 1850. It was housed in the Fitzwilliam Museum until a separate Museum of Classical Archaeology was opened in 1884. The collection contains about 450 casts. Some 34 item were purchased from Brucciani (qv) by the Fitzwilliam Museum and by the Museum of Classical Archaeology, 1880-86, including a cast of theEsquiline Aphrodite, purchased 1885/6, marked: D. BRUCCIANI & Co/ LONDON. For further details, see Brucciani in this resource.
Found a mistake? Have some extra information? Who should be added to this directory? Please contact Jacob Simon at [email protected].
Visit From Your Armchair
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.
Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.
Sculptures in 360°
See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.
David Hockney: Drawing from Life
Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.