Lot 51 (Home & Garden (Live Auction), 20th March 2018)
Garden Sculpture: ▲ Ivor Roberts-Jones Winston Churchill Monumental bronze bust 95cm high by 127cm wide by 92cm deep Bronze edition 3/6 cast directly from the plaster taken from the statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square. The casting process supervised by the sculptor Nigel Boonham FRBS Past President of the Society of Portrait Sculptors on behalf of the Trustees of the Ivor Roberts-Jones Estate. Bronze marked 'Estate IR-J 2015'3/6 Ivor Roberts-Jones RA (2 November 1913-9 December 1996) He was born in Oswestry where one of his works |The Borderland Farmer| stands in the town centre. He studied at Oswestry School and Worksop College before attending Goldsmiths College London and the Royal Academy of Arts. During the Second World War he served in the Burma Campaign. Roberts-Jones was a founder member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors in 1953 and was head of the sculpture department at Goldsmith's College of Art from 1964-1978. He established his reputation for portrait sculpture including commissions for Yehudi Menuhin and George Thomas Viscount Tonypandy as well as over life size figures including Field Marshall Viscount slim of Burma and Field Marshall Viscount Alanbrooke both of which stand in Whitehall. In 1971 he was commissioned to produce the full-length statue of Winston Churchill which now stands in Parliament Square London which is without doubt his most famous work. He later indicated that the pose of the statue had been largely inspired by the famous photograph of a grim-faced and sorrowful Churchill inspecting the smouldering bomb wreckage of the chamber of his beloved House of Commons on the morning of 11th May 1941. Ivor Roberts-Jones 'portrays him as the wartime leader at the time of the Normandy Landings and the return of the Allies to Europe. Consequently the figure exudes total confidence: facing the Houses of Parliament their greatest servant in modern times is portrayed as a giant at the height of his powers'1. After the statue was unveiled in 1973 it 'provided a much needed breakthrough in post-War portraiture'1 subsequently the statue has rightly achieved iconic status. In 1987 the statue appeared in party political broadcasts for the Conservative party thanks to Mrs Thatcher's intense admiration for and identification with Churchill. It subsequently featured in Simon Schama's award winning History of Britain broadcast on BBC1 in 20002 and again five years later in Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain. Perhaps the apogee of the statue's status within the British imagination came on 27th July 2012 when it was prominently featured in the 'Happy and Glorious'section of Danny Boyle's Isles of Wonder film broadcast during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. In 1995 Ivor Roberts-Jones was commissioned by the Czech government to make another cast of the Churchill figure to stand in the recently renamed Winston Churchill Square in Prague. Ivor replied that his original mould for his figure in Parliament Square had disintegrated. and he doubted very much whether Parliament would allow him to make a cast from the statue himself. He did produce a clay maquette for a new Churchill head but died a couple of months after sending it to the Meridian foundry. After further negotiation his widow Monica Roberts-Jones gave her permission for a copy to be made of the statue in Parliament Square somewhat swayed by the fact that this proposal had the support of Lady Thatcher and the Czech President Vaclav Havel. With the British Foreign Office and the Royal Parks Agency also giving their project their blessing permission was given and an up-coming portrait sculptor Nigel Boonham was given the task of supervising the making of a cast from the Churchill statue in Parliament Square. It is from the plaster cast of the head and shoulders made at this time that this bronze was cast. The Trustees of the Ivor Roberts-Jones Estate have kindly given permission for a limited edition of only 6 bronze casts to be made from the plaster of the head and shoulders of the Churchill figure of which this is number 3. No other casts will be authorised and as such this represents a unique opportunity to acquire an enduring sculpture of Churchill voted as the greatest ever Briton. Literature: Ivor Roberts-Jones - The Journey to Harlech 1 Dr Peter Cannon-Brookes (National Museum of Wales 1983) p.57 Abstraction and Reality; The sculpture of Ivor Roberts-Jones by Jonathan Black and Sara Ayres Philip Wilson 2013
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Monday 19th - 10.00am to 4.00pm
Tuesday 20th - 10.00am to 1.00pm
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