Mary Pownall Bromet (Exh 1889-1932) An Aviator 77.5 cm. (30 1/2 in.) high (including verde antico marble base)

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Lot 727W
Mary Pownall Bromet (Exh 1889-1932)
An Aviator 77.5 cm. (30 1/2 in.) high (including verde antico marble base)

Sold for £ 18,600 (US$ 23,695) inc. premium
Mary Pownall Bromet (Exh 1889-1932)
An Aviator
signed and dated 'MARY P BROMET./1928' (on the back)
bronze
77.5 cm. (30 1/2 in.) high (including verde antico marble base)

Footnotes

  • EXHIBITED:
    Possibly London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1928 (as Twentieth Century)

    Mary Pownall Bromet was among the leading British sculptors in the early twentieth century. Her style is informed by Rodin under whom she studied in Paris during the period from 1897 to 1900 when she also studied in Frankfurt-am-Main and Rome. Her technical ability made her a popular choice for bust commissions whilst her flair for emotive figures equipped her well to meet the demands of exhibiting throughout Europe and do justice to such commissions as the Watford War Memorial.

    Mary Pownall was born near Leigh in Lancashire. She returned from her studies to be married in 1902 to Alfred Bromet. From 1902 to 1937 she lived and worked in their house, Lime Lodge in Oxhey. Alfred Bromet was a friend of Stanley Baldwin and the house was often host to Conservative gatherings. It was close to Hubert von Herkomer's school in Bushey and was also close to London where she exhibited at the RA whilst also exhibiting throughout Europe and in provincial British galleries. She was also President of the Society of Women Artists.

    The present lot was cast in 1928 and sums up the zeitgeist of the late twenties when the technology of aviation was developing so rapidly. The uniform depicted in the sculpture is quite general although the flying helmet was standard issue for British airmen in World War I with the padded leather cylinders meant to deflect some of the engine noise and the elements in the exposed cockpits. The sitter is unknown although the generic features perhaps suggest he is a symbol of the brave pilots of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force in the period of the First World War and after.
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