A white marble sculpture: "The Babes in the Wood" by Thomas Crawford (American, circa 1813-1857) dated 1854

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Lot 1035W
A white marble sculpture: "The Babes in the Wood"
by Thomas Crawford (American, circa 1813-1857)
dated 1854

Sold for US$ 20,000 inc. premium
Property of various owners
A white marble sculpture: "The Babes in the Wood"
by Thomas Crawford (American, circa 1813-1857)
dated 1854
Inscribed to the base T. CRAWFORD / FECIT. ROMAE. MDCCCLIV.
height 16 1/2in (42cm); length 49 1/2in (126cm); depth 33in (84cm)

Footnotes

  • Literature:
    Albert Ten Eyck Gardner, American Sculpture; A Catalogue of the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Graphic Society, 1965, p. 11
    William H. Gerdts, American Neo-Classic Sculpture; The Marble Resurrection, Viking Press, 1973, p. 76

    This sculpture illustrates a popular English folk tale, first printed by Thomas Millington of Norwich in 1595. Its various versions all relate the tale of two young siblings left in the care of their uncle after their parents' death. The uncle hires two men to slay the children so that he can take their inheritance. While on their journey through the woods "to London," however, one of the two hired killers has a fit of remorse and slays the other, leaving the children to wander on their own. Unable to fend for themselves, the babes die of hunger in each other's arms and are covered with leaves by birds.

    Thomas Crawford was born in New York City and studied under Thorwaldsen in Rome. His commissions include sculptures and decorations for the Capitol building in Washington, DC (including the statue of Freedom that crowns the Capitol dome), as well as an equestrian monument to George Washington in Richmond, Virginia. Examples of the present sculpture can be found in the Lenox Library, Massachusetts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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