Sir George James Frampton, English (1860-1928) A rare and early Bronze figure of Peter Pan with direct provenance to the sculptor the model originally conceived 1911, this cast dated 1913 (2)
Lot 299
Sir George James Frampton, English (1860-1928) A rare and early Bronze figure of Peter Pan with direct provenance to the sculptor
the model originally conceived 1911, this cast dated 1913
Sold for £ 40,000 (US$ 52,124) inc. premium

Lot Details
Sir George James Frampton, English (1860-1928) A rare and early Bronze figure of Peter Pan with direct provenance to the sculptor the model originally conceived 1911, this cast dated 1913 (2) Sir George James Frampton, English (1860-1928) A rare and early Bronze figure of Peter Pan with direct provenance to the sculptor the model originally conceived 1911, this cast dated 1913 (2) Sir George James Frampton, English (1860-1928) A rare and early Bronze figure of Peter Pan with direct provenance to the sculptor the model originally conceived 1911, this cast dated 1913 (2) Sir George James Frampton, English (1860-1928) A rare and early Bronze figure of Peter Pan with direct provenance to the sculptor the model originally conceived 1911, this cast dated 1913 (2)
Sir George James Frampton, English (1860-1928) A rare and early Bronze figure of Peter Pan with direct provenance to the sculptor
the model originally conceived 1911, this cast dated 1913
The boy standing on a naturalistically modelled base, his arms outstretched, playing a pipe, the base monogrammed GF and with an encircled title PP, dated 1913, rich dark brown patination mounted on a contemporary green marble moulded rectangular plinth, together with two letters of provenance from the sculptor to the vendors grandfather, one dated 1911, the other circa 1913, a contemporary turned oak plinth selected by the sculptor to compliment the piece and its surroundings, and a later photographic postcode depicting the present bronze, dated 1936, the bronze 48cm high (18 1/2" high), the bronze including the base 60.5cm high (23 1/2" high), the oak pedestal 99cm high (38 1/2" high) ). (2)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    William Edwards, London and thence by family descent

    Acquired by the vendors grandfather William Edwards, wholesale and manufacturing chemist, directly from the Sir George Frampton in 1913 and sold with two accompanying letters, both from the sculptor. The first letter dated March 25th 1911, promising that Frampton will definitely be in touch if he does decide to make a more 'homely' version of the original larger model, the other letter undated (but presumably dating to 1913 after the present bronze was cast) relating to Frampton's suggestions on how the bronze should be displayed at the Edward's family home, North Court situated in Redington Gardens, Hampstead NW3 (since demolished).

    Thence by family decent.

    This bronze is possibly one of the first of the limited edition of reductions made of Peter Pan cast between 1913-1925 and bears the date of the first year of production. Derived from the life size plaster of Peter Pan exhibited by Frampton at the The Royal Academy in May 1911, it was then cast in bronze and erected by on behalf of the 'anonymous donor' J. M. Barrie in Kensington Gardens in May of the following year. The first accompanying letter, dated March 25th 1911, interestingly pre-dates the opening of the 1911 Royal Academy Exhibition by five weeks suggesting that William Edwards was already aware of the existence of the plaster model of Peter Pan. The tone of this letter implies that Edwards and Frampton enjoyed a friendly relationship and that Edwards had possibly already seen the sculptor working on the figure prior to its public exhibition and it is tempting to believe that he may have even visited Frampton's studio to view the work in situ as their homes were relatively near. The second letter provides further evidence of this possible friendship in that Frampton subsequently offers to come to the Edwards home after he had taken possession of the bronze to advise on a suitable pedestal to display the figure.

    The full size bronze statue of Peter Pan was erected on the spot in Kensington Gardens where the little boy appears nightly in J. M. Barrie's first book featuring Peter, Little White Bird (1901). Barrie was responsible for the initial commission and the figure of Peter was supposedly modelled on a family friend of Barrie's, Michael Llewellyn-Davies who was one of the five brothers who inspired the original stories. Barrie is known to have sent Frampton photographs of Michael dressed as Peter Pan from which to work but it is now thought more likely that Frampton modelled his Peter on another boy, possibly James W. Shaw or William A. Harwood.

    Erected overnight on May 1st 1912 in secrecy with no advance publicity and Barrie placed an advert in The Times stating:

    "There is a surprise in store for the children who go to Kensington Gardens to feed the ducks in the Serpentine this morning. Down by the little bay on the south-western side of the tail of the Serpentine they will find a May-day gift by Mr J.M. Barrie, a figure of Peter Pan blowing his pipe on the stump of a tree, with fairies and mice and squirrels all around. It is the work of Sir George Frampton, and the bronze figure of the boy who would never grow up is delightfully conceived."

    The statue depicts Peter standing in exactly the same pose but with the addition of fairies, rabbits, mice and squirrels to the more elaborate naturalistic base. Much admired, it quickly become a favourite landmark for many adults and children, and is often considered to be one of the most popular public statues in London. Other life-size versions of the statue were later erected in Sefton Park, Liverpool, Canada, Brussels, Australia and New Jersey. It was the obvious widespread popular appeal of the statue that led Frampton to produce the reductions of the main figure.
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