Peter Pan Sculpture Set to Fly at Auction
- LONDON, United Kingdom
- March 03, 2015
A charming bronze statuette of Peter Pan, “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”, is to be sold in the Fine English Furniture, Sculpture & Works of Art sale on March 11 at Bonhams New Bond Street salerooms.
This star lot of the decorative arts items, by Sir George Frampton, carries a pre-sale estimate of £25,000-30,000. The finely detailed sculpture shows the titular children’s book character with arms outstretched, playing a pipe.
This lot is one of a small number of reductions cast after the original life size bronze, commissioned by Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, was exhibited by Frampton at The Royal Academy in 1911 and erected in Kensington Gardens the following year. The bronze figure of Peter was supposed to be modelled on Michael Llewellyn-Davies, one of the five brothers who inspired the story, and during the modelling process Barrie sent Frampton pictures of Michael dressed as his mischievous character.
Frampton's life size version was erected on the spot in Kensington Gardens where Peter Pan appears nightly in J. M Barrie's first book featuring Peter, Little White Bird (1901). The statue was much admired and quickly become a favourite landmark for many adults and children, and is often considered to be the most popular statue in London. Other life size versions of the statue were later erected in Liverpool, Canada, Brussels, Australia and New Jersey.
Sir George James Frampton, RA (1860 – 1928) was a notable British sculptor and leading member of the New Sculpture movement. He and his like-minded contemporaries made the move away from the prevailing vogue for stylised neoclassicism, exploring a greater degree of naturalism and a wider range of subject matter.
Some of Frampton's other notable public sculptures are the lions at the British Museum and the Edith Cavell Memorial that stands outside the National Portrait Gallery, London. After the death of Queen Victoria in early 1901, Frampton was chosen to create a bronze statue of the late queen in Calcutta, the capital of the British India. It was unveiled in March 1902, and was later placed outside the Victoria Memorial in London.