Peter Pan statue

Peter Pan is a 1912 bronze sculpture of J. M. Barrie's character Peter Pan. It was commissioned by Barrie and made by Sir George Frampton. The original statue is displayed in Kensington Gardens in London, to the west of The Long Water, close to Barrie's former home on Bayswater Road.[1] Barrie's stories were inspired in part by the gardens: the statue is located at the place where Peter Pan lands in Barrie's 1902 book The Little White Bird after flying out of his nursery. Six other casts made by the original artist have been erected in other locations around the world.

Statue in Kensington Gardens

The sculpture stands about 14 feet (4.3 m) high. It has a tall conical form, like a tree stump, topped by a young boy, approximately life size for an eight year old, blowing a thin musical instrument like a trumpet or flute, sometimes interpreted as pan pipes. The sides of the stump are decorated with small figures of squirrels, rabbits, mice, and fairies. Barrie had intended the boy to be based on a photograph of Michael Llewelyn Davies wearing a Peter Pan costume, but Frampton chose another model, possibly James W. Shaw or William A. Harwood. Barrie was disappointed by the results, claiming the statue "didn't show the Devil in Peter". [2]

A completed plaster model of the work was exhibited at the Royal Academy in May 1911. Barrie had the original bronze erected in London on 30 April 1912, without fanfare and without permission, so that it might appear to children that the fairies had put it in place overnight. He published a notice in The Times newspaper the following day, 1 May: "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."

He donated the sculpture to the city of London, although some critics objected to him advertising his works by erecting a sculpture in a public park without permission. It became a Grade II* listed building in 1970. Royal Parks replaced the plinth in 2019, which caused some controversy.[3][4]

Other casts

Frampton made a series of small bronze reproductions of the Peter Pan figure from 1913 to his death in 1928. Examples were sold at Bonham's in March and November 2015[5], and one was sold in Scotland in 2016 for £60,000.[6][7]

Frampton made six other full-size casts from the original moulds, which are situated in:

George Frampton Memorial

The memorial to George Frampton in the Crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, sculpted by Edward Gillick in 1930, depicts a young child holding in his hand a miniature replica of Frampton's statue of Peter Pan.[13]

Other sculptures

Other sculptors have created statues of Peter Pan, including:

See also

References

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