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The Queen's Beast of James Woodford.

The Queen's Beast of James Woodford.
The Queen's Beast of James Woodford.
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The Queen's Beast of James Woodford.
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The Queen's Beast of James Woodford.
The Queen's Beast of James Woodford.
$19.90
  • SKU: SCAN-NOP-00441975

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The Queen's Beast of James Woodford. The Queen's Beasts are ten heraldic statues depicting the genealogy of Queen Elizabeth II. They were commissioned by the British Ministry of Works from sculptor James Woodford (who was paid the sum of £2,750 for the work) to stand in front of the temporary western annexe to Westminster Abbey for the Queen's coronation in 1953. The beasts are some six-foot (1.83 m) high, cast in plaster, and could not therefore be left in the open air. The beasts are: the lion of England, the griffin of Edward III, the falcon of the Plantagenets, the black bull of Clarence, the yale of Beaufort, the white lion of Mortimer, the White Greyhound of Richmond, the red dragon of Wales, the unicorn of Scotland, and the white horse of Hanover. After the coronation, they were removed to the Great Hall in Hampton Court Palace and, in 1957, were relocated to St George's Hall at Windsor Castle. The beasts were taken into storage in April 1958 whilst their future was considered. It was eventually decided to offer them to the Commonwealth governments and Canada, being the senior nation, was offered them first. In June 1959, the Canadian government accepted the beasts and they were shipped there in July. Originally, the only part of the statues to be coloured was their heraldic shields; but, for the celebrations of the Canadian federation in 1967, the statues were painted in their full heraldic colours. They are now in the care of the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. In 1958, Sir Henry Ross, Chairman of the Distillers Company in Edinburgh, paid for Portland stone replicas of these statues, which are on display outside the Palm House at Kew Gardens. The beasts also served as models for topiary at Hall Place, Bexley. The original sculptures have been commemorated in the following forms: bone china figurines, cups and saucers, glass tray sets, plaster models, reclaimed material reproductions,[1] porcelain candlesticks, British postage stamps issued in 1998, silver tea spoons, and tea towels. James Woodford (1893–1976) was an English sculptor Woodford was born in Nottingham in 1893. His father was a lace designer. Woodford started studying at the Nottingham School of Art, but his studies were curtailed when he enlisted during the First World War. After the war, he continued his training at the Royal College of Art in London. He was Rome Scholar in 1922-5. [1] Woodford designed the bronze doors of the 1930s extension of the Liverpool Blind School in Hope Street. The doors were later transferred to the new Blind School when it moved to Wavertree, a suburb of Liverpool. In 1934 Woodford created a monumental pair of doors for the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects at 66 Portland Place, London. They each weigh one-and-a-half tons, the deep relief designs showing the River Thames and various London buildings. He also made figures on the exterior columns, interior ceiling plaster reliefs depicting the main periods of English architecture and various building trades and crafts, and stone window-pieces depicting building through the ages.[2] Four years later he made a set of 18 sculptured roundels for the six bronze doors of Norwich City Hall, each depicting a manual trade that had been practised in the city.[3] Detail from the doors at 66 Portland Place. Woodford did some decorative work for the liner RMS Queen Mary, carving wooden screens and designing bronze uplighters for the cabin class smoking room.[4] Another commission around this time was for the facade of the fashionably decorated Good Intent restaurant in Chelsea, where he carved large wooden reliefs of a mermaid and two seahorses.[5] For the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, Woodford made a set of ten plaster sculptures of the Queen's Beasts, each 6 feet (1.8 m) tall to be placed at the entrance of Westminster Abbey. He went on to make a set of Portland stone replicas which an anonymous donor presented to Kew Gardens in 1956. They now stand on the Palm House Terrace.[6] In the 1950s Woodford made a set of reliefs representing the four elements for the Lloyds building in Lime Street in the City of London. They were placed very high up; Arthur Byron in "London's Statues" describes them as "barely visible."[7] Following the demolition of the building they were installed on a wall at street level as part of the landscaping of the Willis Building on the same site. In 1951 he made the bronze statue of Robin Hood that stands near the gates of Nottingham Castle.[8] In 1962 he modelled a new version of the royal coat of arms for use on major public buildings such as courts and embassies for the Ministry of Public Buildings;[9] the Times said it was "more shapely than the old design, and displays the Lion and Unicorn with greater vigour".[9] He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1937 and became a full member in 1945

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