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Shield - Cast from one of the shields on the Royal Albert Hall
  • Cast from one of the shields on the Royal Albert Hall
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Cast from one of the shields on the Royal Albert Hall

  • Object:

    Shield

  • Place of origin:

    London (designed)
    London (cast)

  • Date:

    between 1861 and 1866 (designed)
    1901 (cast)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster cast

  • Museum number:

    REPRO.1901-16

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Shield by Godfrey Sykes (1824 or 25-1866), forming part of the exterior decoration of the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington. It bears a winged hour-glass. Sykes created these designs while employed by the architect Francis Fowke (1823-1865). Fowke also contracted Sykes to design the terracotta columns, stained glass, bronze, ironwork, decorations in majolica and mosaic, and tile pavements for the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A), beginning in 1861. Neither Sykes nor Fowke lived to see the finished construction of the Royal Albert Hall in 1871.

The present cast is one of a group of 25 reproductions of Sykes's shields for the Royal Albert Hall: from REPRO.1901-4 to REPRO.1901-27, and REPRO.1904-9.

Physical description

This shield bears a winged hour-glass.

Place of Origin

London (designed)
London (cast)

Date

between 1861 and 1866 (designed)
1901 (cast)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster cast

Dimensions

Height: 32 cm approximately, Width: 29 cm approximately, Weight: 3.5 kg

Object history note

Historical significance: Fowke called Sykes 'master and inventor of English cinque-cento decoration'.

Historical context note

These casts were copied after the terracotta shields produced by Godfrey Sykes (1824 or 1825 - 1866) the British designer and painter, for the exterior decoration of Royal Albert Hall. Sykes was trained by Alfred Stevens (1817-1875) at the Sheffield School of Art in the Renaissance Revival manner. He created these designs while employed by the architect Francis Fowke (1823-1865). Fowke also contracted Sykes to design the museum terracotta columns, stained glass, bronze, ironwork, decorations in majolica and mosaic, and tile pavements for the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) beginning in 1861. Neither Sykes nor Fowke lived to see the finished construction of Royal Albert Hall in 1871. Sykes's many assistants continued using and modifying his designs after his death.

Descriptive line

Shield forming part of the exterior decoration of the Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Rosamond Allwood. 'Sykes, Godfrey.' Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 18 Feb. 2011 http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T082747
S. Jervis, The Penguin Dictionary of Design and Designers (London, 1984).

Production Note

20th-century plaster cast after 19th-century British original

Materials

Plaster

Techniques

Cast

Subjects depicted

Hour-glass

Categories

Architecture; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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