Not currently on display at the V&A

Cast from one of the shields on the Royal Albert Hall

Shield
between 1861 and 1866 (designed), before 1901 (cast)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Shield by Godfrey Sykes (1824 or 25-1866), forming part of the exterior decoration of the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington. It shows a demi-lion rampant on a wreath, below which is a scroll inscribed NUNQUAM·MUTANS. 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.


Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleCast from one of the shields on the Royal Albert Hall (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Plaster
Brief description
Shield forming part of the exterior decoration of the Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington.
Physical description
This shield shows a demi-lion rampant on a wreath, below which is a scroll inscribed NUNQUAM·MUTANS.
Dimensions
  • Approximately height: 32cm
  • Approximately width: 29cm
  • Weight: 2kg
Styles
Marks and inscriptions
NUNQUAM·MUTANS
Object history
Historical significance: Fowke called Sykes 'master and inventor of English cinque-cento decoration'.
Historical context
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.
Production
20th-century plaster cast after 19th-century British original
Subjects depicted
Summary
Shield by Godfrey Sykes (1824 or 25-1866), forming part of the exterior decoration of the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington. It shows a demi-lion rampant on a wreath, below which is a scroll inscribed NUNQUAM·MUTANS. 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.
Bibliographic references
Collection
Accession number
REPRO.1901-15

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL
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