|Andrea Carlo Lucchesi (1859-1925), Love breaking the sword of hate (1900). Albert Park, Auckland,|
purchased with funds provided by the estate of Helen Boyd.
The missing sword of hate was replaced in April 2015
|Gilbert Bayes (1872-1953) Fountain of the valkyries (c. 1912). Auckland Domain, gift of Richard Hellaby, 1929|
Bayes was probably best known in New Zealand for his work as a designer of polychromatic architectural ceramics which, from the early 1920s, he designed for the Doulton Lambeth works. A selection of his architectural sculpture was exhibited by Doulton & Co at the Dunedin New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition in 1925-26. Other sculptural work also gave him a local profile: a bronze bas relief Jason ploughing the acres of Mars (1898) was exhibited at the Christchurch New Zealand International Exhibition in 1906-07 and purchased by the Canterbury Society of Arts; and a bronze and enamel figure St George and the dragon (1920) was also shown at the Dunedin exhibition and subsequently acquired for the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Bayes' work embodied early twentieth century British official taste: it was figurative but sufficiently stylised in its form to suggest a sense of progress; in its attention to detail and in its evident craftsmanship it made reference to the apogee of British cultural developments of the previous century, the arts and crafts movement. Moreover, Bayes' subjects were unquestionably patriotic - knights in armour were a common feature – deeming them appropriate for export to the provinces, for the delectation of middle-class colonial audiences.
|Gilbert Bayes (1872-1953) Fountain of the Valkyries (1912) as illustrated in the Studio, 72 (1917), p. 105|
|Inscription on the plinth of Lucchesi's Love breaking the sword of hate. This blandly municipal text fails to identify either the sculptor or the title of the statue|
|James D Richardson [Looking towards Boyd's Pottery from Rendall Place] (about 1880).|
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries (4-254)
|Title block of an advertisement for the Newton Pottery published in the New Zealand Herald (27 June 1883), p. 2|
|[Unidentified designer], majolica-glazed earthenware stand made at the Newton Pottery, Auckland (about 1885).|
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, gift of George Boyd (CG00639)
His fancy table-ware is especially handsome, some of the pitchers and vases on the stand being really beautiful, noticeably so one richly-relieved blue jug. Some copies of Wedgwood, in white on blue ground, are well made; and there is an exquisitely designed fruit stand representing storks supporting a dish [...] a really beautiful exhibit, and one of great value, as proving the existence of a real art-feeling in the manufacture of cheap and common goods.<New Zealand Industrial Exhibition, 1885, The official record (Wellington: Government Printer, 1886), p. 46>Boyd was evidently so gratified by the reception of his wares that he gave four examples to the Colonial Museum. He did not enjoy his success for long; at the end of 1885 he appears to have been diagnosed with a fatal illness and in January 1887 advertised the factory 'to let for a term of years' noting that
The whole of the works are in first-class order, there are immense drying sheds; also steam-engine pipe machinery of every description, brick and tile presses, 2 brick machines and edge runners; also, six kilns of various construction suitable for every class of good. The town water and telephone are laid on to the works. Office, Show-Room, Carpenter's Shop, Stables, and an endless variety of plaster moulds; also common pottery clay in any quantity.<New Zealand Herald (4 January 1886), p. 1>There do not appear to have been any takers for what Boyd described as 'an opportunity seldom to be met with'. He died at his house on Nixon Street on 10 March 1886 aged 61, allegedly instructing his widow, Helen, to destroy 'the endless variety of plaster moulds'<G Henry, New Zealand pottery: commercial and collectable (Auckland: Reed, 1999), p. 140>. Local newspapers lauded him as 'an industrious, persevering man', 'most energetic in prosecuting the local industry with which his name was so long and honourably associated', noting that 'Deceased was a native of Scotland, and much respected for his integrity of character.'<'Obituary', New Zealand Herald (29 March 1886), p. 13>
|[Unidentified designer], cold-painted earthenware urn made at the Newton Pottery (about 1885) |
in Albert Park, Auckland. Bequeathed by Helen Boyd. One of the few remaining elements of her bequest of 'outside vases'
The committee's initial decision was to split the bequest into four and send to Sydney, London, France and Italy for photographs of appropriate statues. In August 1899, evidently frustrated by a tardy response, the mayor decided to approach the newly formed Auckland Scenery Conservation Society seeking advice; the earlier decision was rescinded and it was resolved to seek expert advice as to the choice of subject from London.<'Auckland Scenery Conservation Society: meeting of the committee', New Zealand Herald (5 August 1899), p. 5> Letters from both the mayor and the Boyd trustees were sent to William Pember Reeves, the New Zealand Agent General in London, requesting him to 'place the matter before some sculptor of note in England (such as E Onslow Ford, RA, 62 Acacia Road, St John's Wood).'<New Zealand Herald (1 November 1899), p. 6> Edward Onslow Ford (1852-1901) – his massive St George and the dragon salt cellar is included in the Tate Britain exhibition – seems to have suggested that fewer rather than more statues be acquired and recommended not only that a work by Lucchesi be acquired but also one by the better known sculptor Alfred Drury (1856-1944). Drury's efforts seem to have gained him a reputation in the colony; in late 1902 – again through Pember Reeves – he was commissioned by the New Zealand premier Richard Seddon, on behalf of the citizens of Wellington, to produce a bronze statue of Queen Victoria along with three bronze relief panels to decorate the pedestal. Drury's formalised depiction of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the subject of one of the pedestal panels, was reproduced, unacknowledged, on the New Zealand ten shilling note from 1940 to 1967.<A Lys Baldry, 'A notable sculptor: Alfred Drury ARA', Studio, 37 (1906), pp. 3-18>
|Alfred Drury (1856-1944), Spring (1902), Auckland Domain, Auckland,|
purchased with funds provided by the estate of Helen Boyd. Unidentified, relocated, demounted and unacknowledged.
Both George Boyd and the trustees of Helen Boyd's estate chose to import their forms and models from Britain. Richard Hellaby had the means that enabled him to practice his art overseas, but all made significant contributions to the country's cultural inheritance. It's to our shame that these legacies have been so abused: neglected, damaged, uncared for and ignored.