Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891–1915
T00839 Garden Ornament 1914
Bronze, 13¾ x 11 x 11 (35 x 28 x 28).
Presented by the Kettle’s Yard Collection, Cambridge 1966.
No. 5 in an edition of nine casts made by H. S. Ede from the original plaster in the Kettle’s Yard Collection, Cambridge. This is the companion piece to T00365 (and its bronze cast T00403). In August or September 1914 Gaudier made this pair of garden ornaments in plaster, preparatory to carving them in stone as a commission, through the Omega Workshops, from Lady Hamilton. They are the ‘Garden Vases’ of Ede’s Supplementary list of Gaudier’s works, 1930, which follows Gaudier’s own list in the 1930 edition of Ede’s Life. Gaudier found the stone too hard to carve and the carvings were left barely commenced at his Putney studio on his second and final departure for the front in September (see Pound, op. cit., p. 57, and Brodzky, op. cit., pp. 134–137).
The present garden ornament is just over half as high as T00365, by contrast with which it is an abstract design, although the motif of arms supporting a bowl above is loosely common to both. One human or animal face is inscribed at the extreme outer point or ‘elbow’ of each of the six handles.
Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1966–1967, London 1967.