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Hermes was a sculptor and a wood-engraver, who studied first at Beckenham School of Art and then privately with the artist Leon Underwood. She worked in a variety of materials and produced architectural sculpture for several 1930s buildings including the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Baby was carved from a large chalk pebble which Hermes found on the beach at Hastings. To begin with, two casts were made from the carving, in white china clay and in terracotta, but requiring something more durable Hermes had two further casts in bronze made from the terracotta. The original chalk carving disintegrated and no longer exists.

August 2004