Large Totem Head
1968, cast date unknown
2458 x 1341 x 1258 mm
Inscribed ‘Moore’ on base and stamped with foundry mark ‘GUSS: H. NOACK BERLIN’ on side of base
Presented by the artist 1978
In an edition of 8 plus 1 artist’s copy
Technique and condition
The completed plaster was then sent to a professional foundry, where a mould would have been taken into which molten bronze could be poured. Since bronze has to be cast in a single pour, the maximum size of any one piece of bronze is dependent on the size of the crucible used at the foundry. This means that it is often more practical and carries less risk to fabricate larger bronzes from a number of parts, which can then be welded together to form the whole. Two horizontal weld lines run around the sculpture indicating that it was cast in three more or less equally sized sections (fig.3). The welding seams were filed down and then textured using a range of small punch tools to integrate them with the surrounding surface.
How to citeLyndsey Morgan, 'Technique and Condition', May 2013, in Alice Correia, ‘Large Totem Head 1968, cast date unknown by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, September 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www
From plaster to bronze
When the plaster was complete it was sent to the Noack Foundry in West Berlin to be cast in bronze. In 1967 Moore stated, ‘I use the Noack foundry for casting most of my work because in my opinion, Noack is the best bronze founder I know ... Also, the Noack foundry is reliable in all ways – in keeping to dates of delivery – and in sustaining the quality of their work’.6 Large Totem Head was cast in an edition of eight, but it is not known when Tate’s example was cast, and it is unclear whether the whole edition was cast at the same time or over a period of years. The top of the base is inscribed with Moore’s signature while the foundry mark ‘GUSS:H.NOACK BERLIN’ has been stamped on the side (fig.8).
Sources and contexts
The Henry Moore Gift
How to cite
Alice Correia, ‘Large Totem Head 1968, cast date unknown by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, September 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www