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ID: 2484
Ten Autograph Signed Letters.

Category: Art

Hyde Park Gate, Kensington No publisher. 1953.


Collection of ten autograph signed letters. Nineteen pages; 8vo, Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, 28th October 1953 to 10th June 1954. Epstein was commissioned by the Sir Stafford Cripps Memorial Trust to create a bust of the British Labour Politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1947-50. Each letter is addressed to David Hardman, secretary of the Sir Stafford Cripps Memorial Trust. In the first letter Epstein invites Hardman to come and see the bust of Cripps, explaining that it is not finished however adding that Lady Cripps is also keen to see it, and explaining 'I am a little uncertain about showing it yet to Lady Cripps who of course will have a not unnatural anxiety about it & I want really a decision from you before I show it [to] her'. The sculptor also comments on being shown an unsuitable place in St. Paul's that had been allocated to the bust although adding that he now understands he can choose any place he wishes for the memorial. In his second letter Epstein thanks Hardman for a payment of £337 and announces 'Tomorrow I am showing the bust to Lady Cripps, not without some trepidation! I think I have interpreted Sir Stafford in the right spirit.' and in further letters discusses the inscriptions to appear on the bust, preparations for sending the work to the foundry ('I have been today to the foundry & the more I think of it the less I like the idea of glasses on the bust. After all God made Sir Stafford without spectacles'), also requesting the final payment from the committee, updating Hardman on the progress at the foundry, discussing his thoughts on the pedestal ('Dove silver grey will look very fine & show up the bronze.'), and also commenting on a meeting at the foundry ('The reception….was somewhat curious I thought. The ecclesiastic talked as if we were attempting a crime when I asked about the site of the bust & Mr. Attlee was like a frozen turnip. A somewhat chilling affair.'), stating that he hasn't the heart to battle with the Cathedral authorities and also asking for confirmation of the date of the unveiling and requesting 5 or 6 tickets to give to friends who would like to attend ('I recall that the Dean hinted that a crowd would not be welcome! What a silly idea….I don't mind in the least the vagaries of the ecclesiastical mind. Of course it is their cathedral.') and in the final letter Epstein thanks Hardman for 'photographs of [the] great event, when we were shoved out after half an hour' and asks if he saw Tom Driberg's account? One letter has some light age wear and another has a minor tear, a few with ink annotations (presumably in Hardman's hand).

Price £1500.00

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