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*Gilbert Bayes PRBS (1872-1953)

Lots 20-23
Gilbert Bayes PRBS (1872-1953)

Gilbert Bayes enjoyed a long and highly successful career that spanned the Arts and Crafts Movement, art nouveau, through art deco to modernism. Winning countless medals and awards, he was also the president of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and Master of the Art Workers Guild. He created more public sculpture between the two wars than any other artist working in Britain at the time. His use of diverse subject matters, styles and materials has ensured his status at the forefront of British sculpture in the first half of the 20th century and, given his many accolades, it is surprising that he is not better known today.

Taught and mentored by George Frampton, he created war memorials, portrait busts and panels, sculptures in metal, coloured ceramics, stone, wood and plaster from small medallions up to monumental 60 foot friezes. It is these large public works for which he is probably best known; his public sculptures and the large low relief panels have become part of the fabric of our cities particularly in London. We take them for granted without really noticing their presence. They notably include, but are by no means limited to the following: ‘The Queen of Time’, Selfridges, Oxford Street; ‘Drama through the Ages’, Odeon Covent Garden, formerly the Saville Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue; and ‘A Tribute to all Sportsmen’, the frieze outside Lord’s Cricket Ground, Wellington Road. The list goes on and on. His work was often figurative and it was his philosophy that art should be decorative and should elevate. The following four lots were all created in the 1930s when he was at the height of his powers.

*Gilbert Bayes PRBS (1872-1953)
'Wisdom', for the Commercial Bank of Scotland, Glasgow
plaster relief with wooden surround
179.5 x 173.5 x 9cm including surround

Originally made for the Commercial Bank of Scotland, renamed Royal Bank of Scotland, Bothwell St/Wellington St, Glasgow, from a set including 'Industry', 'Contentment', 'Justice', 'Prudence' and 'Commerce' (in this sale, lot 21)

Provenance: With the Fine Art Society, 1998.

Exhibited: Royal Academy, 1935, no.1597.

*Artist's Resale Right may apply to this lot.

Take advantage of our new Sworders Delivery Service. Please see 'Shipping estimate' below.

Sold for £3,600

Condition report

There is some staining to the top of the work where water has come down from a leaky roof. Given the porous nature of plaster it is possible that this will have penetrated the surface. It would seem likely however that a restorer could rectify the colour by putting something over the top of staining and matching the rest of the panel. We would suggest discussing your options with a restorer.

There are some hairline cracks in places and surface dirt and superficial abrasions, please see the additional images on our website.


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Please note that we normally offer this service for lots with an estimate of £500 or higher and all telephone bid requests must be received by close of business the day before the auction.

The auction details are as follows:

Auction: The Sally Hunter and Ian Posgate Collection, Badgemore Grange, Tue, 18th May 2021



Due to current social distancing restrictions, we will be offering viewing by appointment only. 

Thirty-minute time slots will be available from:

Sat 15 May, 10am - 4pm

Sun 16 May, 10am - 4pm

Mon 17 May, 9am - 5pm 

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All lots are, however, extensively illustrated and carry detailed condition reports - see 'Condition report' at the foot of each lot description. 



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All collections will take place from our Stansted Auction Rooms, Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex CM24 8GE.


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Please note that this item is not suitable for a pre-sale automated shipping estimate due to the items weight/size. 

The below table shows indicative shipping costs for larger items being delivered within the UK mainland. Please note that all the below costs are purely for indicative purposes and are to be used as a guideline only.  If you purchase multiple large items, we will combine deliveries to reduce the shipping costs. 

Should you be successful in buying this item, a specific shipping estimate will need to be requested after the sale using the link in your invoice email; this also includes all requests for international delivery.

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