Design & Decoration S04 ep8 : Edward Horswell, Sladmore Sculpture, [STATE]

Interview with Edward Horswell

The Sladmore Gallery has its origins in a private collection of nineteenth century bronze animal sculpture, assembled by Jane Horswell in the 1960’s at Sladmore Farm in Buckinghamshire. In 1968 the gallery moved to the three floor mews premises off Berkeley Square, where Sladmore Contemporary is still located today, in the heart of London’s Gallery district. The Sladmore Gallery with its collection of 19th and 20th century sculpture is now located nearby at our recently refurbished new Jermyn Street


Sladmore was the farm my parents own, purchases in 1956. I think around the time
I was born. When I was about nine years old, my mother opened an art gallery in
the farm, specializing in animal sculptor from the 19th century. My mother was a
very keen breeder of Pointer dogs and so she was collector of pointer dogs. And
then it grew out of that. When I left school I joined the gallery, in fact next year
we'll be celebrating our fiftieth anniversary. 01:37

I never started art history. My father had an engineering business, which I was
destined to go into. Fortunately that he closed those down and I think that when I
arrived in the gallery, I had learnt about sculptor the easy way as a child and my,
my holiday trips were spent running up and down in the Paris Flea Market looking
for good bronzes for my parents buy. 02:10

Henry Dunay Jewellery

I have a bronze up there, the back, which has a rather nice story that ended. My
father sold it in 1971, to a collector and he rang me up in 1981, my first year in the
gallery. And he said he was thinking of selling it, would I come and have a look at
it. Finally, last November, I bought it from him. So it took thirty years to persuade
him. So we cleaned it, photographed it, researched it, brought it to the fair and on
the second day, a new client came unto the stand, who had been looking for a
Bugatti bear for five years and bought it. Now that to me, is what it's all about.

This is Rembrandt Mug at, a son of Carlo and a brother of the racing car designer,
Ettore, they were an amazing family. Carlo made the most beautiful Moorish
furniture, wonderful silverware that most people have never seen. Hat toy came an
iconic designer of engines, I think he had more paintings than any other car

I'm driven by the ecstatic, then it will have to be at a standard, in terms of the
quality, because the thing about bronzes, are editions and I can vary considerably
one example, another. 04:10

Henry Dunay Jewellery

And the period that we specialize in which is 1830 to 1930. The concept of limited
editions hadn't come in, that was post war really. They did start numbering bronzes
around 1925, 1920. In fact, Ebroad, did cast Degas sculptors, who were horse over
there and he cast some of Bugatti's bronzes and he started numbering from 1905,
but the, the number of six, of twelve, that didn't really start till mid-twenties.
Generally people cast as many as they can sell. So they would cast and sell it, cast
another one , sell it and with Bugatti, most of the Bronzes are very small editions,
this piece behind me, is an edition of only seven examples. 05:14

Then the contemporary gallery, we represent six sculptors, NetFind Perrin is one, is
approximately forty-five years old. He visited the Greece, the students and then did
some further research, in British museum and he was struck by the Elgin marvels
and the horsehead has been an image that he has concentrated on his entire career.

He does three different of iconic models, one is a mighty head, the more arch neck
and then the second was a drinking horse where the nose is on the ground and this
is his most recent , the Trojan head. He has from time to time done a whole horse.
He does the heads of horse and heads of Christ, those are his two main subjects.

Henry Dunay Jewellery

A good artist gets inside the soul of the subject. I like to think that the 19 century
sculpture, which my mother began collecting, throughout the two dimensions, is
very realistic, a lot of it goes against the war on a commode and, then birth of
impressionism, we saw sculpture becoming truly, three-dimensional, but for me a
great sculpture, is sculpture that captures four dimensions. We have physical three
dimensions, but we have the soul in that fourth dimension and that types, more
we're looking for. 07:18

I would love to start art history in Einstein, but can't learn about authentication of
sculpture from books or museums. You only learn art sculpture by actually
handling the bronzes and you have to handle a lot of bronzes and I was lucky to be
looking at them from the age of six. 07:51

Henry Dunay Jewellery

The bear by Francois Pompon, 19 century, figurative artist who carved a lot of
rodents, most famous marbles, couldn't earn a living as a sculptor in his own right.
1910, radically changed his style to this more free form work. This was is most
important piece, which is the 1925 to greater claim, who was already sixty-five
years old, died eight years later and he made approximately twelve marbles and
twelve stone carvings himself of this iconic work and it's probably ten original
lifetime bronzes, twelve costumes bronzes, the Browns farni foundry and probably
one hundred copies. It's the most copied bronze we see every month, coming up for
auction, around the world. But the ones to buy are the stones of the marbles and I
had a client ring me, saying he had a stone, that he for financial reasons, he needed
to sell and he arrived in my gallery, with the piece, put it on the table, asked me a
price, which made my eyes water. This is my offer and if you like it, then we have a
deal. He went off for an hour, came back, he put his hand out, we shook and he
promptly burst into tears. But, and I was quite taken aback about this because I've
never had somebody cry in my gallery before. He sold everything else and this was
the last piece. One hour later, an American client came in to the gallery to look at a
Degas sculpture of a dancer that we had and all the time I was trying to get he and
his wife to concentrate on the Degas sculpture, they were turning around and
looking at the stone over there, that I had placed beside my desk. Cut a long story
short, he left, having bought the stone and he was 89 years old. Sadly I only owned
it for about an hour, but I enjoyed it for a couple of months more, it took to prepare
everything. 10:39

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Edward Horswell, Sladmore, ???