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Lot 460

•DAME ELISABETH FRINK (1930-1993) Maquette for Alcock and Brown Memorial (Horizontal Birdman)

Estimate: £8,000 - £12,000
Hammer price: £15,500
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.
•DAME ELISABETH FRINK (1930-1993) Maquette for Alcock and Brown Memorial (Horizontal Birdman) signed and numbered 'Frink/7/9' (underneath) bronze on a stone base 40.5 cm long Conceived circa 1962 Provenance: With Beaux Arts, London, where purchased by the present owner Private Collection, Dorset Literature Annette Ratuszniak (ed.), Elisabeth Frink, Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture 1947-93, Lund Humphries, London, 2013, p.86, cat.no.FCR114 (ill.b&w, another cast) This lot is a maquette for Frink's 1962 commission for Manchester Airport of a memorial to aviators John Al-cock and Arthur Brown, who made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. The work belongs to a wider series of Birdman bronzes which were developed from photographs Frink had seen of French adventurer Leo Valentin. Valentin was famed for attempting flight by attaching bird-like wings to his arms. At an air show in Liverpool in 1956 during a failed stunt he fell to an untimely and horrific death. The photos of the accident were published in the press and resonated with Frink, who had a deep fear of heights. A group of sculptures of men falling, at the point of impact, were first produced. This macabre motif developed to the swooping Icarus forms of the Birdman, which although struggle under the weight of their material and impracticality of their short wings, remain ever hopefully in flight.

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