Part of the good fortune of being an Antique dealer is meeting people like Steve Pettifer, one of England’s most talented sculptors. I met Steve twenty years ago when he was working with the National Trust restoring terracotta, marble and stone sculpture whilst working as an artist. The quality of his work was staggering. He was connected with a seam of talent who had graduated from London City Guilds and Art School and we both shared a passion for Coade sculpture.
Jamb and Coade Sculpture. A fusion of Antiques and Reproduction.
6 March 2015
Coade was created in 1769 by Eleanor Coade, a remarkable woman who resurrected an artificial stone company in Lambeth and revolutionised it under her own name. She employed the finest artists and sculptors of the day to produce objects and sculpture for houses, gardens and public spaces. Many 18th and 19th century sculptures remain at Buckingham Palace and can be seen around London. I love the Lion on Westminster bridge and the magnificent River God at Ham House.
Steve told me he was determined to discover the DNA of Coade stone and to replicate it exactly as it was in the 18th century. It took him twelve years to work out and perfect the ingredients of the unique ceramic clay recipe and all the processes that accompany producing works that make Coade Stone so extremely durable and robust. Alongside Alastair Rennie and Hannah Hartwell they have created a wonderful collection of work under the name of Coade Limited that we represent at Jamb.
One of my favourite pieces in the showroom at present are a pair of Tigers. Steve and I took a trip to see our mutual friend Hugh Kennedy at the glorious Acton Round Hall. That weekend Steve bought the antique and created a pair of faithful copies.
Coincidentally this week I discovered another link, that Eleanor Coade lived and died on Camberwell Grove – the very street I live on.