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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Nautilus Fine Art Foundry Ltd (1989–2003)

Bronze foundry established initially at New Cross, South London, by Paul Joyce and Robert Moule. In 1998, the foundry relocated to Braintree, Essex, following incorporation into the Finch Seaman Group. The foundry specialised in lost wax, but also undertook sand casting. Public sculptures include John Doubleday’s statues of Sherlock Holmes, Baker Street Station forecourt, London, and Gerald Durrell, Jersey Zoo, both 1999; Francis Siegelman’s Billy Bremner, Leeds Football Club, 1999; William Pye’s Sibirica, 1999, Holland Park, and Kanagawa, Selsey, West Sussex, 2000; Andrew Burton’s Annunciation and Charles Hadcock’s Caesura VI, both for Holland Park, 2000; Richard Rome’s Millennium Fountain, Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon, 2000; and Eilis O’Connell’s Unfurl, 2000, Palace Gate, Kensington. In July 2003, the company merged with Burleighfield Arts to form Art Founders Ltd.

Sources: Nautilus Foundry (letter to author from Paul Joyce, Nautilus Fine Art Foundry Ltd, 9 October 2002, plus accompanying brochure); Seddon, J., et al, Public Sculpture of Sussex, Liverpool, 2014.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Matthew Noble (1818–1876)

Sculptor. Born in Hackness, near Scarborough, Yorkshire, he trained in London under the sculptor, John Francis (1780–1861). He exhibited over 100 works, chiefly portrait busts, at the RA from 1845 to 1876. His public statues numbered over 40. 1856 was an important year for Noble, seeing the erection in Manchester of his memorial to the Duke of Wellington, and in Waterloo Place, London, of his statue of Sir John Franklin, the latter being one of the very few open-air monuments commissioned by the government in the Victorian period. His major Manchester and Salford public monuments began with Sir Robert Peel (Peel Park, Salford, 1852) and concluded with Oliver Cromwell (Manchester, 1875, removed to Wythenshawe Park). He provided statues of Peel in Tamworth (1852), Liverpool (St George’s Hall, 1854) and London (Parliament Square, 1876). His other London statues were of Sir James McGrigor (1865, Millbank, but since 2003 at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst), Sir James Outram (1871, Victoria Embankment) and the Earl of Derby (1874, Parliament Square). Statues of Prince Albert were commissioned from Noble for Manchester, Salford, Leeds and Bombay. His studio was described as ‘a manufactory of busts’. His funerary monuments included Sir John Franklin (Westminster Abbey, 1847), Archbishop Musgrave (York Minster, 1860) and the Earl of Derby (Knowsley, 1872). In this genre, recumbent effigies were one of his specialities, but memorials to the Officers and Men of the 77th Regiment in St Paul’s Cathedral, and to Christopher Pemberton, at Newton (Cambs.) figure distinctive attenuated angels in relief. Noble was assisted by Horace Montford, and by Joseph Edwards, who completed his unfinished works after his death. His widow presented his models to the Corporation of Newcastle. They were placed in Elswick Hall, but most were destroyed in the twentieth century.

Sources: Roscoe, I., et al, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660–1851, New Haven and London, 2009; obituary in Art Journal, September 1876, pp. 275–76.

Philip Ward-Jackson 2011

Thomas Dewell Scott,Matthew Noble engraving from
the Illustrated London News, 8 July 1876
(photo: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons).