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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

George Mancini (1903–1989)

Edinburgh-based bronze founder, who worked with many of the leading Scottish sculptors of the twentieth century. He was the son of Frederico Mancini, himself a foundryman, who moved c.1890 from Rome to London, where he cast works by Albert Toft, Alfred Gilbert and other sculptors associated with the New Sculpture movement. George had his first experience of casting in his father’s workshop at the age of twelve, but in 1924 he moved to Edinburgh, working first for McDonald & Creswick (for whom he cast Alexander Carrick’s statue of William Wallace at Edinburgh Castle), later setting up his own workshop at Eyre Terrace in 1931, and finally moving to Fountainbridge in 1935. He undertook regular casting work for Pittendrigh Macgillivray, John Massey Rhind and Alexander Proudfoot, but had a particularly close working relationship with Thomas Whalen, Phyllis Bone and Alexander Carrick. He also exercised a profound influence on several generations of students as a teacher of lost wax and plaster casting at Edinburgh College of Art. His larger castings included the 2.1m-high figure of a Sower for Kirkcaldy Municipal Building, Fife (1956), and a Ballerina for Dalkeith High School, Midlothian (1962), both by Whalen, but his most prestigious commission was the restoration of Alfred Gilbert’s figure of Eros from the Shaftesbury Memorial, Piccadilly Circus, London (c.1985). He gave up his foundry in the late 1970s, but continued to offer assistance and advice to sculptors working in Scotland, most notably Gerald Laing.

Bibliography: R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 126, 380, vol. 2, pp. 21, 25–26, 83–84, 169, 433–35; D. Merritt and F. Greenacre, with K. Eustace, Public Sculpture of Bristol, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 161–62; NPG British bronze sculpture founders; F. Pearson, ‘George Mancini, Bronze Caster’, in D. Macmillan (ed.), Scotland & Italy, Edinburgh, 1989, pp. 124–31.

Ray McKenzie 2018