Sculptor, modeller, graphic designer and painter in both oils and water colour, he was born in Birmingham and studied at Birmingham School of Art. In the early part of his career, he was closely associated with the electroplaters and founders Elkington & Co, modelling figures for production in silver and bronze, and designing a silver table commissioned by the Prince Consort to present to Queen Victoria. Elkingtons placed such value on his work that they financed a trip to Florence for him to further his studies and gather ideas for new designs. While there he met his future wife, Clara Gamgee, and moved with her and her family c.1855 to Edinburgh, where he continued to produce models for silversmiths, as well as designs for publishing houses such as Thomas Nelson & Sons. His exhibited work included portrait medallions, busts of the veterinary surgeon William Dick (1857) and the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi (1862, from sittings in Italy), a set of relief panels entitled The Seven Ages of Man (1857), and a cast of his design for the Caledonian Challenge Shield, the trophy of the Edinburgh Rifle Meeting (1864). He contributed six bronze panels illustrating incidents in the life of the Scott family to the Monument to the Fifth Duke of Buccleuch, Parliament Square, Edinburgh (1884–88). One of his most ambitious works was Pandora (1883), a figure with bas reliefs on the pedestal. He was elected Associate Royal Scottish Academician in 1862, acted as the curator of the Academy’s Life School from 1881, and was made a full Academician in 1885.
Sources: McEwan, P.J.M., The Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, 2004; Scotsman, 9 January 1894, p. 4 (obit.).
Ray McKenzie 2018