Here is a polished bronze cast made by Susse Fondeurs in Paris. I have also had a small maquette made with a verdigris-type patination which you can see in the video above.
Here is a polished bronze cast made by Susse Fondeurs in Paris. I have also had a small maquette made with a verdigris-type patination which you can see in the video below.
The style of this bronze was inspired by the cubist sculptor, Jacques Lipchitz.
It depicts the ‘Battle of Europe’ between Sterling and what was originally called the ECU, the European Currency Unit which briefly, and mostly theoretically, preceded the EURO.
A bronze cast of this work 220 x 120 x 120 cm can be found at ‘Sterling House’, Ransomes Dock which is on the south side of the Thames near Albert Bridge in London. The wooden pattern for this work exists at Neil Lawson Baker’s studio.
There are two smaller editions cast in bronze. One is a bronze edition of 8, patinated and part-polished and cast by the Burleighfield Foundry. The other edition of the same size and weight was to be 8 in number but only two were ever cast. They are 55 x 35 x 35 cms and weigh 14.5kg each. They were made by Susse Fondeurs in Paris when they were based in Arcueil. This most famous of French foundries was started by the Susse Brothers in 1758. These two casts of ‘Sterling’ in hand polished bronze were made by the same craftsmen that made the posthumous and controversial polished works for the Brancusi estate in Paris between 1992 and 2010. The finish is exquisite – it is very highly polished and looks almost like gilt.
There is also a small bronze maquette 13 x 8 x 8cms unnumbered. While Prime Minister and before becoming Lady Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher invited Neil to her office at The Palace of Westminster. He presented her with one of the small maquettes of ‘Sterling’ in patinated bronze mounted on a marble base which she kept on her ministerial desk. She then commissioned similar designs; one for each of the then 12 member states of the EEC. She got architects to design a sweeping curved entrance to the proposed European Bank for London. She envisaged a semi circle of flags similar to that in front of the UN building in New York and the sculptures below them.
The sculpture designs were duly completed and then presented to, and accepted by, the Foreign Office. They would have been enlarged to about 5 metres tall and cast in bronze to front each national flag. But it was not to be… …the bank went to Frankfurt and this dream never materialised.
The smallest cast of ‘Sterling’ is a unique Silver casting by Geoffrey Turk Jewellers, London. 5 x 3 x 3 cm.
Client: Rosehaugh Copartnership
Client: UK Foreign Office
Commissioned by: The Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Margaret Thatcher (later Lady Thatcher)
Dimensions and Weights: See text