Card of the Day - 2022-11-11

W.D. & H.O. Wills "Modern British Sculpture"
Wills [tobacco : UK] "Modern British Sculpture" large size (September 1928) /30 - W675-200 : W62-160 : W/263

This is a lovely set, one of my favourites, even though it is sepia - or maybe because of that, which lends a dignified air to these wonderful artworks. The cards measure 79 x 62 m/m, but they do suffer from not all being the same way up, which makes viewing them in an album rather a game of twist and turn. 

This is part of the Guards Memorial, a panel, which was designed and sculpted by Gilbert Ledward F.R.B.S. who, the card adds, had designed several war memorials - at Abergavenny (which was unveiled in 1921 - it is actually for the Monmouthshire Regiment, and was paid for by public subscription from the people of the local area) - as well at Blackpool and at Harrogate (both 1923).

The Guards Memorial itself was actually built by Harold Chalton Bradshaw, and it was not unveiled until 1926. It was intended to commemorate the First Battle of Ypres, in 1914,  where three of the Guards Brigades helped to halt the advance of the Germans, at great loss of life, but it came to stand for all battles that the Guards took part in.

Gilbert Ledward was also, later, entitled to add R.A. after his name, but not until 1937. He had been born in January 1888, and was already a famous sculptor before the outbreak of the First World War. He served in the Royal Garrison Artillery during the war, and became a war artist too. After that War he became professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.

And after the Second World War he worked on the Combined Services Memorial in Westminster Abbey, as well as design the 1953 five shilling, or crown coin for the Coronation of Elizabeth II, which shows her mounted on her horse. His initials appear between the end of the bar and the back hoof. He died in 1960.