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Henri Gaudier-Brzeska Toy Replica


Crystacal Plaster Replica of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska's Toy

Handmade and finished in Norfolk, exclusively for Kettle's Yard

Actual size replica, measuring approximately 160 x 40 x 30 mm

Toy – otherwise known as Torpedo Fish or Ornament – was commissioned from Henri Gaudier-Brzeska in 1914 by the writer T.E. Hulme, who paid £2 for it. It was one of a number of hand-held pieces made by Gaudier for friends and members of the Vorticist group. These small sculptures were designed to be held, handled, played with and worn. Fellow sculptor Jacob Epstein recalled that Gaudier thought them “great fun to do” and that Hulme would carry Toy “about him in his pocket, and would handle it while talking.”

Normally described as carved in brass, it is more likely that it was carved in plaster or some other material and then cast, and finished by hand; indeed Gaudier’s ‘List of Works’ includes mention of a plaster model of the same dimensions. The original is in the Art Gallery of Ontario. The sculptor Michael Gillespie made a posthumous edition of nine bronze casts and it is from one of these that he has made new moulds and supervised the production of these crystacal casts.