Two doves dating
Among collectors the term Old Wedgwood is taken to refer to wares produced before Josiah's death in 1795. Josiah started marking his production with his name in about 1759, impressing the name into the underside of the article with printer's movable type.
The theme of birds and to some extent the treatment may owe something to Brancusi’s carvings of c.1912 (notably ‘Three Penguins’ and the 3rd version of ‘The Kiss’) which Epstein could have seen during his visits to Brancusi’s Paris studio. Walsall Museum) comprises a pair of doves kissing and another pair copulating.Although he refers clearly (see above) to ‘the three groups of doves’ made at Pett Level, he exhibited one or more versions under the title ‘Group of Birds’ on various occasions before 1915, (21 Gallery, December 1913–14; Post-Impressionist and Futurist exhibition, Grafton Gallery, 1913; London Group, 1914). Hulme, a close friend and admirer, planned to include photographs of all three Marble Doves in a projected monograph on Epstein.There is no firm evidence that this version was exhibited at all. Hulme was killed in 1917 and the manuscript has not been found, but the photographs (professionally taken from various angles against a dark ground) still exist in Hulme’s album (coll. In his accompanying list Hulme listed the pieces as, respectively ‘Pigeons’, No. 11 ( in the catalogue of the John Quinn Collection (op.They used ‘direct carving’, a method of cutting directly into wood or stone, choosing not to create preparatory wax or clay models as had been traditional.
Epstein collected African and Oceanic sculpture, which influenced the bold simplified forms of his work. by John Quinn from the artist in 1915; sold American Arts Association Sale, New York, 12 February 1927 (712, repr.); ? Lamon; sold Christie’s, 4 December 1973 (109, repr.); bt. Lit: Jacob Epstein, Autobiography, 1955, p.49; Richard Buckle, Jacob Epstein, Sculptor, 1963, p.79; Richard Cork, Catalogue of Vorticism and its Allies, Hayward Gallery, 1974, p.43. Epstein was in Paris between June and November 1912 working on Oscar Wilde’s tomb.
According to his Autobiography: ‘I finally decided to leave Paris for good, and coming to England I rented a bungalow on the Sussex coast at a solitary place called Pett Level, where I could look out to sea and carve away to my heart’s content without troubling a soul.