A Painted Plaster Sculpture of an Elephant & Handler; Frederick Thomas Daws (1878-1956)

Origin: English
Period: Early 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1930-35
Height: 15”
Width: 5.5”
Depth: 16.5” (all at extremities)

The beautifully modelled painted plaster model of a large adult African Elephant with his handler atop, stood on a rectangular base; sculpted by Frederick Thomas Daws (1878-1956), the whole apparently being un-signed, in a all-over ochre wash and surviving from 1930s England.

Remaining in sound overall condition the piece has some very small areas of chipping, but he remains intact to a degree of 95%; please refer to the photographs for a full visual reference. There is a small section to the back of the head of the handler that has come away but we have the fragment and it will be restored before sale.

Frederick Thomas Daws was born in 1878 and found his true vocation early in life, he studied at the Lambeth School of Art and then exhibiting his paintings, "Companions in Trouble," at the Royal Academy at the young age of eighteen - he went on to exhibit a further 11 works at the academy.

F. T. Daws also worked in bronze and many of his models were reproduced in porcelain and as we see here plaster. He was a master of canine anatomy, and his bronzes, while little known, are important records of top-winning show dogs. In 1930 he became the main artist at the Royal Doulton Works for their Champion Dog Models. His paintings were also reproduced on a series of thirty-six postcards, produced for Spratts Dog Food Company.

He is particularly notable for his bold, colourful palette, and his use of colour and thickly applied strokes. His technique created striking styles and produced paintings of a different character and more modern form than his contemporaries in the world of dog painting.  He also exhibited at The Paris Salon; the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts; the Royal Institute of Oil Painters; the Walker Gallery in Liverpool; and at the Royal Society of British Artists.

Perhaps Daws is most famous for his many paintings of Mrs Campbell-Inglis' Poodles from the famous Wimbledon Mannerhead Kennels, which Daws produced over 20 years. As with his contemporary, Rueben Ward Binks, he painted many of the prize dogs of well-known dog fanciers. Perhaps less well known are Daws's sculptures in bronze, including commissions again for Mrs Campbell-Inglis. He was a master of canine anatomy and his bronzes, while little known, are important records of top-winning show dogs, as are his paintings.

In 1930, Daws became the main artist designing a range of porcelain champion Crufts winning dogs for Royal Doulton, which were issued from 1931 to 1968. This included the English Springer Crufts Champion, 'Dry Toast'. His paintings were also reproduced on a series of thirty-six post cards for the Spratts Dog Food Company. The Samoyed, 'Champion Loga of the Arctic', painted for Miss Marion Keyte Perry was published as the cover to the Christmas supplement to 'Our Dogs'. The painting is now in the collection of the Kennel Club together with others by the artist. His works depicting the Afghans and Mannerhead Poodles can be seen in the collection of the American Kennel Club.

A wonderfully imposing sculpture of a truly majestic animal.