Pearce, Leonard - Revolutionary Heroes
Although these four wax miniatures are by a British artist Leonard Pearce and of 18C sitters, they have been included in the American 20C gallery, as they are of 20C creation.
Little has so far been found out about Leonard Pearce, but his full name may be Leonard John Pearce and his work seem to have been also used on items issued by Franklin Mint.
The sitters are Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, Lafayette, and George Washington.
The miniatures can be classified as modern decorative items, but they were acquired for the collection because of their high quality production and as good examples of the skill of wax modellers, who did tend to make multiple copies of their original wax sculptures. As these have been scanned through glass the quality of detail is not as clear as one would like.
Each miniature has a printed and hand numbered citation on the reverse. In abbreviated form this states, "one of a series of four miniatures...commissioned to celebrate the bi-centenary...modelled by Leonard Pearce". This set is number 60. 1165a, 1165b, 1165c, 1165d
Later - Some biographical information has now emerged:
"Leonard J. Pearce - Biography
Born London, 1932 but spent formative years at Sutton, Surrey. From local art school went on to City & Guilds School of Art in London to study fine art, drawing & painting. Began his career in a design studio, working on architectural, graphic, and product design projects. Started own practice in the early sixties, specializing in graphics, and gained membership in the Royal Society of Industrial Arts & Designers. Since 1971, has reverted to fine art, mainly the painting of old sailing craft & steamships in a traditional manner. The style is reminiscent of 19th century "ship portraits" derived from childhood memories of marine paintings & engravings in his late father's collection of Victorian Art. Examples of Len Pearce paintings can be found in prominent marine art collections in many parts of the world, including the permanent collection of the Mystic Seaport Museum. Featured in "20th Century British Marine Painting" by Denys-Brook-Hart, published 1981.
St. Katherine's Dock Yacht Haven, London 1975 & 1976 Special exhibit of "Tall Ships" painted especially for the Abercrombie & Fitch
Gallery, New York, in conjunction with "Operation Sail" 1976. One-man show, Mystic Seaport Museum, 1977; prizewinner International Maritime Art Show, 1982 Participation in "Sea, Sails and Ports" exhibit of important marine paintings at Kennedy galleries, New York 1977 One-man show Horton-Point Lighthouse Museum, Long Island, 1978. Inclusion in "A Unique Marine Exhibition" at the Incurable Collector, New York, 1978, followed by special exhibit of Pearce works in March 1979, and regular exhibits of his work. Annual Show, The Royal Society of Marine Artists; London International Boat Show, from 1978. L.J. Pearce has also prepared a series of 12 "The Great 19th Century Clipperships" on fine porcelain & gilt plates for the Franklin Mint."
Posted by Don Shelton at 11:32 AM