A Moment's Thought


A Moment's Thought

1948 United Kingdom

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Anthony John Poole
1926 - 2005
A Moment's Thought
Height: 10 1/2 inches
Monogrammed and dated 1948
Anthony John Poole was one of the most distinguished and versatile British architectural sculptors, letter-cutters and restorers of the last century. His base was the Midlands, which has many of his sculptures, but his fine and often monumental works can also be found much further afield.
Born in Birmingham, Poole was educated at Moseley School of Art and graduated early from Birmingham College of Art with a higher merit in sculpture. He then refined his letter-cutting skills in the Birmingham design studio that William Bloye had established about 20 years earlier. Bloye, Birmingham School of Art's head of sculpture until his retirement in 1956, had in the early 1920s studied for short periods with Eric Gill. Gill's practice left a lasting impression on his own and Poole's work. Bloye and Poole became close friends.
In December 1944 Poole's training was cut short when he was called up for basic training with the Coldstream Guards, followed by officer training with the King's Shropshire Light Infantry (4th Battalion). As a lieutenant he served in France and in Germany as a liaison officer during the Nuremberg trials. He was subsequently recruited as an officer in the Parachute Regiment 7th (Light Infantry) Battalion, serving in Egypt and Palestine. In 1946, he married Daphne Buscall, who had been a contemporary at Moseley Road and Birmingham School of Art. After studying ceramics and teaching it, she re-trained in silver and goldsmithing and became a fine jeweller.
While in Palestine, Poole mulled over whether he should study architecture or sculpture on demobilisation. He decided that sculpture would offer greater artistic freedom, but a love of buildings would be reflected in work that was often architectural and on a monumental scale.
In 1948, Poole resumed studies at Birmingham School of Art; he left in 1949 with a National Design Diploma High Merit Award for letter-cutting and stonework. He set up a studio in Bournville, at first mainly doing freelance jobs for Bloye or for stonemason yards such as Wilkinson and Griffiths and W. H. Fraley. Trudging round the cemeteries of Birmingham, carving the names of war dead on family memorials, was back-breaking work, but Poole said that it completed his apprenticeship in the art of letter-cutting. He would also broaden his knowledge with sculptural restoration.
Between 1952 and 1961, when he moved his studio to Bishampton, Worcestershire, Poole supplemented his income by teaching sculpture part-time at Mid-Warwickshire College of Art and Walsall School of Art.

Poole lectured at Bournville and Walsall Schools of Art in addition to perfecting his craft. Over a period of sixty years he produced more than 150 public commissions in bronze, stone, wood and other experimental materials.
His first major commission was The Sower in 1957, which stands outside the library in Cannock, Staffordshire. The life-size, almost nude, male figure caused a sensation when it was revealed. It was thought too avante garde but it led to Mr Poole’s election as a fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1969. His most notable work was the 1,500 sq ft mural for the Lloyds Banking Hall at the Rotunda, Birmingham, which has now been listed.
Other significant works by Poole include in Liverpool, the St John's Precinct mural (1965); in Leicester, the Crown Court Royal Coat of Arms (1969); the sculptured doors at Brown and Shipley in Birmingham (1975); Lucifer Bringer of Light, exhibited at New College, Oxford (1988); Icarus Falling, a private commission (1997); and Home Front Memorial, Coventry Cathedral (2000). Poole worked up till his death, including his John Donne, another private commission (2009).

Height 10.50 inch (26.67 cm)
Monogrammed and dated 1948
Darnley Fine Art

Darnley Fine Art
18 Milner Street

+44(0)1932 976 206
+44(0)7765 890463
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