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Daniel Webster / Thomas Ball

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The emergence of art bronze casting in America was a matter of patriotic pride. The lack of a foundry mark and number on this cast indicates it was made after the novelty of sculpture casting at Ames had worn off. The first 40 or more bronzes had been proudly stamped with foundry marks and cast numbers for advertising and tracking purposes, but this took valuable time. The base of this work has also been cast separately and attached with bolts after casting to drive down costs, whereas some earlier editions had cast the figure and base in one piece. Economic expediency did not, however, impede accurate reproduction. This is characteristic of quality sand casting, the original purpose of which was to make exact duplicates of guns. The artist’s creative vision had been realized in the original clay sculpture, and the precise replication of that vision by sand casting was paramount.

From the exhibition:Frontier to Foundry: the Making of Small Bronze Sculpture in the Gilcrease Collection, December 2014 - March 2015.
Ann Boulton Young, Associate Conservator for the Gilcrease Museum, 2014.

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Title(s): 
Daniel Webster
Creator(s): 
Thomas Ball;
George Ward Nichols;
Ames Manufacturing Company
Culture: 
American
Date: 
modeled 1852 - 1853; sand cast possibly after 1858
Materials/Techniques: 
sand cast in bronze
Dimensions: 
Overall: 29 3/4 x 13 1/8 x 11 1/2 in. (75.6 x 33.3 x 29.2 cm)
Classification: 
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
0826.93
Department: 
Signed, "T.Ball, Sculp., Boston Mass 1853"; Patent Assigned W.N. _HOLS.
Not On View

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