Producing many religious reliefs throughout his career, from the 1880s onwards George Tinworth began to produce playful sculptures on a much smaller scale. We were delighted to present a group of works by Tinworth dating to the late 1800s in our recent auction of The Peter Rose & Albert Gallichan Collection.
His love for art began when he worked as an apprentice to his father, a wheelwright. Here he would spend his days carving and drawing various pieces for parts for wheels. His family lived in poverty and for much of his childhood Tinworth worked several small jobs to help support the family. Yet in between all of this he developed an impressive talent for sculpting after taking local evening school classes. With his mother’s encouragement he enrolled in the Lambeth School of Art and later received an opportunity to study at the prestigious Royal Academy. Here he honed his craft further and won multiple awards for his work.
Around the same time, the familyrun factory of Doulton was about to diversify from its usual production line of industrial ceramic wares, such as bathroom fittings and drainage pipes, in favour of decorative art pottery. Having been introduced to the Doulton’s by his old headmaster, a partnership was soon struck between the two and before long Tinworth’s output for the factory was immense.
Most of the works Tinworth produced throughout his career were religious reliefs, often in terracotta and reflected his fascination with biblical scenes and scriptures, having studied them since he was a child. However, from the 1880s onwards, in an attempt to find some light-relief from his religious compositions, he began to produce playful sculptures on a much smaller scale. These fun and endearing pieces often featured, mice, frogs and children at play, in a number of humorous situations.
Produced from moulds design by Tinworth, then handassembled by his assistants before adding some final touches himself, giving life to his character studies. It is not known how many of these dynamic and light-hearted pieces were produced, but they were unlikely made on large scale. Charming and incredibly endearing, these figure groups were a perfect antidote for Tinworth and are still cherished by collectors today.
Lyon & Turnbull’s Decorative Arts & Design specialists are renowned for both their knowledge and their sales of artworks conducted from our Scottish auction house based in Edinburgh and via our live online auctions. Our specialists are experts not only on design from 1860 to the present, but also on current market conditions, an essential combination to any successful auction.