Detail of fence, Albert Memorial, Hyde Park, London. 1876; restored 2000. [Before restoration — a photograph from 1966.] Photograph by George P. Landow 1999. Text by Jacqueline Banerjee 2008. [This image may be used for any scholarly or educational purpose without prior permission]

George Gilbert Scott selected Francis Skidmore and his firm ("The Art Manufactures and Constructive Iron Company") very early in the process of planning the Albert Memorial, and felt completely vindicated in his choice:

Skidmore's very striking metalwork was much boasted of by Scott, it being there, as he said, "that I have been enabled to realize most exactly the ideal I had in view." With copper and lead-covered iron Skidmore reproduced "in noble workmanship, and to a noble scale, the repousséework, the chased and beaten foliage, the filigree, the gem-settings, and the matrices for enamels" of the mediaeval gold- and silversmiths. "No nobler work in metal for architectural purposes has, so far as I know, been produced in our own, or, probably — considering its scale and extent — in any other age; nor do I think that any man living but Mr. Skidmore could have produced such a work." (Sheppard)

Apparently the enamelwork in the pedestal shields was less satisfactory and had to be replaced; and although Scott himself remained loyal to Skidmore, John Kelk, the notable builder contractor, found it difficult to deal with him.

Source

Sheppard, F. H. W., ed. Survey of London, Vol 38. South Kensington Museums Area (1975). "Albert Memorial: The Memorial."


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