Sir William Goscombe John, 1860-1952
1916; restored 2008
Bronze on a granite pedestal
Pier Head, Liverpool
This sturdy sculpture shows the King seated on horseback in a resolute but relaxed pose, with his horse reined in. The horse's stance, with arched neck and curved-in tail, is particularly characterful. When the bronze was restored, not only dirt but also layers of protective black and yellow paint and even car primer had to be removed from it (see Sharpe). These bear witness to earlier efforts to preserve the sculpture in its unusually exposed waterfront location. The details of the King's features and his regalia can now be seen more clearly.
Photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009.
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