Ealing: new plaque unveiled celebrating life of artistic bronze founder famed for Peter Pan statue

  Posted: 21.09.21 at 11:24 by Hannah Davenport

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A new plaque was formally “unveiled” in Ealing to celebrate the life of an artistic bronze founder, famed for the Kensington Park Peter Pan statue and Embankment RAF memorial.

Ealing Civic Society revealed the plaque on 16 September at 2 Fielding Road, W4, the former home of the bronze sculptor Ercole James Parlanti (1871 – 1955).

He joins Winnie the Pooh and Dusty Springfield as one of 15 Ealing Civic Society Plaques commemorating famous people or historic buildings in the borough.

Ercole Parlanti lived at 2 Fielding Road from 1939 up to his death in 1955.

His foundry produced the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens and the RAF golden eagle memorial on the Embankment, opposite the London Eye.

Great grandson Steve Parlanti, 61, initially wrote to the Ealing Civic Society to celebrate the life of his great-grandfather and to gain the recognition Steve believed he deserved.

Ercole Parlanti lived at 2 Fielding Road, W4, from 1939 - 1955. (Image: Steve Parlanti)

The plaque celebrates Ercole’s contribution to the arts and his niche profession.

Steve said: “Ercole was, among many other things, a talented sculptor as well as an art bronze founder of the highest quality.

“It’s good for the younger members of the family to take notice and it’s just nice to know it’s there for the future.

“But for me personally, it’s good to know he's got the recognition he deserves.

“The bronze making industry never got much recognition and there was only a handful of people who could cast to that standard.

“It’s something that even artists can’t do, so without the bronze founders like my great grandfather you just wouldn’t have the castings we have now.”

He added: “They were so important and they never get any recognition, I think as a trade they were very undervalued.”

The Golden Eagle RAF memorial was cast by the Parlanti Foundry in 1923, and at the time it was the largest piece of statutory in the UK, according to Steve.

Ercole Felipo Giacomo Parlanti was born in Rome in 1871 and worked, as with his older brother Alessandro, at the Nelli casting foundry in Rome before moving to England and working alongside his brother.

Ercole married Adele Milanopolo in 1903 in London.

The house no longer has ties to the Parlanti family as most family members moved out of the area, Steve now lives in Eastbourne.

There are currently a further eight plaques under consideration in the borough of Ealing, including the Olympic athlete Lillian Board and John Barbour-James, who worked to promote British understanding of black achievements and capacities.

Read more about the work of the Parlanti Bronze Foundries, Here.

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