Bronze Eric Morecambe sculpture up for auction

Graham Ibbeson's Eric Morecambe maquette.Graham Ibbeson's Eric Morecambe maquette.
Graham Ibbeson's Eric Morecambe maquette.
A bronze sculpture of Eric Morecambe - one of only 10 made - is expected to make up to £2,500 at auction.

Graham Ibbeson's Eric Morecambe maquette - a sculptor's small preliminary model - is signed and inscribed.

The bronze piece is 38.5cm high and is up for auction by Tennants auctioneers together with a copy of 'Graham Ibbeson - The People's Sculptor - Bronze, Clay and Life' and a certificate of authenticity.

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Born in Barnsley, Graham Ibbeson has been a professional sculptor since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1978.

He has developed an international reputation exhibiting in galleries throughout Europe, the USA, and Asia as well as his work being held in many private and public collections.

Tennants describe him, as: "Ibbeson's ability to capture the essence of a character with warmth and humanity sets him apart from many other sculptors.

"He brings an element of understanding to his portraiture that's deeper than just a likeness; his sculptures have soul, and he gives us a unique glimpse into the characters of our peers and idols through his remarkable work ... a lasting legacy as the People's Sculptor."

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This maquette was produced in 1993 to secure the public sculpture commission of the Eric Morecambe Statue for Morecambe.

The statue was unveiled in 1999 by the Queen. It proved that popular that in the first year after its unveiling, extra visitor numbers to the resort of Morecambe generated more than £1m in car parking fees alone.

The statue is said to be the most photographed public sculpture in the north west, and has continued to generate many millions of pounds for the resort over the past 22 years.

Gold plated bronze casts of the maquette were used as a 'Comic Heritage Award', with recipients including Norman Wisdom, Victoria Wood, Thora Hird and Bruce Forsyth.

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Only 10 bronze cast were produced in total, before the mould was destroyed. This example for auction is the artist/proof from Graham Ibbeson's personal collection.

Its value is estimated at £1,500 to £2,500.

The maquette is up for auction as part of an antiques and interiors auction on April 23.

For more details on the auction, go online here.

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