Peter Pan Statue
Sir George Frampton
J M Barrie commissioned this charming tribute to his world-renowned creation by the noted British sculptor Sir George Frampton in 1912. Legend has it that Barrie had the piece installed overnight, without gaining permission from the Royal Parks, or, indeed, anyone else, as though it had simply materialised ‘as if by magic.’ Based
on J M Barrie‘s immortal character, this bronze statue features Peter standing on a tree stump playing a flute, whilst a collection of fairies, including Tinker Bell, rabbits, squirrels and other little creatures scurry around the base.
Frampton described the scene: “The animals and fairies on the statue are listening to the Pipes of Pan, one of
the mice is completing his toilet before going up to listen to the music, and the squirrel is discussing political matters with two of the fairies.” Wendy appears to be looking up at Peter, to see what he is wearing under his tunic. Barrie wanted Peter Pan to be modelled on a young Michael Llewelyn Davies, the inspiration for the original book and play, and sent Frampton photographs of the boy. However, Frampton used another boy, and Barrie was displeased, as “it doesn’t show the Devil in Peter,” he complained.
There were altogether six other casts made from the original mould, one in Sefton Park, Liverpool, erected in 1928; another in Egmont Park, Brussels, presented by Frampton himself in 1924, with the inscription “A bond of friendship between the children of Great Britain and the children of Belgium”; one at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey, outside the Walt Whitman Arts Center; the one in Bowring Park, St. John‘s, Newfoundland, Canada, was
commissioned in 1925 by a man in memory of his granddaughter who died at sea. The inscription reads “In memory of a little girl who loved the Park”; one in Glenn Gould Park, Toronto; the final one is in Queen‘s Gardens, Perth, Western Australia, erected in 1927. The base of the replica statues are all signed by J M Barrie the author of Peter Pan and, curiously, not by the sculptor Sir George Frampton. The original one in Kensington Gardens is probably one of the most loved and visited statues by both children and grown-ups in the whole of London.