each circular plaque depicting a man and his family as he progresses through life, from childhood to old age,
It is believed that the original carved marble plaques, from which these casts were taken, were brought back from Italy by Derek Crowther of "Crowthers of Syon Lodge" in the 1960s.
Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1884), a Dane studying in Rome from 1797, was discovered by Thomas Hope in 1802, whilst Hope was taking advantage of a break in hostilities in Europe to visit Italy. Hope's subsequent commission of the figure of "Jason" that Thorvaldsen was working on at that time ensured that the young Dane was financially secure and could remain in Rome at the completion of his studies. He was to remain in Rome until 1838 and it was he, it is generally acknowledged ... "on whom Canova's mantle ultimately descended" (H.W.Janson, "Nineteenth Century Sculpture" pub.Thames & Hudson, 1985, p57).
A mould was taken from the marble originals at Syon Lodge enabling the plaques, ultimately to be realised in lead. This set has now mellowed nicely and can be hung inside or - being impervious to the weather - outside.