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An English composition stone figure of ‘Mr. Punch’
Modelled after an 18th Century original, in the manner of John Cheere (1709 - 1787)
This is a replica piece.The origins of Mr Punch are rather vague but he seems to have arisen in popular lore of the Italian middle ages. Cheere was London's most celebrated sculptor of figurative garden ornament, specialising in lead. Brother of the famous sculptor Sir Henry Cheere (1703-1781) he had taken over John Van Nost's lead yard in around 1739. A corner of his yard at that time was described as having figures "...cast in lead as large as life and frequently painted with the intention to resemble nature. They consisted of Punch, Harlequin, Columbine and other pantomime characters." (John T. Smith, "Streets of London", pub. London 1854). The Van Nost yard, together with his competitors, were found centred on Hyde Park Road and were a famous landmark.