Peter Pan bronze sculpture to lead Bonhams at $68,500

A study of the original Peter Pan bronze sculpture that stands in London's Kensington Gardens will sell as the highlight of Bonhams' Decorative Arts auction on 19 June.

Peter Pan bronze sculpture
Peter Pan is said to be based on Peter Llewellyn Davies, the youngest of five children whose family Barrie was very close to

Created by Royal Academy member Sir George Frampton, a respected artist and one of the leading members of the New Sculpture movement, the piece is expected to sell for £35,000-45,000 ($53,410-68,677) in London.

The original statue was commissioned from Frampton by Peter Pan author JM Barrie and secretly erected in Kensington Gardens overnight, appearing in May 1912. Just seven further casts were made, many of which now stand in various cities around the world.

"Very few castings of this bronze are known and it is rare for an example to come to auction in such good condition. I anticipate a lot of interest from collectors of period child studies as well as fans of this iconic Barrie creation," commented Bonhams' Mark Oliver.

The Peter Pan story is said to be based on JM Barrie's relationship with the Llewellyn Davies family, who the author became close to following their father's death. It is said that Barrie entertained the eldest of the five children with stories that their baby brother Peter could fly.

In December 2012, a christening cup that was given by Lawrence of Arabia, TE Lawrence, to the real life Peter Pan, Peter Llewellyn Davies, sold for £2,000 ($3,221).

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