Born 6 Oval Road, Camden Town. Also did the bronze group with clock at the entrance to Selfridges, Oxford Street (1928), the lovely sculptural work on 1 Wigmore Street (1925) as shown at Ornamental Passions and the reliefs at the Fire Brigade HQ. Also see Father Jellicoe for information about some very unusual Bayes work. Died Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, Marylebone. In the family photo Gilbert is on the right.
Father Basil Jellicoe set up the St Pancras House Improvement Society and decorated the courtyards and gardens with works of art, Doultonware ceramics by Bayes. The nearby British Library has (2013) a small display in the lower level of some of these charming items. Phillip Dawson’s flickr page shows items from the BL display.
A BL information board says “The sculptor Gilbert Bayes was commissioned to create ceramic finials to top the washing-line posts in a number of courtyards. … His main sources of inspiration were folklore, the Bible and medieval romances. Many of his finials symbolised episodes in the lives of saints, after whom buildings on the estates were named. Remarkably the finials survived World War II undamaged but today very few originals remain.”
Many were stolen so the remaining 100 were taken into storage, from where, infuriatingly, they were stolen. Many of the finials in situ now are replicas. Designed for St Pancras, other copies of these figures were made, displayed and were on general sale in the 1930s. So when they turn up for sale it is not possible to claim them back as stolen items.
2023: Camden New Journal has an extensive article about the finials, prompted by the recovery of two.