Peter Pan statue

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Statue in Kensington Gardens
Michael Llewelyn Davies as Peter Pan in 1906

The Peter Pan statue is a bronze sculpture of J. M. Barrie's character Peter Pan. It was commissioned by Barrie and made by Sir George Frampton. The original statue is displayed in Kensington Gardens in London, to the west of The Long Water, close to Barrie's former home on Bayswater Road. Barrie's stories were inspired in part by the gardens: the statue is located at the place where Peter Pan lands in Barrie's book The Little White Bird after flying out of his nursery. Six other casts made by the original artist have been erected in other locations around the world.

Statue in Kensington[edit]

The sculpture stands about 14 feet (4.3 m) high. It has a tall conical form, like a tree stump, topped by a young boy, approximately life size for an eight year old, wearing a nightshirt and blowing a thin musical instrument like a trumpet or flute, sometimes interpreted as pan pipes. The sides of the stump are decorated with small figures of squirrels, rabbits, mice, and fairies. Barrie had intended the boy to be based on a photograph of Michael Llewelyn Davies wearing a Peter Pan costume, but Frampton chose another model, possibly James W. Shaw or William A. Harwood.

A completed plaster model of the work was exhibited at the Royal Academy in May 1911. Barrie had the original bronze erected in London on 30 April 1912, without fanfare and without permission, so that it might appear to children that the fairies had put it in place overnight. He published a notice in The Times newspaper the following day, 1 May: "There is a surprise in store for the children who go to Kensington Gardens to feed the ducks in the Serpentine this morning. Down by the little bay on the south-western side of the tail of the Serpentine they will find a May-day gift by Mr J.M. Barrie, a figure of Peter Pan blowing his pipe on the stump of a tree, with fairies and mice and squirrels all around. It is the work of Sir George Frampton, and the bronze figure of the boy who would never grow up is delightfully conceived."

He donated the sculpture to the city of London, although some critics objected to him advertising his works by erecting a sculpture in a public park without permission. It became a Grade II* listed building in 1970. A plaque was unveiled by Princess Margaret in 1997.

Other casts[edit]

Frampton made a series of small bronze reproductions of the Pan figure from 1913 to his death in 1928. Examples were sold at Bonham's in March and November 2015, and one was sold in Scotland in 2016 for £60,000.

Frampton made six other full-size casts from the original moulds, which are situated in:

The memorial to George Frampton in the Crypt of St Paul's Cathedral sculpted by Edward Gillick in 1930 depicts a young child holding in his hand a miniature replica of his statue of Peter Pan.[1]

Other sculptures[edit]

Other sculptors have created statues of Peter Pan, including two by Alistair Smart near the birthplace of J. M. Barrie in Kirriemuir in Scotland; Charles Andrew Hafner's 1928 sculpture in Carl Schurz Park in New York City; Ivan Mitford-Barberton's sculpture given to the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town in 1959; Cecil Thomas's 1965 sculpture in Dunedin Botanic Garden, and Diarmuid Byron O'Connor's 2000 sculpture at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ City of London – 2: St. Paul's Cathedral, Church Monuments Society, retrieved 16 May 2017


Coordinates: 51°30′31″N 0°10′33″W / 51.5086°N 0.1759°W / 51.5086; -0.1759