WHEELER WILLIAMS (1897–1972)
Pair Gatepost Roosters, 1932
Terra cotta, 34 in. high
Signed and dated (each, on the base): Wheeler Williams / 1932
RECORDED: Sculpture by Wheeler Williams (Murrells Inlet, South Carolina: Brookgreen Gardens, 1937), n.p. illus. // Wheeler Williams (New York: W. W. Norton, under auspices of the National Sculpture Society, 1947), p. 26 illus. (one of two roosters), as “Pajamas” // (probably) “This green garden adds a room,” House & Garden 94 (October 1948), pp. 144–45 illus. in situ // cf. Beatrice Gilman Proske, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture (Murrells Inlet, South Carolina: Brookgreen Gardens, 1968), p. 362
EX COLL.: private collection, Westchester County, New York, until 1990; to [Eric Silver Works of Art, New York, 1990]; to private collection, 1990–2012
Williams was renowned as a sculptor of fountains and garden pieces, with his training in architecture lending his work an elegant formal order. For these works he equally chose allegorical and animal subjects. Among the latter, Williams modeled giraffes, greyhounds, panthers, sea lions, and gatepost roosters.
This pair of gatepost roosters is the only known example by Williams in terra cotta. It probably is the same pair that belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Brooke Cadwallader of Stamford, Connecticut, and which was illustrated in a House & Garden spread on their country home (see “This green garden adds a room,” House & Garden 94 [October 1948], pp. 144–45 illus. in situ). Williams produced gatepost roosters cast in bronze, the edition size of which is not known.