George personally recorded most of his works in his so called ‘Opera’, a leather-bound manuscript. It shows details on each commission, its costs and process, with some images and even press cuttings.
One of his relatives recently noted about the ‘Opera’: “His manuscript catalogue survives – which has the appearance of being a fair copy made between 1878 and 1880 after which the handwriting changes and entries are less complete. Many entries have photographs and the major works press notices. The list of 154 works has proved manifestly incomplete and a t least 50 more have been added. Almost a quarter of the whole are from early years and for a cluster of Newcastle families linked by marriage and involvement with heavy industry and scientific interest.”
There are sample pages:


This work, or extracts from it, is available to researchers. Please do get in touch explaining your interest. If you are the owner or guardian of any of his works, I would be happy to exchange a page image from his catalogue for an image of the matching work, with permission to show it alongside this page – on this website.

His best known works include:
1873 The Falconer, Central Park, New York. Cast by Clement Papi in Florence, it was over 11 feet tall and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1875. The ‘original’ is still in a museum in Trieste, Italy and a copy was cast at the Gorham Foundry in Rhode Island and stands in Beverly, Mass.

The New York Parks Department recognise the contribution made by their piece. Click HERE to see an article written by the Parks Director soon after its 125th anniversary.
GBS ILN 1875 GBS Falconer 'Departure' 2012
1882 The statue of Raja Kali Krishna Bahadur in Rabindra Kanan, Calcutta. [If you have to share here, please contact me]
1886 The Maiwand Lion memorial, Forbury Gardens, Reading.
GBS The Maiwand LionGBS The Maiwand Lion 2
There is a contemporary explanation of the tragic circumstances that led to this memorial being commissioned written by William Gill in 1880 –


and in this contemporary newspaper article:
GBS Royal Berks Maiwand story
1882 The statue of Raja Kali Krishna Bahadur in Rabindra Kanan, Calcutta. [If you have to share here, please contact me]
1896 Funerary Monument to John Collingwood Bruce, in the Cathedral of St Nicholas at Newcastle upon Tyne [If you have to share here, please contact me]
1887 Statue of Queen Victoria, Market Square, Reading

1891 Statue of George Palmer, Originally in Broad St Reading, it was moved to Palmer Park in 1930.
Palmer George St 1906 card
GBS Palmer George 1GBS Palmer George 2GBS Palmer George 3

1901 Memorial plaque to Sir Joseph Bazalgette, Architect of the London sewerage system completed in 1865 and inscribed FLVMINI VINCVLA POSVIT (“he put the river in chains”) Located on the Thames Embankment wall, opposite the Embankment tube station.
GBS Bazalgette statueGBS Bazalgette statue base

The inscription reads: “Engineer of the London Main Drainage System and of this Embankment”.

1897 Swan Maiden

swan_maiden_makimo

 

1897 A Scarf Dance, bronze, on ebonised stepped plinth base 39cm high, including base. Exhibited: New Gallery, London, 1898, last came to auction in 1996. GBS A Scarf Dance 1

So far as I am aware, his works are exhibited in just two museums:
Reading Museum. www.readingmuseum.org.uk/
The Portrait of George Blackall Simonds by Sir Oswald Birley, presented in 2007, which used to hang in the Bridge Street Brewery boardroom, along with the images of other past chairmen.
Blackall Simonds, 1864, plaster bust, Rome. Opus no. 14. This bust of George’s brother was donated by the Simonds family in 2014.
GBS Blackall Simonds 1864
Besides right index finger, broken off the Statue of Queen Victoria during an air raid in 1943, Reading Museum also house:
Fire and Food, 1874, marble relief, Opus no.132, not recorded in the Opus.
Fire and Faith, 1874, marble relief, Opus no.134, not recorded in the Opus. Being 2 from a series of 3 reliefs
Henry.B. Blandy, 1879. marble bust, London. The penultimate entry in the Opus no. 128 as the last entry was dated 1880.
Arthur Hill J.P., 1888, marble bust.
Charles Murdoch, 1900, marble bust.
The Four Seasons, 1890, copper panel, framed. This work is not listed in his ‘Opus’. These are the latest sale details for the work.

Tyne & Wear Museum, Gateshead. https://twmuseums.org.uk/
Have 3 items:
Thomas Bell, 1873, marble bust, Opus 68. engraved ‘GEORGE SIMONDS ROMA MDLCCCXXIII’.
The Falconer au vol, 1875, marble & bronze, engraved ‘GEO.SIMONDS ROMA FEC: MDCCCLXXV’. Opus 88. Exhibited at both the Royal Academy and the Royal Aquarium Exhibition where it was awarded a silver medal in that year.
Dionysus with the lion, 1879, marble, Opus 119. This is one page of his own extensive record of the work:
GBS Dionysus 1878 Opera
It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in the same year to rave reviews.

This is the review of Dionysus when it was exhibited in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1879.
“The Royal Academy: Second Notice”
Pall Mall Gazette 10 June 1879:
…Among sculptures, we have space to mention only one work, which at the same time is facile princeps in this year’s exhibition. Mr. George Simonds represents Dionysus (1527), the son of Zeus and Semele, as the conqueror of India and the bearer of civilization, rather than as the god of wine and the leader of Bacchantic revels. Dionysus, a lithe, youthful figure, is shown seated on a tiger; and nothing more easy and graceful can be imagined than the pose of the figure slightly reclining and holding the thyrsus in his hand. The tiger also is a splendid beast; and the fundamental idea of the work–the triumph of intellect over brute force– is forcibly, although by no means obtrusively, indicated by the group…

He retained many of his works to decorate his home and grounds at Bradfield House. On his death they were sold and many were bought by the ‘Child Beale Trust’ in Pangbourne, where they remain on display. Few of his works seem to come to auction, but when they do, they fetch high prices, here are some that I have traced and I would welcome more information – HERE.

Several of his works remain in the wider family, including:
1873 The Falconer, bronze. Probably Opus 80.
1875 Eros Victor, marble. Opus 107.
1875 Divine Wisdom, bronze. Opus 112.
GBS Divine Wisdom 1875
Exhibited at the Dudley Gallery in 1878.
1878 Perseus, bronze. Opus 120.
GBS Perseus 1878
1927 The Ram’s Head Dish, silver, made for his personal use.

Following a public ballot organised by Reading Museum in 2005, George was voted ‘Reading’s most famous son’ despite competition from other famous contenders like Oscar Wilde. The Reading Evening Post recorded the event