Henri van Laun Grade II Listed
Funerary monument to Henri van Laun (1819-1896).
Emmeline Halse, sculptor. Terra cotta. The monument comprises an oval portrait relief, glazed white and part draped, set against books and scrolls. These rest on a square plinth with griffon monopeds to the corners. The books are inscribed with titles, including Histories of English and French Literature by van Laun. On each face of the plinth is, variously, a relief of a classical mourning figure (front); the names ‘Taine’ and ‘Labruyere’, and ‘Moliere’ and Lesage’, set within garlands (sides); and on the rear face the inscription ‘Erected to the memory of my father’.
HISTORY: the monument dramatically extols the literary endeavours of van Laun, a Belgian writer and critic. This is a very unusual terra cotta monument, reminiscent of the Georgian memorials produced at the Coade stone factory; it might be connected with the centre of terra cotta production at nearby Compton.