A rare John Pulham & Son Sundial standing on a Pulamite star base. The Bronze Sundial inscribed Pulham & Son, 50 Finsbury Square, London. Pulham & Son were active at this address from around 1885 to 1902. This Sundial was reclaimed from a garden in Kent, England. This example is similar in design to the Worth Park Sundial, No. 361, shown in the 1925 catalogue.
James Pulham & Son, one of the most important English landscape and garden ornament design firms, active between 1820 and 1939.
From their factory in Broxbourne, the company produced a wide range of very high quality, classically inspired terracotta and artificial stone garden ornaments, including vases, urns, sundials and fountains. Pulham worked at over three hundred sites around the UK, including Buckingham Palace and the Sandringham Estate.
Successive generations of the Pulham family developed ‘Pulhamite’ their own artificial stone which was said to accurately mimic real stone, to the extent that it sometimes fooled even trained geologists.
Pulhamite stone was marketed as more durable than natural stone, for it never decays and never shells or flakes, cement is not used in its composition, it is a lighter substance, making more elegant productions than any other artificial stone.
Pulham & Son held appointments to King Edward VII, King George V and Queen Alexandria. This Sundial was manufactured during the period of their best works, resulting in the granting of a Royal Warrant in 1895. The company was very active in the early 20th century, until the First World War, eventually closing in 1939.
Numerous examples of their work still exist around the UK. The Pulham Company guaranteed the durability of its products, referring to work which has been exposed to the elements for over 70 years.