Carl Bernard Bartels

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Bartels (3rd from right), around the turn of the century.

Carl Bernard Bartels (1866 – 1955) was a sculptor.

Bartels, a wood carver from Stuttgart, Germany, moved to Britain after visiting the country during his honeymoon in 1887.

In the early years of the twentieth century, while living and working in Harringay, London, Bartels entered and won a competition to design the Liver birds which stand on the top of Walter Aubrey Thomas’s Royal Liver Building on the Pier Head in central Liverpool. Designed by Bartels, the Liver birds were constructed by the Bromsgrove Guild.

During the First World War, Bartels was imprisoned in an internment camp on the Isle of Man, even though he had been a naturalised Briton for more than 20 years. After the war Bartels was forcibly repatriated to Germany, leaving behind his wife in England.

Bartels returned to the United Kingdom and lived and worked in Harringay until his death in 1955, producing carvings for Durham Cathedral, various stately homes and even making artificial limbs during the Second World War.

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