Archibald James Lamont
by Water Colourist W. Rawcliffe, circa 1950
This striking (and priceless!) caricature was found on the back of a water colour painting by W. Rawcliffe. It was probably painted around 1950, perhaps in the Manchester, England, area, or perhaps around Kilmarnock, Scotland. The card on which the caricature was painted measures only about 3 ½" wide by about 4 ¾" tall.
Archibald James 'Archie' Lamont was an employee of the Massey-Harris Company, Limited, of Toronto, Canada, from the 1930s until he retired as 'Plant Manager' at the Toronto facility in 1964. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as Massey-Harris expanded in the United Kingdom, Archie was sent - to Kilmarnock, at least, to oversee some aspect of the plant development. Exactly what his roles were are not presently known. And exactly when he was in the UK for this purpose is also not known, although it is known that he did return (once ?) to Toronto by air on 22 December 1950.
The caricature was found on the back of a water colour painting that was one of about 50 paintings that Archie had possessed for some time, before handing the collection over to his only son - Archibald George Wares 'Archie' Lamont, some time between 1971 and 1974. It's suspected that Archibald George Wares Lamont did not examine the backs of the paintings or their mounting cards very carefully. Had he done so, this caricature would in all likelihood have been pulled from the collection, mounted, framed, and hung on a wall in his home. For a full account of the water colour paintings, see https://family-historian.com/projects/family-surname-files/rawcliffe/water-colour-paintings-w-rawcliffe-circa-1950.
A second caricature (below) was found on the back of another painting in the collection is much less refined, clearly an earlier attempt. The image was cut through at the bottom, perhaps to aid in framing the incomplete scene that Rawcliffe did on the other side. This card measures about 6 ½" wide by about 3 ¼" tall. The number '018' in the lower left corner is a later addition, in pencil, denoting only that this was the eighteenth painting in the sequence when all of Rawcliffe's individual works were being numbered for easier identification.
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- Bruce D. Murduck
- Category: Lamont