Inspired by glazed panels
in the historic..
1904 Astor Place Subway Station
New York City
~ I present ~
Beaver Panel Nr S1
Modelled by Randall

Randall is an art scholarship recipient of Iowa Central Community College.


The original finished clay model by Randall


A cast in a Dirty Bronze finish

Below are some studio photos of my orginal clay model during it's various creation and finishing stages. These clay models are NOT molded copies taken off antiques, but were hand sculpted by Randall in the same style and configurations as 19th century and Art Deco architectural sculptures.
Molds made of my clay models enable clients to purchase cast-stone or concrete casts of my models for wall decoration, garden or incorporating into a brick wall in new construction in a variety of finishes.
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Rough laying in of the clay model




SIZE: Nominal 22" high by 14" wide
WEIGHT:around 20-25#.



HISTORY of the design which inspired this model

The beaver is a nominal 22" x 14", bas relief and after a design by Grueby Faience Co 1904. Grueby custom made tiles and ornaments for the NYC subway stations, and at the Astor Place station these beaver plaques were installed in tribute to John Jacob Astor who made his fortune with beaver pelts in the 19th century, and for whom Astor Place was named.

The Interborough Rapid Transit Subway, or IRT, was the first subway company in New York City, and opened on October 27th, 1904 Astor Place station was built in large part under what had been private property along the west side of Astor Place. Several buildings were demolished to make way for the station accounting for today's odd shape of Astor Place. The heavy brick-faced square columns on the downtown platforms support the old John Wanamaker (now K-Mart) store above them. The octagon windows on the brick wall of the platform were the store's showcases. K-Mart has reopened a direct entrance to their store from the southbound platform, which had been sealed for many years after the demise of the Wanamaker's store at that location. Station Decoration.

Plaques: Beavers. Grueby Faience Co. 1904.
Name tablets: Grueby Faience Co. 1904.

From forgotten NY;

The beavers whose pelts made Astor rich are depicted in the station by Grueby. This is the first station on the line in which a graphic element of this type was executed: there would be many more in the IRT and continuing on new BMT construction on into the 1920s. While later stations would use mosaics, though, here faience was used, and you can see what we meant by rich color. The beaver, resting on a tree stump and gnawing on a trunk, is surrounded by the bellflower motif and also by the precise geometric shapes, squares and diamonds, that are also a hallmark of original subway stations: the diamond surrounded by four squares is repeated at other stations further up the line. At 22.5x14 inches these plaques are the largest in the system (excluding station name plaques), and the ten-inch borders give them added size.


Architectural Designs For New York's First Subway

David J. Framberger
Survey Number HAER NY-122, pp. 365-412
Historic American Engineering Record
National Park Service
Department of the Interior
Washington, DC. 20240

There were 49 stations on the Contract One subway, thirty-seven underground and twelve above. The underground stations, except for City Hall. No two station plans were exactly alike, but the standard local station was a "T" shape, with "arms elongated parallel to the track," and "stem under the street transverse to the main route.
The raw brick walls and concrete ceilings were then turned over to Heins and LaFarge to be "beautified." The decorative scheme that they devised was certainly influenced by Parsons, for it is again similar to the Paris Chemin De Per De Sceaux in its system of wall division and ornamentation. Heins and LaFarge's plans were subject to the final approval of Parsons, who delegated authority to D. L. Turner, assistant engineer in charge of stations for the Rapid Transit Subway Construction Company. August Belmont also oversaw station decoration; he approved of the first completed station at Columbus Circle, but complained of the use of too much brick at Astor Place, 50th Street, and 66th Street. In general, the station finish consisted of a sanitary cove base that made the transition from floor to wall, upon which rested a brick or marble wainscot for the first two and one-half feet or so of wall area. This wainscot was applied to withstand the hard usage that the lower wall would be subjected to. The wainscot was completed by either a brick or marble cap, and the remainder of the wall area was covered with three by six-inch white glass tiles, completed near the ceiling by a cornice or frieze. The wall area was divided into fifteen foot panels, the same spacing as the platform columns, by the use of colored tiles or mosaic "in order to relieve the monotony that a plain-tiled surface would present." The full station name appeared on large tablets of either mosaic tile, faience, or terra-cotta at frequent intervals, while smaller name plaques were incorporated into the cornice every fifteen feet.

A conscious effort was made by the architects to create a distinct wall treatment for each station, both to relieve monotony and assist in the identification of different locations, and the "extent of the decoration varies with the relative importance of the stations." Wherever possible, a local association was worked into the decorative scheme, such as the seal of Columbia University at 116th and Broadway. Heins and LaFarge used a number of different details to add interest to the stations. All of them were classically derived but designed with considerable artistic license. Examples of these details include the cornices at all stations, garlands such as at 116th and Broadway, cartouches such as at Spring Street and along the Lenox Avenue line, and flat pilasters and Greek Frets such as at 79th and 86th Streets.

The quality of materials specified by Heins and LaFarge for use in the stations was extremely high. The wainscot was constructed of either buff-colored Roman brick or marble. The vent grills and light fixtures were of bronze, and the ticket booths of oak. Encaustic mosaic tile was used for the color bands and name tablets. Architectural details were executed in either glazed terra-cotta or in faience for the more important stations. Faience is terra-cotta with a more refined glaze requiring two firings which produce an opaque mat glaze. The materials were of such high quality, in fact, that their use had to be curtailed because of expense. Parsons noted in his construction diary, February 27, 1902, that he discussed reducing the expense of stations with LaFarge. By January, 1903 Parsons advised a simpler treatment for stations, and by the next month he ordered that the use of marble should be discontinued except for those stations already contracted for. Material Subcontractors:
Grueby Faience Company, Faience
Color Scheme:
Blue faience tablets
Light blue tile bands
Blue faience cornice
Blue faience plaques
Marble wainscot cap
Astor Place
Material Subcontractors:
Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
Grueby Faience Company, Faience
Color Scheme:
Blue faience tablets
Blue tile bands
Green faieence cornice
Blue faience plaques

Harper's Weekly January 31, 1903 p. 176.

The decorations will be of tiles, faience, and glazed terra-cotta, with the name of the station plainly marked in panels. All the ornamentation has been designed to help the passenger recognize his station without the necessity of listening for the announcement of the of the guard or reading the signs.


Prices are no longer shown on each page due to the increasing number of pages plus their corresponding PayPal codes that I have to manually edit individually on two web sites every time I need to adjust for shipping costs or pricing.

As a general guideline- most of my sculptures are priced between $69 to $300, with many in the $100-$150 range. A price list is partially completed as a PDF file, some browsers will view PDF files directly with plug-ins, otherwise you may need to download the file:

PRICE LIST PDF Opens in a new browser window


Due to the size and weight of many of my larger sculpture, cardboard boxes just don't work well for them, the majority of my sculptures with few exceptions are shipped in custom built CDX plywood crates, smaller sculptures may ship double boxed instead of a crate.

Shipping is now included in the price, concrete however is priced more due to the additional weight, extra production handling and packing it involves.

Larger sculptures are packed into 1/2" thick plywood crates lined with rigid foam board, packing and shreaded newspaper or excelsior, glued, joint cleated and air nailed. You will need a #2 square drive bit or large phillips driver to open the lid. Smaller sculptures ship typically double boxed.

I use FEDEX ground service for all shipments in the lower 48 states. I do not ship outside the USA.




The clay models shown in my various work in progress photos are not reproduced and molded off of existing antique pieces.
These hand sculpted models are created from scratch by Randall in water based clay, and typically take an average of 20-30 hours to set up, layout and sculpt each master model.
When the clay models are finished, they are permanently captured with silicone mold compounds which can pick up even a fingerprint and faithfully transfer it to a cast made in it. From the molds, interior cast-stone as well as concrete sculptures are made available for clients to purchase.

Existing savaged pieces are limited to what happens to be for sale at high prices, often damaged, rarely found in pairs and being typically large in scale (meant to be seen from the street from 5 floors below) they are difficult to display in today's smaller homes and apartments. Instead of making molds of these pieces, Randall creates new original models based on authentic 19th century and early 20th century Victorian, Art Deco and Louis Sullivan style architectural sculptures. While I do have a small number of older designs directly molded from antique pieces, these are being phased out over time as I create my own original models.


Designs in the Collection are copyright, this includes reproductions of antique pieces upon which I made certain modifications, alterations or changes- the changes are copyright. I do not sell molds, nor casts for others to replicate. I reserve the right to decline sales to anyone.

Original clay models by Randall (and casts made from them) all carry my impressed model numbers, paw-print logo, date of creation, signature casting number date are inscribed by hand on the back of every cast.

General information applicable to all of my sculptures

My standard cast-stone is for INTERIOR OR UNDER A COVERED PORCH ONLY! Out in the garden they might last 4 or 5 years, maybe longer before showing weather damage.

If you are looking for something for the garden or to build into a wall, I offer concrete as a special order item which takes approx 3 weeks. Not all pieces are available in concrete.

All of my sculptures have a heavy wire embedded on the back to hang them on the wall.

I offer several different finishes. The suggested default finish for each is shown in the ordering menu for each sculpture. They vary from piece to piece, and actual colors displayed on your monitor will vary as well. The samples below now include the 2 available concrete stains.



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QUESTION: Aren't these too heavy for my plasterboard wall Randall?

By no means! keep in mind- your walls weigh thousands of pounds and support the roof. HOWEVER- do not use plastic or self adhesive picture hangars of any kind, or try to simply put a screw into the thin sheetrock-these will not hold, and are not designed to.

Install your mounting hooks or other hangars into the solid wood STUD inside the wall, these are spaced 16" apart. You should use an anchor rated to hold at least twice the shipping weight of the sculpture.

To show what a sheetrock wall can hold, here is a photo of two shelves I installed on my bedroom wall for original sculptures that I couldn't mount any other way, the brackets are screwed into the wall studs with 3" screws. The weight for the stone and terra-cotta shown-the top shelf; 175# and 125# for the lower shelf- 300# total.


Another wall in the bedroom, the green copper cornice and the round lion on the left are antique salvage, the others are casts of my own sculptures. The D4-R panel can be seen on the right in the bright gold finish over the head-board.