LL 121


The figure, wearing an unusual cap and gazing downwards, holds between her hands a length of thread and in her right hand a pair of shears. The statuette represents Atropos, the eldest of the three Fates who, according to Greek mythology, cut the thread of life at the allotted time without regard for age, sex or status. Like 'Snowdrift' (LL 47) 'Fate' was left unfinished at the artist's death on 23 December 1901. As with 'Snowdrift' it is certainly possible that the sculptor had in mind his own mortality, although it is not known whether or not his death was sudden or anticipated. The unfinished nature of this work is apparent from the hands and feet which are only loosely rendered. Even the pedestal, sometimes resembling a rocky surface or swirling waves, retains the hand and tool marks of the artist. However 'Fate' conforms with Ford's commitment to the concept of the statuette and appears, even in this incomplete state, to have been produced as a multiple. No large version seems to have been made or contemplated and there is another small bronze version in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.