Louis Lejeune - Hood Ornaments/Car Mascots
The name Lejeune has been synonymous with first class bronze founding for the best part of 100 years. Established in 1910 as AE Lejeune (AEL) by Emil Lejeune and his wife Augustine, the company concentrated on small ornamental bronzes, decorative architechtural fittings and, with the spread of the automobile, car mascots. The first of these produced by the company was almost certainly the "Speed Nymph", the design for which was registered in 1917. The success of this first mascot enabled Emil to commission work from some of the best known artists of the day; many existing patterns bear the initials of sculptors such as Frederic Bazin and Charles Paillet. It was not long before Lejeune had established itself, and by 1929 was being described as "the world's largest motor car mascot manufacturer".
Emil's son, Louis (in 1918 the company cast this bust of Louis, aged 10), took over and renamed the company in 1933. Louis Lejeune Ltd was run from premises in Great Portland Street until 1978, when it was bought by the sculptor Sir David Hughes. While the popularity of car mascots has declined over the years, the company continues to produce bronze sculptures to the highest quality using traditional materials and techniues. Sir David's son Timothy has been running the company since 1998.