Born: 1893  |  Died: 1964

John William Purvis. Sculptor. Valois, Montreal, Quebec.  Active mid 20th century.

Flat-plane wood carvings, done in the Trygg manner, are occasionally found that are signed in hand on the base: “Hand carved by Purvis. Canada.”  They are generally, but not always,  found in the Montreal, Quebec area. They date from the early  1930’s to the late 1950’s and are always well painted. These carvings were made by John William Purvis and they were painted by his wife Dorothy Stockton (B. 1901, Lakefield, Quebec). John Purvis was born in Woodstock, New Brunswick and moved to Verdun and then Valois, Quebec, now a suburb of Montreal. John Purvis carved the traditional Quebec figures and also Historical ones as well (Military and political). His Scots carvings of kilted figures will have the Tartan name on the base. The image below is of two such carvings. The Scottish figure is of a Cameron Highlander; the Military one is, perhaps, General MacArthur. An interesting note: the bases of the Purvis carvings are applied rather than carved into the figure (similar to the Tryggs and ‘Pat’ Hannah). Unlike ‘Pat’ Hannah and the Trygg carvers; they are glued onto the figure rather than nailed.

Two Purvis carvings. Signed on the base “Cameron” and: “Hand carved by Purvis, Canada”:


Two carvings by Purvis. Cameron Highlander. And Military figure. 1940's.

Two carvings by John William Purvis. L: A Cameron Highlander. And R. A Military figure. 1940’s.


REF: My thanks to the family of the artists who have helped me with information and dates and family memories.