Original casting of iconic William Webb Ellis statue up for auction

The original casting of the famous bronze statue
The original casting of the famous bronze statue

The original casting of the famous William Webb Ellis statue which stands outside Rugby School is up for auction.

The iconic bronze statue, which depicts the Rugby School pupil who invented rugby, is set to be auctioned off by Farnon and Lake in Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire, on Thursday October 5.

The William Webb Ellis statue which stands outside Rugby School will not be affected by the sale, as it is the original casting and the rights to reproduce which are up for auction.

Auctioneers Farnon and Lake, said: "One lot that is expected to attract considerable interest is a sculpture of William Webb Ellis, widely regarded as the inventor of rugby football, by Graham Ibbeson.

"This is the original casting of the work sited outside Rugby public school, and will be sold with the sole rights to produce copies in any form, quantity and size thereafter, allowing the successful bidder to reproduce this iconic work, which is depicted as an etching on the Rugby World Cup – aptly named the Webb Ellis Cup."

The statue, a popular attraction for visitors to the town, was created by acclaimed sculptor Graham Ibbeson.

A bronze plaque below bears the inscription: "The local boy who inspired the game of rugby football on The Close at Rugby School in 1823."