The statue, by Eric Aumonier, depicts a kneeling archer captured as if having just released an arrow along the railway line towards central London. (The Archer, a local community newspaper, is named after this landmark). The archer is intended to commemorate Finchley's ancient association with hunting in the nearby Royal Forest of Enfield. There is also a pun, in that it faces towards Archway. The status is the only three dimensional statue on the system. The contract for the work was placed on 8 June 1939, with an estimated cost of £245. The sculpture was unveiled on 22 July 1940.
Pennyfare, London Transport’s staff journal, explained the roots of the image in July 1940: "the figure of an ancient hunter of wild game is placed high up on the new East Finchley station. It is more than a decorative device - it is powerful symbolism". Finchley was on the edge of the royal forest of Enfield, which was hunted by both court and commoner. Drivers on the Northern Line still bear a tie pin based on the sculpture. The Archer is nearly twice natural size and was made of 6 hundredweight of beech timber round a steel armature and then covered with 5 hundredweight of sheet lead. The timber had come from Czechoslovakia. The gold for the gilded features was mined in South Africa and the bow was English ash, bent by steam and coated with copper and gilt. The sculpture was probably constructed in three main sections, which were re-assembled on site.
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