(b New Haven, CT, Feb 21, 1791; d New Haven, CT, Jan 10, 1858).
American sculptor. Although as a youth he showed talent for handling tools, his father, a joiner and carpenter, discouraged him from becoming a wood-carver. After opening a fruit shop in New Haven, he began carving musical instruments and furniture legs for a local cabinetmaker. With his invention of a lace-making machine, he was able to settle his business debts and devote himself entirely to sculpture.
About 1825 Samuel F. B. Morse encouraged Augur to try working in marble. Among his earliest attempts in this medium was a bust of Professor Alexander Metcalf Fisher (c. 1825–7; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.), which was exhibited in 1827 at the National Academy of Design in New York. The impact of the Neo-classical style is clearly evident in his most ambitious work, Jephthah and his Daughter (c. 1828–30; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.), a pair of free-standing half life-size marble figures. The treatment of the heads shows Roman influence, which Augur must have absorbed from engravings; this is borne out by the detailed work on Jephthah’s armour. The bold handling of the hair and drapery reveals his experience as a wood-carver. In ...