Fraser commissioned Attilio Contini, a fourth generation master molder, for one of his most famous pieces, End of the Trail. Later, Ludtke commissioned Attilio’s son, Cesare Contini, to assist him in Texas where he was creating six bronze figures — Sam Houston, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Lyndon B. Johnson, Howard R. Hughes Sr., Henry B. Gonzales, and Edward H. White II — for Sea World in 1985.
In 1903, Attilio Contini immigrated to Westchester, New York with his wife, Marie, and nine children. He began working with the Roman Bronze Foundry in Brooklyn casting some of Frederic Remington’s later works such as Cowboy, Remington’s first and only large-scale bronze which now resides in Philadelphia. As the family grew, they took their part in developing the fifth generation of world-renowned plaster casters.
As Amy L. Bacon said in her book, Life in Bronze: Lawrence M. Ludtke, Sculptor, as she expressed Ludtke’s impression of Cesare Contini, “By watching Contini make molds and practicing the Old World techniques, Ludtke learned a great deal about the moldmaking process. He was able to apply this firsthand knowledge to his own sculpting practices. The wisdom he acquired from his work with Contini helped Ludtke understand the moldmaker’s vital importance in the overall finished product. To make an inaccurate mold meant the original sculpture could be ruined and the artist’s vision forever altered. Working with Contini gave Ludtke high expectations of quality work, and he carried these invaluable lessons with him throughout his dealings with the sculpting community for the rest of his career.”