Friday, 4 January 2019

Warren Hastings Bust by Thomas Banks formerly belonging to William Seward

Warren Hastings (1732 - 1818).

A Marble Bust by Thomas Banks.

Formerly in the Possession of William Seward. FRS. FSA.


Warren Hastings (1732 - 1818).
Thomas Banks
Bronze from an original terracotta of 1790.
699 mm tall

Purchased 1866.

NPG 209

National Portrait Gallery - Beningborough Hall.

Banks ‘entertained the highest veneration’ for Hastings, frequently expressing his admiration ‘of the fine expression of his features, and more particularly of the uncommonly grand form of his forehead, which, with that of Horne Tooke, he considered the finest he had seen in modern heads’. [1] Hastings had promised to sit to Banks in December 1789, and sittings are listed in his Diary between 1 and 5 February 1790, the 5th being ‘the last day’, when the model was presumably completed. Hastings paid Banks ‘for the bust & 5 casts £73.10.0’ on 14 April 1791. [2]

This first bust by Banks was produced in two forms, the marble with the shoulders complete, and the bronze with the shoulders cut, as NPG 209. The marble, dated 1790, belongs to the India Office (British Library); [3] a terracotta is in the Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta, and another was with Mrs Shortt in 1938; a bronze cast (bearing the inscribed date 1790), was sold Christie’s, New York, 16 April 1994, lot 1, and a plaster also belongs to the India Office (British Library). [4]

NPG 209, differing from the preceding with its cut shoulders, is dated 1794 and appears to have been the subject of two letters from Banks to Hastings. On 27 December 1794 he wrote: ‘I have at last succeeded in Obtaining a Cast of yr Bust in bronze, tho not altogether to my mind I beleive it is as good as can be got done at any London foundry - the expences attending the making three or four Moulds & the casting & repairing together, make it necessary for me to charge you thirty five pounds ...’. On 9 January 1795 he wrote again saying he had begun the bronze ‘by advice of Mr Cockerell who thought I might get something by sending some to India & I imagin’d it might be your wish to have one also & therefore made trial but finding the doing them attended with a good deal of trouble & expence I have giv’n up the idea of sending any to India & if I have been under a Mistake with respect to that which I sent to yr house I am willing to withdraw it’. [5] A plaster cast was presented to Westminster School by a descendant of Cockerell. [6]
Banks produced a second marble bust for Lord Lansdowne in 1796, the right shoulder bare, the socle inscribed INGRATIA PATRIA (Foreign Office; GAC 2680/1). [7] Sittings were given in October and December 1796; a profile engraving by T. Gaugain (from a drawing by Simon de Koster) was published 10 October 1797 and another by the same artists showing a full-face view was published in 1798. [8] The ‘Bust of Mr Hastings’ exhibited at the RA in 1799 (1081) was presumably of this second type. On 12 January 1798 Banks told Hastings he had ‘but one cast from the last Bust I made of you’ and a new mould costing five guineas was required.

An ‘original’ terracotta of one of Banks’s busts was in William Tassie’s sale, Christie’s, 12 July 1805, lot 207. 

A plaster cast from an unspecified model by Banks belonged to Captain D. M. Anderson in 1935. 

In Banks’s sale, 22 May 1805, lot 5 was a ‘Mask of Mr Hastings’; lots 53 and 54 were busts of Hastings in terracotta; lot 55 another with ‘the Mould of Ditto’, and lot 56 ‘Ditto in different Drapery, and Mould of Ditto’. 

In 1792 Banks had also modelled two chimneypieces for Daylesford, incorporating Persian and Indian motifs. [9]

1) C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, pp 80-81 (quoting Mrs Forster to Allan Cunningham, 1 March 1830, from The Builder, XXI, 3 January 1863, p 5).
2) Ibid., p 79.
3) Ibid., pl.XXXI; dated 1790, illus. M. Archer, The India Office Collection of Paintings and Sculpture, 1986, no.124; engraved J. Condé 1792.
4) M. Archer, The India Office Collection of Paintings and Sculpture, 1986, no.125.
5) C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, pp 102-03 (quoting British Library, Add MS 9173, ff.292, 306). The architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell had designed Daylesford for Hastings.
6) C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, p 80; Sir Arthur Knapp, A Catalogue of the known Portraits of Warren Hastings, 1951, p 20, no.4.
7) C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, pp 110-11, 115-16.
8) Ibid., pl.XXXI.
9) Ibid., pp 88-89, pls.XXII, XXIII


[Warren Hastings; his godson Warren Hastings Frith of Lesley, Hants.];1 John Marshall of Southampton, who had purchased it ‘a few years ago from a family related to [Hastings]’,2 from whom purchased 1866.

1 See C. F. Bell, Annals of Thomas Banks, 1938, pp 80, 103. An undated note in Scharf’s hand in the NPG archive records the death of Warren Hastings Frith, son of Col. Frith, at Lesley, Hants, ‘about 6 years ago’.
2 Letters from Marshall of 1, 8 November 1865, 6 March 1866 (NPG archive); the bust was acquired with ‘a granite polished column’.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

Info above from


Bust of Alexander Pope.
by Roubiliac.
in the Possession of William Seward
Drawn by John Brown
Engraved by Marino Bovi
with Titles
The bust incorrectly attributed to Rysbrack 

This engraving was exhibited in the exhibition at Waddesden Manor.

Bust of Alexander Pope.
Drawn by John Brown
Engraved by Marino Bovi
Proof engraving
before Title

William Seward (1747 - 1799).

by George Dance (1741 - 1825).
pencil and grey wash, 
dated 5 May 1793.
10 in. x 7 5/8 in. (254 mm x 194 mm)
Purchased, 1898.

National Portrait Gallery

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Lead Bust of John Locke attributed to John van Nost redux

A Lead Bust of John Locke 
attributed to John van Nost.

Yale Centre for British Art.

I have already posted at great length on the busts of Locke see:

But I return to this bust after discovering a photograph of it in the houseof John St Loe Strachey Editor and Proprietor of the Spectator, photographed in 1915.

Lead on stone base.

The bust of Locke shown in situ in the First Floor room at 14 Queen Anne's Gate, Westminster in 1915.

Home of John St Loe Strachey Editor and Proprietor of the Spectator

Offices of Sir Clough Bertram Williams Ellis in 1919.
who had married Amabel Strachey in 1915

see The Museum by the Park, Max Bryant, pub Paul Holberton, 2017.


The van Nosts were a family of sculptors of Flemish descent. 

The eldest, John van Nost, is first recorded working at Windsor Castle, circa 1678. 
Foreman to Arnold Quellin whose widow Francis he married. She was daughter of the Landscape painter Jan Siberechts. She died in 1716.

He had his own property and yard by circa 1687 in Haymarket which remained in family ownership until the death of his wife in 1716 and there manufactured 'Marble and Leaden figures, Busto's and noble Vases, Marble Chimney Pieces and Curious Marble Tables'.

In the 1690's he produced life size wooden horses for the Line of Kings in the Tower of London
In 1695 he made statues of William and Mary for the Royal Exchange.

After his death in 1710, the workshop near Hyde Park Corner was continued by his cousin, also John (b.1686), possibly with his nephew, Gerard.

A sale was held on April 17, 1712 a sale of John Nost’s effects was held ‘at his late Dwelling House in Hyde-Park-Road (near the Queen’s Mead-house)’.


"A CATALOGUE OF Mr. Van NOST's COLLECTION OF Marble and Leaden Figures, Busto's and Noble Vases, Marble Chimney Pieces, and Curious Marble Tables, to be Sold by AUCTION, at his late Dwelling House in Hyde-Park-Road (near the Queen's Mead-house) on Thursday the 17th of this Instant, April, 1712, the Sale will begin exactly at Five in the Afternoon, and are to be seen Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the Sale. N.B. As this Collection is the most Valuable that ever was Exposed to Sale in this Kingdom, a great deal of Money in making, and are of Intrinsick Value, as well in the Performance as to the Marble and Metal, there is a small price set to every thing, to be advanced on by the Buyers. The Statues are to be fetch'd away in 4 days after the Sale. Conditions of Sale as usual, and Catalogues had Gratis at the place above named."

After the sale, there was an advert in the Daily Courant, 23 April 1712 (cit. stating that the items that didn't sell were available for sale from his widow: "Whereas Mr. Van Nost's Collection of Figures and Vauses was last Week exposed to Sale, and some part of the same are unsold; this is to inform the Curious, that there are most Noble Figures and Vauses for Gardens, Curious Antique Heads proper to adorn Libraries, to be sold under the prime Cost, Mrs. Van Nost being resolved to dispose of the whole; and are to be seen at his late Dwelling-House in Hide-Park-Road, near the Queen's Mead-House; where Attendance is given."

Included in this sale were Lot 49, a bust lead of Mr Locke and  Lot 62, Dr Locke as big as the life.

Info from - Getty research -

For much more detail of the life and works of John Nost I see -

John van Nost II produced the equestrian figure of George I, now at the Barber Institute, Birmingham, another version is at Stowe, John the second died in 1729, the business then being taken over by his widow ?

A sale of his effects held by his widow was advertised in the Guardian (No.60, 20 May, 1731) ..several extraordinary fine things"

John van Nost III assistant to Roubiliac was working in Dublin after 1748.


From An Antiquarian Ramble in the Streets of London: with Anecdotes...Vol. 1.

by John Thomas Smith, pub. 1846.


The reservoir in Green Park looking North to the Stone Bridge area of Portugal Row at the western end of Piccadilly. with the entrance to Half Moon Street to the left and

Horwood's map of London 1817


Friday, 28 December 2018

John Vanderstein at Queen's College,Oxford - Part 12, The Upper Library Doorcase - with some notes concerning the Orrery by Benjamin Cole

John Vanderstein at Queen's College, Oxford.
(Joannes Vander Stein)
Part 12, 

The Queen's College Upper Library Doorcase.

with the Arms of Queens College.
by John Vanderstein.

Included here are a few notes on the decoration of the library and the Benjamin Cole Orrery.

See my previous and following blog entries for the other seven statues in this series. I am very much indebted to Dr Graeme Salmon, Curator of Pictures at Queen's College, Oxford for making me welcome at Queen's and for making this work possible.

This blog entry is part of a much larger work investigating and recording the 17th and 18th Century portrait sculpture at Oxford. This project was suggested to me by Dana Josephson of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, who is currently in the process of cataloguing the portraits at the Bodleian and to whom I extend my heart felt thanks.


There is documentary evidence in the Account Books where an entry on 4 April 1694 states: ‘Received then of Wm Rooke Bursar five pound for frett worke in ye new Library 5.0.0. Joannes Vander Stein’. 

The next entry, which claims on 6 April ‘Received then in full of Wm Rooke for worke done by me to this day two pounds and one shilling’ signed again by Vander Stein.


 Timothy Halton (1632 - 1704), College Provost's accounts show a payment to Vanderstein of £178 - 1s for works in the library.

For an excellent overview of the history of Queens College see - The Queens College, by John Richard Magrath, 1921. For the Library see pages 257 - 80.

available online and fully searchable

Group of figures of the Arts and Science, the College’s Coat of Arms and Provost Halton’s coat of arms in the pediment, attributed to Joannes Vanderstein.


The Plaster Ceiling decoration by James Hands 1695.

The inner plaster panels put up by Tomas Roberts in 1756.

The entry in the College Register for 12 June 1756 records that ‘it was agreed at a meeting of the
Provost and Fellows, that ‘1st That Thos Roberts shall be employed to clean and beautify the
Stucco Work, Festoons and Sculptures in the Library; to new-coat the Ceiling, to add new Ornaments in the Oval Space in the Middle, and the Compartments at the Ends’

The doorcase top and stucco frieze of Garlands by John Vanderstein
who was paid for the "fretwork"

Photographs above by taken the author.

For the plaster ceiling see -


Catherine of Braganza.
Painted Glass Portrait.

Charles II
Painted Glass Portrait
Queen's College.

These panels have recently been restored and moved to the South West end of the Upper Library

Photographs by the Author.

From Catalogue of the Portraits ......., Poole, 1912



Orrery commissioned for the College.
Benjamin Cole 

The orrery in the Upper Library was given to the Queen’s College by a Group of Gentleman Commoners of the College in the late 18th century. Edwyn Francis Stanhope, William Guyse, Edmund Thomas, George Mowbray, Oldfield Bowles and Richard Symonds

An entry in the Benefactors’ Book and an inscription within the lunar calendar scale records their names and gift.

This type of instrument was christened an Orrery by John Rowley, who built one for his patron Charles Boyle, the fourth Earl of Orrery, (1676 - 1731) in about 1712. 

Entry concerning the orrery in the Queen's College Benefactors’ Book.

For another fine example at Dumfries House see -


The Description and the Use of the Globes and Orrery.
Joseph Harris

Joseph Harris’s Description and Use is described as a ‘puff’ piece that was written for orrery, globe, and instrument manufacturer, Thomas Wright in the mid-18th century.

Fundamentally, the book is an instruction manual on how to use your orrery or globe.

 Fortuitously you can buy one – as depicted in the frontispiece – from Wright’s apprentice and successor, Benjamin Cole (1695-1766). At the rear of the book is a list of items available for purchase at Cole’s ‘Orrery, near the Globe Tavern, in Fleet-street’.


Thomas Wright Trade Card.
Thomas Wright d. 1767.

Advertisement for orreries cut from the 9th edition of Joseph Harris's The Description and Use of the Globes and the Orrery. Names four of Mr Wright's customers.

Pen and Ink drawing.

A planetary model made by Thomas Wright of Fleet Street, London. 

Thomas Wright made such extensive modifications in 1733 that this model has since been referred to as Wright's Grand Orrery.


Benjamin Cole

Benjamin Cole Freemason and Engraver as well as instrument maker made a wide range of instruments. He was apprenticed to Thomas Wright and was free in the Merchant Taylors' Company. The firm of Wright & Cole operated until 1748 when Cole succeeded Wright. Cole & Son conducted their business between 1751 and 1766 from the Orrery adjoining the Globe Tavern, in Fleet Street, London. This address became 136 Fleet Street about 1760 and 200 Fleet Street in later years. The business was taken over by John Troughton in 1782, surviving as Cooke, Troughton & Sims in the twentieth century.

Trade card: Benjamin Cole, Royal Exchange and Ball Alley, George Yard, Lombard Street. 
The Grand Orrery, And all other Mathematicl Instruments made and sold by Benja[mi]n Cole. 

An engraving of the Grand Orrery. [c.1750].

Image Courtesy The Science Museum.


Poor quality image from:



John Rowley (1668 - 1728).

120 x 120 mm.
c. 1715 - 28.

Image courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum via Science Museum website


Trade card of Benjamin Cole & son, scientific instrument makers

© The Trustees of the British Museum

British Museum say:

Trade cards in Heal Collection. Heal,105.26 advertises "The Great Orrery Four Feet in Diameter Made by Tho: Wright Mathematical Instrument-maker to His Majesty For the Royal Academy at Portsmouth Now B. Cole at the Same Shop. Who makes Orrery's [sic] of different sorts as may be seen at his Shop in Fleet-Street. Where is sold a Lrge Print of the Orrery with the Explanation on a Sheet of Imperial Paper.."

Heal's annotations on mount: "Benjamin Cole succeeded Thomas Wright at the Orrery & Globe in Fleet Street in 1751. Compare trade card in A.H. collection of Benjamin Cole when his sign is given as The Orrery next the Globe Tavern in Fleet Street.

A price-list in A.H. collection published by 'Benjamin Cole at his shop, the sign of the Orrery, No. 136 in Fleet Street'. See billhead in A.H. collection of Benjamin Cole & Son at the Orrery, next the Globe Tavern in Fleet Street dated 1753. Benjamin Cole junior succeeded to his father's business in 1766 & carried it on until his retirement in 1782 when he was succeeded by John & Edward Troughton." Heal,105.25 advertises "The Orrery Made by Cole and Son. Mathematical and Optical Instruments of all Sorts, Are accurately made according to the Best & latest Improvements; By Benjamin Cole; At the Orrery..."

Heal's annotations on mount as above except: "Benjamin Cole advertised from above address 'Whitehall Evening Post' 17 Dec. 1748. Benjamin Cole advertised from above address 'Daily Advertiser' 6 March 1749. Benjamin Cole advertised from Ball Alley, Lombard St in 'Daily Advertiser' 5 May 1747." Heal,105.24 advertises "A Catalogue of Mathematical, Philosophical, and Optical Instruments, Made and Sold by Benjamin Cole, At his Shop, the sign of the Orrery, No.136, in Fleet-street, London..." Heal's annotations on mount: "This gives 'The Orrery' at No.136 Fleet Street." Heal,105.23 is a bill-head stating: "Bought of Benjamin Cole & Son At the Orrery..." The bill is dated "London Jany. 17, 1753." Heal's annotations on mount similar to above. Heal,105.22 advertises "Cole's New Sea-Quadrant. With such Improvements as effectually takes off the Ship's Motion... N.B. The above Quadrant is made Four different Ways by the inventor B. Cole, Mathematical-Instrument-Maker, at the Orrery, Two Doors above the Globe Tavern, and between Two Picture Shops, in Fleetstreet [sic], London, late the Shop of Mr. Thomas Wright, Instrument-Maker to his Majesty..."

Heal's annotations on mount as above except: "1748. Thomas Wright at the Orrery & Globe near Salisbury Court 1732 - See H.P.'s 'Signs of Fleet St.' R.T. Gunters Early Science in Oxford, Part II, says B. Cole continued the business of Thomas Wright in Fleet Street, London, 1751."

© The Trustees of the British Museum

image © The Trustees of the British Museum.


Trade Card John Bennet.

Trade Card of Dudley Adams

Dudley Adams was the son of the famous instrument maker George Adams (1704-1773) and brother of George Adams the Younger (1750-1795). He took over the family business in Fleet Street and in turn became optical and mathematical instrument maker to George III (1738-1820) as well as his post as optician to the Prince of Wales. 

The advertisement depicts compasses, quadrants, orreries or planetariums, telescopes, globes, thermometers and sun dials. The portrait is of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), widely held to be the greatest pre-telescope observer.


Trade card of John Bennet.

John Bennet (also spelt Bennett) was royal instrument maker to the Dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland. By the 1780s, his business, based at the Globe at Crown Court, between St Ann's Soho and Golden Square, had been taken over by his apprentice James Search. 

The card advertises optical and philosophical instruments: those which are represented, include telescopes, spectacles sun dials, quandrants, a globe and an orrery, a demonstration device to show the motions of the Earth and Moon around the Sun, popular during the 17th century


Forerunner to the Orrery
The Trade Card of Nicolas de Fer

Included here as an early representation of an Orrery 
and also as depicting a Library with busts on bookcases.

DRAFT Trade card of Nicolas de Fer, geographer; scene inside a library with groups of figures including two monks, a large orrery on a pedestal at the centre with two putti at the side using various geographical instruments, ceiling with a dome illustrating the constellations; lettering below listing large maps and books published up to the year 1705. 

Etching with engraved lettering

Image British Museum.


The Compleat Orrery, 
Described By S. Dunn
Author: Dunn, Samuel-m. 1794, Wilkinson, Robert-m. ca. 1825

 London Published as the Act directs, by R. Wilkinson, No. 58 Cornhill, 1780

Image from Biblioteca Digital Hispánica:


William Pether
After the original oil painting by Joseph Wright of Derby 1766.
485 x 583 mm.

A Philosopher gives a Lecture on the Orrery 
Jos, Wright Pinxt, ; J Boydell, Exct, ; Wm, Pether fecit 1768. - [2nd state]. - 1print: mezzotint [cut to] platemark 48.5x58.3cm, image 45x58.3cm. in wood veneer and gilt frame, 76x85.5x4cm. - 

After the oil painting by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1766.  

A transparent orrery, the light source within it from a lamp replacing the sun; wonders of the universe demonstrated to a lay audience including a woman and three children, foreground nephew to scientist 5th Earl Ferrers; to L standing taking notes, cartographer Peter Perez Burdett; philosopher / lecturer stylised, variously suggested as Ferguson, Whitehurst or Newtonian ideal.

An anonymous review from the time called Joseph Wright "a very great and uncommon genius in a peculiar way". 

The Orrery was painted without a commission, probably in the expectation that it would be bought by Washington Shirley, 5th Earl Ferrers, an amateur astronomer who had an orrery of his own, and with whom Wright's friend Peter Perez Burdett was staying while in Derbyshire. 

Figures thought to be portraits of Burdett and Ferrers feature in the painting, Burdett taking notes and Ferrers seated with a youth next to the orrery. 

Ferrers purchased the painting for £21


Provost Timothy Halton (1632 - 1704) Provost (1677 - 1704).
James Maubert ( 1666 - 1746).
Oil on Canvas
126 x 100 cms.
Gift from Provost Joseph Smith (1670 - 1756) (Provost 1730 - 1756).
Queen's College.

Provost Timothy Halton
Michael Burghers.
288 x 174 mm.

c 1704
British Museum


Monday, 24 December 2018

John Vanderstein at Queen's College, Part 11, Charles II.

John Vanderstein at Queen's College, Oxford. 

Part 11. 

The Eight Statues on the West Front of the Library. 


Charles II.

I am very much indebted to Dr Graeme Salmon, Curator of Pictures at Queen's College, Oxford for making me welcome at Queen's and for making this work possible.

This blog entry is part of a much larger work investigating and recording the 17th and 18th Century portrait sculpture at Oxford. This project was suggested to me by Dana Josephson of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, who is currently in the process of cataloguing the portraits at the Bodleian and to whom I extend my heart felt thanks.

All photographs above taken by the author.