A Plaster bust of Shakespeare
after the original Terracotta by Louis Francois Roubiliac
State Library of New South Wales,
for my previous posts and in depth work on the subject of the Roubiliac busts of Shakespeare see
Photographs and the description below from the website of the State Library of New South Wales
A Plaster Bust taken from the Davenant Garrick Bust.
The Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford on Avon.
The copy which had belonged to Professor Sir Richard Owen (1804 - 1892) - the Assistant Curator of the Royal College of Surgeons' Hunterian Collections from 1827 - he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and appointed Hunterian Professor then Professor of Anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons, then Fullerian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology at the Royal Institution.
Photograph and info supplied by Marcus Risdell curator at the Garrick Club 2015.
Communication from Marcus Risdell.
'Roubiliac original terracotta bust - The Garrick Club bust, (rediscovered by William Clift, first curator of the Hunterian Museum) in 1834 (source is Clift's papers held at Royal College of Surgeons) it was found in the garden of No 39 Lincoln's Inn Fields by a water pump in a position I have identified in surveys made by the Royal College of Surgeons to have been right by the main entrance.
It became known through association of the theatre as the Davenant Bust, but as we now suspect was sited at the theatre by Henry Giffard who attempted the last theatrical season there in 1742-43 (Incidentally Giffard also used a full size Scheemakers statue as a pantomime stage prop at his previous theatre Goodman's Fields where he first put on Garrick. This I covered in the catalogue: The Face & Figure of Shakespeare at Orleans House Gallery.
Anyway I digress: the bust passed to Professor Owen who showed it at the Crystal palace, where it came to the attention of the Duke of Devonshire who bought it and gave it to the Garrick Club, who incidentally used to use it as a door stop'. Not before at least two casts were made!
Not an unusual fate for portrait busts - the 16th century Lumley / Pomfret marble bust of Henry VIII suffered similar humiliation whilst it was in the Ashmolean Museum offices, until rescued in the mid 20th century (communication Michael Vickers).
The British Museum Terracotta by Roubiliac Purchased by Matthew Matey at the Posthumous
Roubiliac Sale in 1762.
The Garrick Club Terracotta of Shakespeare by Roubiliac