Friday 26 May 2017

Two Mysterious Plaster Busts Probably Shout of Holborn - Probably not Alexander Pope. Sudbury and Hone Collection

Two Mysterious Early 19th Century Plaster Busts
Almost certainly by Shout of Holborn, London.
 - certainly not Alexander Pope,

 Some notes on the bust of Sir Joshua Reynolds
by Ceracchi.

Some notes and photographs regarding the plaster cast manufacturers Robt. Shout and Peter Sarti.

This Bust has a superficial resemblance to the Roubiliac Busts of Alexander Pope, the drapery on the bust is almost exactly the same as that on the majority of the Roubiliac type busts of Pope but the features are not even close to the Roubiliac busts.

I have so far discovered two versions of this bust - one in the collection of my great friend and fellow enthusiast Peter Hone and another at the National Trust house Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire.

Peter Hone has owned this bust for many years see the photographs below.

The two busts have obviously come from the same original? source but the socles are completely different. The socle and support on the Sudbury are very similar to that used very frequently by Joseph Nollekens based on an antique precedent. 

The Sudbury bust is from one of a group of 5 similar busts at Sudbury Hall (see photographs below).

Some rather poor low resolution photographs from the National Trust website.

NB turned socle and Nollekens type support which appears on the busts depicted below - all at Sudbury, Derbyshire.


Edmund Spenser
described on the National Trust website as by (Robert) Shout.
I presume this means that it is inscribed on the back. Given that all five busts share the same detail of the socle and support it follows that it would be safe to assume that these five busts all came from the same manufacturer Robert Shout.

Portrait of the poet Edmund Spenser; half length, to the left, wearing doublet and white collar trimmed in lace with tassles; waved short hair and beard; in oval on pedestal; frontispiece to 'Calendarium Pastorale' (London: Rivington, Knapton, Fletcher; 1


Sir Joshua Reynolds
Sudbury Hall.

Joshua Reynolds.
Plaster Bust
After Guiseppe Ceracchi

This must have been cast from Ceracchi’s bust of Reynolds in terracotta, dated 1778, which had been presented to the Royal Academy in 1810. 

The terracotta bust had been sold in auction by Greenwood in 1792.
A marble was in the possession of

There is a version by P Sarti at the Atheneum London (see below) -
They say Sarti made new moulds of the bust, but was not allowed to keep them for his own use. "The tunic and cloak were added to the portrait by Sarti, to make the format similar to the others"?

Ceracchi’s terracotta was apparently destroyed (The Age of Neo-Classicism, Council of Europe Exhibition Catalogue, London 1972, no. 335).

The Royal Academy now possesses an undated marble version of the bust, signed Cirachi sculpsit Roma, which was presented by Lord Taunton in 1851. On the cast in the Octagon at the Burlington House (built 1868), the pinned cloak is different from the marble, which suggests that it too had been made from the lost terracotta.

Bust of Sir Joshua Reynolds
by Giuseppe Ceracchi (1751 -1801).
c.1778 - 9.

Royal Academy

Much of this information from -

Notes to the busts by the estimable John Kenworthy Brown.

Illustrated on this website are busts of Edmund Burke, David Garrick, William Harvey, Dr Samuel Johnson John Locke, Milton William Murray (Lord Mansfield). Isaac Newton, Sir Walter Scott, and William Shakespeare - all with the same support to the bust but with no socles.


Bust of Sir Joshua Reynolds
Athenaeum Club
adapted by Sarti from the original by Ceracchi


Bust of Sir Joshua Reynolds after Ceracci - 

Athenaeum Club.


Described on the National Trust website as Classical Man

Francis Bacon
After the bust by John Cheere.

There is a version of this bust in bronzes Plaster at York Museums originally supplied to Kirkleatham Hall (see below) by John Cheere in 1749.

Image result for Francis Bacon Bust Kirkleatham

See also - 

see -


A few notes on Benjamin and Robert Shout.

For a very useful biography of the Shouts by Jacob Simon see -

Robert Shout (described as Mason) insured 12 Eagle Street, Red Lyon Square with the Sun Insurance Company I February 1791

Benjamin and Robert Shout described as Masons and Statuaries are noted as occupying a property behind 13 Eagle Street, Red Lyon Square 31 March 1792 in the records of the Sun Fire Insurance Company (London Metropolitan Archives - 

Copy of the list of products available  from Robert Shout

c.1801 - 1824.

DRAFT Trade card of R Shout, sculptor & mason

DRAFT Trade card of B & R Shout, sculptor & mason

Trade Card for Benjamin and Robert Shout
Printed sometime prior to the death of Ben. Shout in 1811.

Both cards above from the British Museum Collection.

After the death of Nollekens his assistant Alexander Goblet sold 42 moulds for busts including Jonson and Mansfield to the Plaster Cast manufacturer James Deville (1777 - 1846).

It would appear that Sarti obtained the moulds for some of his busts at some time from the Deville Studio.

The fashion for library busts lasted over two centuries. The busts of various literary, scientific and political characters had a long life. It appears that some of these busts originally cast by John Cheere in the 1740's were then produced by Messrs Harris and Parker in the Strand in the later 18th century. The moulds or masters were then passed to Messrs Shout of Holborn before ending up with Mr Sarti.


Group of busts sold at Christie's New York.
sold lot 161, 7 May 2008.
from the Gladstone Collection at Fasque.


King Alfred after Rysbrack, John Milton, 
after original cast by Cheere), William Pitt, Charles James Fox, William Shakespeare ( Poss cast from an original by John Cheere - another at the Wren Library Trinity College Cambridge), Alexander Pope (after Roubiliac Milton/Fitzwilliam), John Dryden, Alfred the Great, Edmund Burke, Sir Isaac Newton (after Cheere), John Locke (after Cheere), Samuel Johnson, Milton and Voltaire; each on circular socle topped by a name tablet. 
variously marked 'made by R. Shout/Holborn' and variously dated '1800[?]' and '1820'

The highest 24 in. (61 cm.) (12)
NB the turned socles and details of the supports 
NB also the bust of Pope - this is either a version of the Milton / Fitzwilliam bust of Pope or the later copy by Nollekens. This certainly lends credence to the fact that the Sudbury and Hone busts illustrated above are not poorly sculpted variants of the Roubiliac Pope busts.


Another pair of busts by Shout 
Sold Christies New York lot 162, 7 May 2008.
Described in the

Catalogue as -
Each depicted facing frontally on circular socle topped by a name tablet, Virgil indistinctly marked 'Holborn' to the reverse
22½ in. (57 cm.) high (2).

Again note the detail of socles and supports.


Bust of George Washington after Houdon inscribed Shout, Holborn
Peter Hone Collection
Sold at Christies South Kensington.

Self-portrait Sarah Siddons (Bust)

Sarah Siddons (1775 - 1831)
Plaster bust 
Robert Shout
Victoria and Albert Museum

see -


The Peter Hone bust
with Paper Label from Sandal Hall, Wakefield.



Just to avoid any confusion and for comparison with the bust above - below are photographs of the Roubiliac Terracotta and the Marble bust of Pope and the Nollekens Marble bust of Pope now in the Met. The similarity of the drapery on the above bust to the Roubiliac busts should be noted.

This suggests to me that the bust above is taken from another bust from Roubiliac's Studio - Roubiliac sometimes reused the drapery of busts he had created on other busts - the Marble bust of Plato in the Library at Trinity College Dublin by Roubiliac uses this same drapery. See my Trinity College Blog entry. -

Marble bust of Plato
Workshop of Roubiliac.
Library Trinity College Dublin.

The Terracotta Bust of Alexander Pope by Roubiliac now in the Barber Institute. Birmingham.

The Milton Fitzwilliam bust of Pope by Roubiliac

The Metropolitan Museum of the Nollekens bust of Pope.


Pietro Sarti (1793 - 1868).

For a very useful potted biographies of Pietro (Peter) Sarti (1793 - 1868) and the various members of the Sarti family of plaster cast manufacturers compiled by Jacob Simon of the National Portrait Gallery  see

Peter Sarti, resident in London by 1816, 
6 Upper King St, Bloomsbury 1822-1826, 
59 Greek St, Soho by 1825-1833, 92 Dean St, Soho 1833-1838, 
Southampton St 1836. Plaster cast figure maker and moulder.


A few Notes on Sarti and the Athenaeum Club Busts.


Bill from Sarti to the Athenaeum early 1830

Bought of P.Sarti

£ s d
Jany 26th Figure of Diana Dressing
8. 8. 0
Ditto Venus Victorious
8. 8. 0
Feby 2 Moving repairing & painting to grecion archer
1. 4. 0 4
Bust of Sir Isac Newton
1. 10. 0
Ditto Shakespere
1. 10. 0
Ditto Milton
1. 10. 0
Ditto Lock
1. 10. 0
Ditto Dr Johnson
1. 1. 0
Ditto Dr Harvey
1. 10. 0
Ditto Lord Mansfield
1. 10. 0
Ditto Pope
1. 10. 0 [inserted]
Ditto Bacon
1. 10. 0
Moulding & casting Sir J. Reynolds
3. 3. 0
Adding drapery to ditto
1. 0. 0
Putting pedestal to the Bust of Burke
7. 0
Repairing & painting the Bust of Sir C Wren
12. 0
Painting the Names in the above Busts
19. 6
For taken down & putting twice the Apollo and altering four times the leaf
3. 10. 0
Bust of Garrick
1. 10. 0
All the Articles in this Bill
are correct. C Daly £42. 2. 6
Certified to be correct
Decimus Burton

24 April 1830
[Endorsed:] 1830
Casts Ordered for payment
Sarti Building Committee
26 April
Received 30 April of the Trustees of the
Athenæum the sum of Forty two pounds two
shillings and sixpence being the amount of
my Bill for Casts supplied to the New
Building to this time – £42. 2. 6 P. Sarti


Further busts by Sarti using the shout type socle and support
In the Collection of the National Trust, Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire

The National Trust owns full-size plaster busts of Locke (white plaster), Milton and Dryden (both ‘bronzed’), and Pope (‘bronzed’, but a different model from that at the Wren Library). All four have the impressed signature ‘P. Sarti, Dean Street, Soho’. They may originally have been at Wimpole, but are more likely to have been acquired as a job lot after 1936 by Captain George and Elsie Bambridge, who owned and refurnished the house.

Wimpole Hall © National Trust / Sue James

Alexander Pope
Roubiliac Type

Height 62 cms

John Milton (1608-1674)

Height 71 cms
John Dryden (1631-1700)

Height 71 cms.

John Locke (1632 – 1704) (after John Cheere)


Height 74 cms.

William Pitt the younger MP (1759-1806) (after Joseph Nollekens, RA)

William Pitt the Younger 
after Nollekens
Height 70 cms.

For a very useful essay by Jacob Simon of The National Portrait Gallery see -


I am reposting a page from the Charles Harris Catalogue
which lists the busts available from his shop in the strand in 1777

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