Monday 6 August 2018

18th to Mid 19th Century Sculpture in Bath with Special Reference to Portrait Sculpture - A Talk given to the History of Bath Research Group.

18th to Mid 19th Century Sculpture in Bath. 
with Special Reference to Portrait Sculpture - 
A Talk given to the History of Bath Research Group.

Some notes and photographs.

The excellent Sue Sloman has already written about the Parson family of Widcome in The British Art Journal and I have recently posted a little more on the Parsons and Greenway businesses. Her superb book Gainsborough in Bath, should be in the library of anyone interested in Bath in the 18th century.

My intention here is to present a very brief survey of the small number of sculptors working in Bath in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

It is something that I had been meaning to approach for a long time and the talk given to the History of Bath  Research Group, formed the basis of the more detailed researches to be published in due course. 

The original inspiration for all my more recent sculpture research was The William Seward bust of Alexander Pope from the studio of Roubiliac purchased at the Bath Saleroom of Messrs Gardiner Holgate in Bath in 2000.

This was the object that set me on the course of researching and attempt to understand Mid 18th Century portrait sculpture - particularly that of Roubiliac and Rysbrack but also of their contemporaries such as the Cheere Brothers and Peter Scheemakers. A task that has taken me down the highways and byways of 18th century sculpture.


The Miniature Bust of Alexander Pope in the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath.

For further photographs and in depth notes regarding this little bust see -

Perhaps from the Roubiliac studio - in St Martins Lane, London, although for me the quality is not quite good enough.

Note the rather big nose!

This is a very close, but much reduced version of the signed and dated, life sized Pope marble bust by Roubiliac at Milton House, near Peterborough which had formerly belonged to Lord Mansfield and was at Kenwood House, Hampstead in the 18th century. It closely resembles the Sotheby's bronze sold in 2010.

see -

There are 2 full size plaster versions of this bust – one at Hughenden House, Bucks former home of Benjamin Disreali – National Trust and another at Holkham, Norfolk.

The miniature bust was first noted in 1920 by Mrs John Lane of the Bodley Head Publishers in 1920 – presented to the Gallery by Mrs Lane in 1925 and then attributed to Prince Hoare (c. 1711 - 1769) - there is absolutely no evidence for this attribution.


The Busts of Pope and Newton in Wiltshire's Assembly Rooms, Terrace Walk, Bath.

Wiltshire’s Assembly Rooms – Terrace Walk, Bath.

 James Vertue brother of engraver George Vertue –  showing the Busts of Newton and Pope either side of the portrait of Nash (all now missing). First noted in the Gentleman’s Magazine of 1741. 
Broadley Collection, Bath Ref Library.

A link has been made in the past with the little bust of Pope at the Victoria Art Gallery and the bust of Pope alongside that of Newton which might have been sold  in a disposal of objects from the Upper Assembly Rooms, after 1767.

 The busts are seen in the drawing (above) by James Virtue and known to have been in Wiltshire’s Assembly rooms on Terrace Walk in 1741 as mentioned in the poem in the Gentleman's Magazine.  –  but there is evidence of the sale or disposal of these busts.

This Assembly Rooms had disappeared and became a warehouse in about 1788 - it had been unable to survive the rivalry from the Upper Assembly Rooms.

Surprisingly Ralph Allen is not known to have owned a bust of Pope even though they were close friends. I suspect that Ralph Allen was involved with the placing of the busts of Pope and Newton in the Wiltshire’s Assembly Rooms.

It is perhaps surprising that Prince Hoare did not carve a bust of Pope but there is one possibility

Alexander Pope.


Life size.

Private Collection.

Although there is no record of a bust of Pope by Prince Hoare or any of his contemporaries in Bath this anonymous bust is possibly from the studio.

This anonymous marble bust of Pope was with the Gadge family of Twickenham in 2000.

The form of the socle suggests that it is 19th century, but this might be a replacement.

see my blog post - 


Lord Rothschild now owns the two marble busts of Pope and Newton by Roubiliac which are currently at Waddesden Manor, which could be the Wiltshire's Rooms busts.

To muddy the water, busts of Newton and Pope along with other sculptures by Roubiliac were sold at the Hobbs house sale in Pall Mall of Messrs Warren and Foster of Vine St, Picadilly in 29th and 30th March, 1765 – I can as yet find nothing further on Messrs Warren and Foster.

"A catalogue of the genuine collection of Italian, Dutch and Flemish pictures, bronzes, basso relievos, groups in marble, carvings in ivory, a cabinet, with variety of painting done by Rottenhammer and Brughel; and various other effects of Mess. Warren and Foster, of Vine-Street, Piccadilly, whose agreement expires at Lady-Day next, which is the reason of their effects being sold, in order to settle their accounts. 

Amongst the pictures there is a fine landscape by Jordanes, and two capital pieces done by Tempesta; two flower-pices [sic] painted on looking-glass, silver'd by Maria da Fiori; and a landscape by Rubens: which will be sold by auction, by Mr. Hobbs, at his house in Pall Mall, on Friday the 29th instant and the following day.

Lot 48 Roubiliac     Inigo Jones in Basso Relievo.   
Lot 48 Roubiliac      Oliver Cromwell in ditto [Basso Relievo.                
Lot 49. Roubiliac    Mr. Handel, in Basso Relievo.
Lot 50. Roubiliac    Sir Isaac Newton.
Lot 51, Roubiliac     Mr. Pope (which one? is this the Sotheby's bronze?).

Interestingly in this sale were included lots 55 and 56 -

A Statue of Rubens in Porcelane (?) finely model'd, burnt and glaz'd  (?)            

A ditto [Statue] of Vandyke [in Porcelane finely model'd, burnt and glaz'd].

Porcelane suggests possible terracotta

Info from the Getty Provenance Data Base -

Given that they are part of a group of Roubiliac sculptures, these might have been purchased at the Roubiliac sale of May 1762 and are perhaps unrelated to the Wiltshire’s Assembly Room busts.

But this begs the question - which busts of Pope and Newton are these?


Prince Hoare (1711 - 69).

Bath Chronicle 19 April 1770, - Property: to let - house near North Parade, Bath lately in possession of Mr Prince Hoare. Details from Mr Edw. Parker, wine merchant in Westgate St, Bath.

This refers to the house known as Ralph Allen's Town House.

Bath Chronicle -1st November 1770 - Notices: Mauge & Lancashire, successors to Mr Prince Hoare, statuary (& his principal workmen for many yrs), now trading at same yard in monuments, chimney pieces, works in marble, wood & stone.

Bath Chronicle - 14 February 1793 - Services: F Lancashire & Son, Albion Pl, Upper Bristol Rd, Bath, statuaries, carvers in general & stone masons. Large wareroom with chimney pieces of different coloured marble, urns, vases, monuments etc on view.


Bath Chronicle - 6 November 1783 - Art: Bath Academy - meeting of 4 Nov at the Three Tuns Tavern, Stall St, Bath unanimously thanked John Palmer, esq., - Hoare, esq., George James, esq., & Mr Ch. Harris, statuary, London.

This note refers to William Hoare but is interesting from the point of view that Charles Harris Statuary (of the Strand, London) was involved in an Academy at Bath.

Bath Chronicle - 16 October 1783 - Art: meeting of principal artists of Bath at Three Tuns on Tue 14 Oct. We hear they have begun a subscription to establish an Academy or School for the study of Antique Statues & the Living Model.

Bath Chronicle - 30 October 1783 Art: Bath Academy (in the manner of the Royal Academy London) - meeting of subscribers at Three Tuns Tavern in Stall St at 7pm on 4 Nov & then 1st Tue every month. Printed plans at the public libraries & Mr Wm. Lloyd's; list of subscribers may be seen at Mr Wm. Lloyd's in Abbey Green.


The miniature bust of Pope was in the past linked to the Bath sculptor Prince Hoare (1711 – 69), brother of William Hoare the artist. This should be dismissed - there is absolutely no evidence for this assertion apart from the fact that it was purchased from an antique shop in Walcot St, Bath.

Prince Hoare is believed to have trained in the workshop by Peter Scheemakers (who was away in Rome in Rome 1728 - 1730), Prince Hoare also went to Rome and did not return to England from his grand tour until 1749, when he had been away for about 9 years.

After the original in the Uffizzi

signed P HOARE Ft
Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath.

Sold by Christies 5 July 1985 lot 252.

George Vertue, the diarist recorded in 1750 that he (Hoare) was "a tall handsom agreeable person and somewhat skilled in musick …. He bids fair for a great man".

There is another link to the sculptural representation of Alexander Pope (died 30 May 1744 and was interred 6 June 1744 at Twickenham in that Hoare made the monument to Pope in Twickenham Church which had been commissioned by William Warburton and put up in 1761.

Pope’s father, also Alexander, had died in 1717 while the family were living in Chiswick. He has a memorial
in the churchyard of the parish church of St Nicholas.

Pope’s mother died on 7 June 1733, probably just before her ninety-first birthday (she had been baptised on

18 June, 1642). Her funeral took place in St Mary’s during the night of 11 June

William Warburton also commissioned the bust of Ralph Allen from Hoare for the Mineral Water Hospital in 1769 (see below).



The Pope Monument.
Ravenet after Samuel Wale.


William Warburton also commissioned the bust of Ralph Allen from Hoare for the Mineral Water Hospital (below).

Ralph Allen.

by Prince Hoare.

Marble - Life Size.
Inscribed left side Proper Hoare Fecit 1757.

Mineral Water Hospital, Bath.

Ralph Allen.

Prince Hoare.

Life Size Marble Bust.

Guildhall, Bath.


Bust of Beau Nash in the Guildhall, Bath (below).
Prince Hoare
Painted (presumed Plaster).


Horace Mann said of him that he was "able but lazy".

“Very clever in his copying but I have seen nothing original in his doing – had he application equal to his skill, I believe he would make a great figure at least in England where sculpture is not at any great pitch”

In hindsight this looks like a fair assessment.

He seems to have found a wealthy wife, Miss Mary Coulthurst of Melksham who he married  - and who brought a considerable fortune of £6000 and thereafter led the life of a sort of  gentleman sculptor who could pick and choose his subjects. 

It appears that Joseph Plura (see below) was responsible for much of the work attributed to Hoare.

The lack of application hinted at in Mann's letter to Walpole is corroborated in passages from letters written by William Pitt Snr to Richard Grenville. Prince Hoare had been commissioned to design and carve a monument to the memory of Captain Thomas Grenville, brother to Richard, who had been killed in action at sea in 1747.

The first letter, dated 26 November 1752 from Bath, mentions that work is proceeding apace on the clay model for the statue, the figure promising "to be a very good one'. 

The second letter, also from Bath but dated 29 January 1754, complains of repeated delays:

"you have already received a petition from Mr. Hoare praying further time: indeed it is a very necessary request however unjustifiable the cause of the necessity may be . . . your patience is like to be thoroughly tried, for a twelvemonth or more will be the least time necessary to allow the sculptor".

Monument to 3rd Lord Trevor.

Bromham, Bedfordshire.

Prince Hoare.

Put up 1764?


Lord Chesterfield.

Prince Hoare.

Rangers House, Backheath

The Bust of Lord Chesterfield by Prince Hoare (Government Art Coll. now at the Rangers House, Blackheath - purchased in 1992 with an Irish provenance)  - two versions are mentioned by Chesterfield in a letter to Richard Chevenix, Bishop of Waterford, dated London, 22 May 1752: 'Lady Chesterfield . .  has sent you from Bristol a busto of your humble servant, cast from a marble one done by Mr. Hoare, at Bath, for Mr. Adderly: it is generally thought very like.'

This is presumably Thomas Adderly 1713 – 91, who built Marino House, Dublin, designed by Chambers.


The Statue of Nash in the Pump Room Bath, has, in the past, been ascribed to Plura who worked as an assistant in Prince Hoare’s Studio.


A plaster bust Jerry Pierce Plaster, until recently still at The Mineral Water Hospital in Bath is now missing.

The Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate have a marble version of this bust(see photographs below).

Jerry Pearce.

Prince Hoare.

Plaster Bust.

Missing from the Mineral Water Hospital, Bath.

Very low resolution image from Bath in Time.

Higher resolution copies available £20 +

Jerry Pearce. 

Marble Bust.

Prince Hoare.

Images courtesy The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate.


 The Mural  Monument to Jerry Pierce. 
Prince Hoare.

St Swithin’s Church, Walcot. Bath (above).


Photographs taken by the Author.


Paul Bertrand.

Mural Monument.

Paul Bertrand Mural Monument.

Prince Hoare.

St Swithin’s Church, Walcot. Bath (above).


Photographs taken by the Author.


Prince Hoare at North Parade Buildings. Bath.

"The Old Post House". 

In 1620 Thomas Cotterell obtained a lease to build against the orchard wall, and this may have been the foundation of 7 and 30, though the two properties shown on this present map are slightly larger than the dimensions given on his lease. 

In the Survey of the Manor before John Hall's death, and again in 1718, 7 is called the Post House, but by 1726 it is named the Old Post House.

In 1727 Ralph Allen held the site, having become a sub-tenant there as early as 1718. He also acquired part of the Bowling Green as a garden. John Wood's ornamental front designed for him in 1727 can still be seen on the north side of the property, facing east. There is no trace however of a further "northern wing", a misunderstanding. The 1762 development lease for the grounds of Abbey House leaves no room for such a wing, and there is no sign of it on later maps.

The northern wall of the Old Post House was also moved northwards at some stage and more ornamentation added. OS 1886 shows the two portions of the property linked by a row of little rooms, now removed. Signs of the linking wall can still be seen.

In 1733 the Kingston rental lists 7 as "Mr Ralph Allen his Heirs". By 1750 Philip Allen is listed for the property. In the 1760's it is given as being in the occupation of Prince Hoare (d. 1769).

Prince Hoare was elected a governor at the Royal Mineral Water Hospital in May 1758.


Giuseppe Antonio (Joseph) Plura (d. 1756).

see Essay in - Turin and the British in the Age of the Grand Tour ed. Paola Bianchi and Karin Wolf, Cambridge 2017. A Plurality of Pluras by Alastair Laing.

Not much is known about his early life. It is thought that he is son of the Plura that was noted as being an assistant to Stuccoist Giovanni Bagutti (1681-?) in the work on Castle Howard in Yorkshire between 1709 and 1712 where it has been suggested they were working in order to attempt to gain the commissions to perform the sculpture work on the rebuilding of St Pauls Cathedral in London, but they were unsuccessful in this regard and he probably returned to Italy when work on Castle Howard was completed, but given that a Mr Plewra was paid in June 1710 £34.8s. March 1711 £10. 15s. August 1712 Mr Plura given £34 11s 6d.

Info Decorative Plasterwork .... Geoffrey Beard, Routledge ed. 2015.

Son of Italian Sculptor from Turin who had possibly worked at Castle Howard, by 1749 Giuseppi had settled in Bath - he married Mary Ford aged 17, the daughter of John Ford (1711 – 67) a local building Contractor who had worked for John Wood. 

Given the date it is quite possibly he came to England with Prince Hoare on his return from his grand tour.

He is believed to have completed the statue of Beau Nash in the Pump Room for Prince Hoare (see above and below).

His most famous work is the Diana and Endymion now at the Holborne Museum, Bath (below).

Talbot Ivory of Lacock Abbey wrote to his friend the Architect Sanderson Miller on 13 August 1754.

 "When at Bath fail not to see a piece of sculpture of Endymion on Mount Patmos, the performance of Mr Plura a statuary" (Warwick County ArchivesCR 125 B letter 405).

Talbot Ivory was a relative of  Sharington Davenport of Worfield, Shropshire, which goes some way to explain the connection of Joseph Plura and the making of the bust of Gratiana Davenport by him (see below).

Diana and Endymion.

Joseph Plura.


Images courtesy Holburn Museum.

On death of sculptor in London in 1756, the sculpture was brought back to Bath by his wife, remained in daughter's family until end 19C; Coll. Hugh Honour & John Fleming in mid 1950's; sold by them to a French dealer earlier this year with London dealer Daniel Katz.

The sculpture appears to be loosely based on an the engraving by Nicolas Mignard 
after the original by Annibale Carracci.

Mid 17th Century.

Image British Museum.


Plura set up business on his own in 1753 and took up the lease of a statuary Yard 1st October 1753. Unfortunately, the location is not recorded.

Info. Dictionary of Sculptors Yale 2005 – where – probably in Widcombe??

In the City accounts of 1753 it shows that he paid 6s. 8d for the seal of his 'Statuary' lease.

Unfortunately, the location of the studio is not recorded.

In the same year Plura was paid £26 5s. for carving the Coat of Arms in the tympanum of the pediment of the Edward VI Grammar School, for which his father-in-law was a benefactor.


The Bust of Gratiana Davenport by Joseph Plura.

See future post on this blog.

Sharington Davenport (1708 - 74) with his wife Gratiana.

and his half brother William Davenport 1725 - 81).

John Vandernbank (1694 - 1739).

Oil on canvas.

165 x 193 cms.


on loan from the Davenport Family.

Lacock Abbey, National Trust.

In the same year 1753, Plura executed the bust of Mrs Gratiana Sharington Davenport (nee Rodd) (1710 - 73), that is now on long-term loan to Lacock Abbey.

Gratian Rodd married Sharrington Davenport on 22 Jan 1732 (Fleet marriage Registers).

The bust is signed Jph Plura Bath 1753 currently on loan from the Davenport family trust to Lacock Abbey (National Trust).

An excellent life size plaster version (above) is in No 1 Royal Crescent, Bath (see Alastair Laing A Plethora of Pluras).

Height 56 cms.

On loan from the Davenport Trustees to Bath Preservation Trust

Photograph by the author with grateful thanks to the guides at the Museum.
No I Royal Crescent, Bath

Worfield Church, Shropshire has a monument with a bust of Gratiana signed Plura (check!).

see -

Gratiana Davenport was famous for her beauty. When the Prince of Wales (later George IV) was visiting the assembly rooms at Bath, Beau Nash was heard to remark to him "Here, your Majesty comes a Rodd to beat them all"

William Shenstone is believed to have written the poem on here memorial slab in the church -

Reader, though young and fair, by all caressed,
With taste and sense or every virtue blessed ;
Be thou the valued friend, the much-loved wife.
Whate'er adorns or flatters human life,
Oh, be not vain, for all that mortals prize
Beneath this tomb in mouldering ruin lies."

Gratiana Davenport.

(Believed to represent)


439 x 303 mm.

Alexander van Aken (1701- 57) after Joseph van Aken (1699  - 1749).

Image courtesy National Portrait Gallery.

A portrait of Gratiana is mentioned in Bye Gones 13 Nov. 1907 as coming from Halston in possession of Thomas Green Davies at Rolly, Knockin.


Mrs Davenport.

Scraped within the image: "B. Dandridge Pinx. I. Faber Fecit 1730".

Date erased in later states!
352 x 252mm.


British Museum


By May 1753 Plura had completed the Bath City coat of Arms for the pediment of King Edwards School Broad St, Bath (below) designed and built on the site of the Black Swan (mowbray Greenbetween 1752 - 54 by Thomas Jelly for Bath City Council with his father in law John Ford acting as Master Mason. He was paid 25 guineas.

In 1755 Plura completed the five busts of Worthies for the façade of King Edward's Grammar School he received 41 guineas.His father in law John Ford (1711 – 67) was the contractor.

King Edwards Grammar School.
Broad Street, Bath.

from The 18th Century Architecture of Bath by Mowbray Green pub. 1904.

The Photograph and blow ups show the five busts of Philosophers by Joseph Plura

available online at -

A remarkable resource for anyone interested in Bath and its Architectural History.

These 5 busts were removed to storage in 1978. They have since disappeared – where are they now? 

Missing presumed stolen!


In 1755 Plura had taken rooms in Oxford Row, Poland St. London to display Diana and Endymion.

In 1756 He died of "d’une fievre maligne" leaving his widow with three children Mary, Joseph Plura II (d. 1785) who became a sculptor, and his brother John who became a well-known Bath auctioneer.

It is probable that another Turin sculptor Giovanni Battista Borra (1712 - 86) introduced Joseph Plura to Edward, 9th Duke of Norfolk or to his contractor. He is known to be responsible for the carving of at least one of the marble chimney pieces at Norfolk House, St James's Square completed in 1756 (now demolished - the Music Room is in the V&A).

There is reference to him in the accounts for Norfolk House. In William Edwards, Carpenter’s and Joyner’s bill 1751 to Oct 1755 (Arundel Castle Archives (ACA), MD 18/3 top Pleura {sic}: On 27 October 1755 Edwards charged ‘To Cutting away & making good to the chimneypiece put up Mr Pleura’. It seems highly likely that he was responsible for the execution of the present chimney piece.

Joseph Plura II (1753 - ).

see Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain

Joseph Plura II (1753 - 20 January 1785)

Self Portrait.

Victoria and Albert Museum.

Returned with his family to Bath after the death of his father in 1756.
Enterred The Royal Academy School in 1773

Joseph Plura - probably the Plara who worked for the sculptor Joseph Nollekens.
see Nollekens and his Times JT Smith, 1928.

In 1777 went to Rome - 1778 visited Naples with Thomas Jones - Sept 1779 made a bust of Sir John Coxe Hippisley whilst living in the Strada Croce, Rome near the Spanish Steps.

Back in London in 1782 when he exhibited two wax portraits and a bust at the RA from an address in Broad St. Soho.

In the early 1780's he appears to have completed work for the third Earl Cowper at Panshangar.

Bath Chronicle 20 Jan 1785 - Deaths: Mr Joseph Plura, last week in London, after a short illness in prime of life. Brother of Mr Plura of Bath.

Fleming, J. 'The Pluras of Turin and Bath', The Connoisseur, CXXXVIII, 1956, p. 181, fig. 9.

Pyke, E.J. A Biographical Dictionary of Wax Modellers, Oxford, 1973, p. 112, fig. 223.


John Plura, Auctioneer. Bath.

In the 1824 Gye's Bath Directory Mr Plura is listed at John St. This Plura is the Auctioneer mentioned frequently in the Bath Chronicle.

For Plura and John St, Bath see -

From this we can gather that John Plura was at his great Rooms at  9 John St - behind 10 Milsom St until the mid 1830's. Kirsten Elliot also suggests that the great Rooms were also accessed from Milsom St until 1795.

The Bath Chronicle has numerous references to John Plura's business from 1784. By 1785 he was at 10, Milsom St. Bath.

22 September 1785, Plura (Upholder and Auctioneer)  thanks his friends for helping after a fire at his warehouses - News - Fire - a dreadful fire occurred in warehouses of Mr Plura, John Street, Bath last Friday between 1 & 2 o'clock. It raged for several hours, burnt several houses & a large stock of furniture lost. Several £1,000s worth of damage. 

9 Nov. 1786 Marriages: Mr John Plura of Bath to Miss Delaval (dtr of late Sir Francis Delaval, bart) at St Clement's Church, Strand, on Friday.

3 July 1788 Insured premises at Milsom St with Sun Fire Office.


The Gahagan Dynasty

Lawrence Geoghegan. 1735 – 1820.

Won a premium at the Royal Dublin Society in 1756. With the statuette of van Dyck after Rysbrack
Almost certainly worked in the studio of John van Nost in Dublin.
Who also worked in St Martins Lane London.

He had two brothers Vincent and Sebastian also sculptors.
They all appear to have worked in the studio of Joseph Nollekens in the late 18th early 19th Century.
Vincent came to a sticky end whilst working in the studio of Westmacott

There is much confusion with his son Lucius (1773 – 1855) who signed his work L. Gahagan.
They almost certainly lived and worked together.
22 Dean St Soho in 1797,
Pershore Place, New Road in 1800
Little Tichfield St in 1801

L. Gahagan Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817.
Lived at 12 Cleveland St Fitzroy Sq from 1809.

Magnum Opus was the Egyptian Figures of Isis and Osiris on the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly put up in 1806.

Noted in Kent’s Directory 1820 and 1821: Gahagan, Lucius sculptor 12, Cleveland St, Fitzroy Square.


From Bath Artists, Vol 1, copyright Bath City Council.

Bath Directories: Lucius Gahagan

1823 / 4,  Union St Bath;

Resided. 1826 - 9, Lucius Gahagan, sculptor at 4, The Walks, Bath

1833 - 6, 13, New Bond St,

1837 – 41,  at 10, St Andrews Terrace,

1841 - 3, Studio was at 4, Bathwick Bridge.

1846, 3, Walcot Parade;

1848, 13, York St; Hunts Directory

1852 - 66. Lucius Gahagan, sculptor. 1, Chandos Buildings, Chandos House,

In 1825 the Pittville Pump Room was erected in Cheltenham with statues of Aesculapius, Hygeia and Hippocrates - removed in 1937(Pevsner's Gloucestershire). It is possible that these are early works of Lucius Gahagan II


  Miss Fenton's Sale. Sale Catalogue formerly in the collection of Rupert Gunnis, who wrote the first Dictionary of English Sculptors pub. Harvard 1954.

 Perhaps the most fascinating but also the most misleading source of information on the works of  Lawrence and Lucius Gahagan is a sale catalogue (with a pencilled inscription suggesting a date of 1840) of the collection of Miss Fenton of Chandos House, Westgate Buildings, Bath.

It is entitled Catalogue of works of Art by the late L Gahagan.

There is a pencilled notation ‘1840’, this date is inaccurate and should probably be amended or noted that it is most likely after 1855. If my surmise is correct this opens up the possibility that some of the many busts, a few figures and a number of reliefs may be the work of Lucius.

Indeed, one of the subjects, a group of Maria Bagnell and her murderer, Gilham (described as Gillingham in the sale catalogue) illustrates a notorious murder that took place in 1828 and so must be by Lucius, for Lawrence had by then been dead eight years.

Another subject, a bust of Mayor Goldney of Chippenham, depicts a worthy who did not come into office until 1853. It seems likely that Miss Fenton’s sale was principally of the works of Lucius Gahagan, but that there may have been works by Lawrence who, like Miss Fenton, had lodgings in his later years at Chandos House, and who included some of his own sculpture in the sale, including the Bagnell tableau and Goldney bust.
The death of Lucius Gahagan was reported in Keene's Bath Journal, Dec 22, 1855 and in Bath and Cheltenham Gazette Wed Dec 19, 1855 - same report in both: Dec 14 at Chandos House, aged 82,
Mr Lucius Gahagan, sculptor of this city. His reward will be hereafter. In this world he has passed a long and strictly virtuous life exemplifying abilities which only the very few appreciated and which the many failed to reward.
More than half his life has been, as to worldy means, that of mere subsistence and in poverty he has resigned his temporal difficulties.
His son, who inherits his father's talents and who will, we understand, continue the profession in this city will, we trust, live to see a change for the better.


He was survived by his sister Sara who was also a sculptor in a small way.


This work continues in the following posts -

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