Friday 12 February 2021

Jonathan Tyers Marble Bust Roubiliac


Jonathan Tyers (1702 - 67).. 

Louis Francois Roubiliac

Marble Bust. 


I have previously posted on the busts of Tyers but with the discovery of this sale catalogue image below I thought it worthwhile briefly readdressing the subject. Particularly as I can now post the photographs of the busts in the Birmingham Museum store.

I am very grateful to all the Birmingham Museum staff who made this possible.

Lot 77 - Sotheby's 24 June 1927.


The marble bust of Jonathan Tyers 

Louis Francois Roubiliac

In store Birmingham Museum.

Photographed by the author.


Victora and Albert Museum

They suggest a date of 1738.


This terracotta and the marble version in the Birmingham Museum were almost certainly commissioned by Tyers himself.  These two busts were recorded in the possession of the Tyers's grandson, and then passed by descent to the Reverend Jonathan Tyers Barrett of Brandon House, Suffolk.

The busts were sold at the Brandon House sale in September 1919.

The purchaser at this sale was Mr R. Levine of Norwich, whose son, Mr G. J. Levine, sold the terracotta to the V&A in 1927 for £50. 

The marble bust was sold at Sotheby's on 24 June 1927 (lot 77), but in 1956 it was acquired by the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery from Sabin, a London dealer. (probably Frank Sabin).

The three images above courtesey the V and A website


It should be noted that Roubiliac has used the same dapery for the busts of Streatfield at Chiddingstone, Kent and the various busts of John Ray.

Henry Streatfield

Louis Francois Roubiliac


Chiddingstone Mausoleum


Authors own photograph.

John Ray



British Museum

Authors photograph.


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