Thursday, 30 July 2020

Possibly a Marble Bust of Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, V & A.

Perhaps Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland (1745 - 90), 

Described by the Museum as possibly by 

John Nost the Younger (1713 - 80).

Victoria and Albert Museum.

Dimensions Height: 66.5 cm.

I have written about 3 dimensional portraits of Cumberland already see -

When first acquired this bust was thought to depict William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. However more recently it has been suggested that it infact bears a closer resemblance to Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland. 

This three-quarters bust depicts a man looking to the left with the front hair waved back and rolled up in a single curl over each ear and the back hair tied in a queue. He wears a clock over a plain breastplate and a high folded stock round the neck. The Star of the Order of the Garter appears in the folds of the cloak. 

 He wears a cloak over a plain breastplate, with a high folded stock around his neck. The Star of the order of the garter appears in the folds of the cloak. 

Purchased by Dr Hildburgh, F.S.A. from Rogers, Chapman and Thomas's Auction Rooms in Gloucester Road, London, for a few shillings' early in November 1941. Given by Dr Hildburgh, F.S.A. to the Museum in 1941.


Brief Biography

Henry Frederick Duke of Cumberland was born on 26th October 1745, sixth child and fourth son of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales (son of George II) and his wife Augusta at Leicester House in London. 

He was appointed Ranger of Windsor Great Park by the King and created Duke of Cumberland in 1766. 

Joining the navy he rose to the rank of vice-admiral in 1770. In 1778 he was made an Admiral but forbidden to take a command. 

He had a notorious relationship with Lady Grosvenor but married the Hon. Anne Horton, widow of Christopher Horton and eldest daughter of Simon Luttrell, 1st Earl of Carhampton, on 2nd October 1771. They had no children and she died abroad in 1803. 

Henry died after alighting from his coach outside Cumberland House in Pall Mall aged 45 on 18th September 1790.


The socle if original suggests to me that it is a later 18th century - it is of a type much employed by Nollekens such as on his busts of Pirenesi Pope and Sterne (below) Charles II 

Although I havn't inspected it personally this appears to be a very fine bust and deserves to be better known.

I don't believe that this bust is by van Nost, although he was capable of very good work.

Bust of Butcher Cumberland (1721 - 65) by Joseph Nollekens 
Royal Collection

This marble bust of William Augusuts, Duke of Cumberland and third son of George II, by the English sculptor Joseph Nollekens is based on an earlier bust by the sculptor John Michael Rysbrack. Like in the original, the Duke of Cumberland is depicted wearing classical armour with a lion mask in the centre, the Star of the Garter on the left, and with a furred cloak arranged over his right shoulder.

The bust was acquired in 1814 by George IV. Between 1805 and 1816 George IV appointed Nollekens to make a series of portrait busts of influential British politicians and close friends. The Duke of Cumberland was considered a prominent figure in British history, celebrated for his victory over Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1746 which concluded the Stuart claim to the throne and marked the end of the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland.

Originally in Carlton House, it was sent to Windsor Castle on 4th November 1828.
Bill dated for the 9th of November 1814 for the sum of £157. Originally on the Grand Staircase at Carlton House, and sent to Windsor Castle in 1828.
Photo and info courtesey -


The busts of Sterne and Pope by Nollekens (131 - 1823).
Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Not dated

Illustrated here to show the eared socle as used from time to time by Nollekens.


Another example of a similar Nollekens eared socle in his bust of Pirenesi.

Accademia di San Luca - Rome 


Another frequent user of this form of eared socle was the Roman sculptor and restorer Bartolemeo Cavaceppi (1716/1717 - 1799)
based on classical precedents.


Bartolomeo Cavaceppi (Italian, 1716/1717 - 1799)
Bust of Emperor Caracalla, about 1750–1770, Marble
71 cm, 53.978 kg (27 15/16 in., 119 lb.), 94.SA.46
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles


Frederick the Great
San Souci, Potsdam.

I will return to the subject when I have more time.


Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Lead Bust of Alexander Pope at Marble Hill House

The Bust of Alexander Pope 
at Marble Hill House

Height 52.5 x Width 32.5 x Depth 26.5 cm.

Sold Christie's Dec. 1987, now at Marble Hill House.

These photographs were recently added to the Art UK website

They say - c 1770 - 1787 - Louis Fran├žois Roubiliac (1695/1702–1762) (after) and John Cheere (1709–1787). A lazy description. Most mid 18th century lead busts are assumed to have been made by John Cheere who is recognised as the creator of some very fine lead statuary as well as plaster busts, but the quality of this and several other lead busts might suggest the hand of Roubiliac who certainly reproduced his own works in plaster.

Examples of these very rare lead busts include those of Dr Salmon and his wife and another anonymous bust at the V and A, a bust of Matthew Prior (when purchased believed to have been the painter Rigaud) now in the Louvre, and a very fine bust perhaps of the Italian castrato opera singer Farinelli (with the London trade in 2014) and a bust of the Duke of Atholl at Blair Castle

see -

and -

This is a lead version of the marble bust of Pope once owned by the actor David Garrick, signed and dated by Roubiliac,on the back - on the left  L.F.ROUBILIAC SC. AD VIVUM MDCCXLI and on the right A.POPE AETis LIII (see photographs below).

I have written at some length on all the known busts of Pope - my first blog entry on the subject of this version of the Pope busts was in -

I havn't personally inspected this bust and the quality of these photographs isn't of the highest resolution.


Alexander Pope
Height16.5 ins.

Eyes uncarved.

Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead. Tyne and Wear.

The photographs below taken at Waddesden Manor when I was given a private view of the exhibition entitled - Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust.

Again I was hampered by the lighting conditions.

see -

This bust appears to be the first version of the third Type of Roubiliac bust of Pope, and perhaps predates the terra cotta at the Barber Institute, Birmingham University (see next entry).

The pronounced curl or forlock on top of his head is missing from all other marble versions.

Wimsatt (Yale notes two other versions in plaster, one with bookdealer Kulgin Duval in Falkland, Fife, Scotland in 1964, the other at Felbrigg Hall, Norwich, Norfolk.


The Felbrigg Plaster Bust of Alexander Pope

Photographs taken by the author under extremely poor lighting conditions.


The Kugin Duval Plaster Bust of Alexander Pope.

Note the turned socle

Currently unlocated.

Plaster bust of Alexander Pope, 17”, with Kulgin.D.Duval, bookseller of Frenich, Foss, Pitlochry in his Winter catalogue of 1974 (below).

See Wimsatt. Supplement p.145

Another of this type is mentioned in Wimsatt p. 241 (59.3) as being in the possession of Mrs Richard Wigston of Mundesley, Norfolk in 1903.

Another version of this bust passed through Sotheby's lot 61, 5 July 1990.



Some more 18th Century Lead Busts

All have been attributed to John Cheere but I would tentatively like to suggest the involvement of Louis Francois Roubiliac.

The shape of the socles of Farinelli, Cumberland and the Salmons would suggest that they came from the same workshop

Matthew Prior


Duke of Cumberland


Dr and Mrs Salmon

Both Images courtesey Victoria and Albert Museum.


Anonymous lead bust V and A.

Height: 75.5 cm including pedestal, Width: 47.1 cm

Cast in lead with a stone base?

see -


Duke of Atholl


For the lead statuary at Blair Castle see my blog entry -

I am hopeful of discovering more about this bust in the future


Sunday, 1 September 2019

Cheselden by Weekes after Roubiliac

William Cheselden (1688 - 1752).

by Henry Weekes (1807 - 77).

after Louis Francois Roubiliac.


St Thomas's Hospital, London.

Photographed by the author using an i phone.

I have posted on the plaster bust of Cheselden by Roubiliac at the Royal College of Surgeons:

Included here are a few notes on the plaster bust of John Belchier also by Roubiliac and at the Royal College of Surgeons.


These images above from Roubiliac by Mrs Esdaile pub. 1929.


  I am very grateful to Bruce Simpson, Curator, Royal College of Surgeons for providing this photograph.

These are the best photographs currently available.

I will contact the Royal College of Surgeos again and attempt to obtain some more up to date examples.

William Cheselden

Godfrey Kneller (1646 - 1723).


oil on canvas

H 127 x W 102 cms.

presented by G. W. Pimblett, 1988
Hunterian Museum London

Royal College of Surgeons

Painting by Godfrey Kneller, three-quarter-length seated wearing beret, right hand at breast, the figure of Hygeia in an alcove beyond him. 

Royal College of Surgeons (illus. A. Kidson, Earlier British Paintings in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, 1999, p 137; see J. D. Stewart, ‘King William the Deliverer and Shakespeare’s Hopeful Harry of Hereford’, Apollo, CXLII, November 1995, pp 29, 32 n39). Probably the signed and dated version with Henry Graves in 1860 (Sir George Scharf’s Trustees’ Sketch Books, 3:80).


William Cheselden
Jonathan Richardson
Royal College of Surgeons


William Cheselden
John Faber after Jonathan Richardson.

image courtesy Wellcome Collection.


after Richardson
John Faber 

Lettered below the image with the title, continuing "Surgeon to her late Majesty Queen Caroline Surgeon to St. THomas's Hospital, & to the Royal-College at Chelsea. Fellow of the Royal Society And Member of the Royal Academy of Surgery at Paris.", and "I. Richardson pinxt. / I. Faber fecit 1753. / Price 2s.6d. Sold at the Golden Head near the Church Bloomsbury Square.".

British Museum

© The Trustees of the British Museum


William Cheselden giving an anatomical demonstration to six spectators in the anatomy-theatre of the Barber-Surgeons' Company, London.

Oil painting, ca. 1730/1740.

Wellcome Library, London.


William Cheselden
by Jonathan Richardson
circa 1730
140 mm x 118 mm
NPG 4995

Inscribed verso: Wm. Chiselden Esq Surgn with Richardson the elder’s JR monogram stamp; the mount is inscribed in ink in an 18th-century hand, recto and verso: Mr. Chiselden.

William Cheselden
Britisah  Museum


All known portraits   biography and References:


Painting by Godfrey Kneller, three-quarter-length seated wearing beret, right hand at breast, the figure of Hygeia in an alcove beyond him. Royal College of Surgeons (illus. A. Kidson, Earlier British Paintings in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, 1999, p 137; see J. D. Stewart, ‘King William the Deliverer and Shakespeare’s Hopeful Harry of Hereford’, Apollo, CXLII, November 1995, pp 29, 32 n39). Probably the signed and dated version with Henry Graves in 1860 (Sir George Scharf’s Trustees’ Sketch Books, 3:80).


Chalk drawing by Jonathan Richardson, bust with wig, looking left. British Museum (1902-8-22-36; see Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, exhibition catalogue, Tulsa, Miami, Washington DC, Ottawa, NPG, Manchester, Carlisle, Canterbury, 1994, XXXII/3, pp 215, 218; C. Gibson-Wood, Jonathan Richardson, 2000, p 79 illus.). Three times the size of NPG 4995 and probably executed at about the same time.

Painting by Jonathan Richardson, half-length wearing cap, showing remarkable girth. Royal College of Surgeons, presented 1753 (illus. Connoisseur, LXXXI, 1928, p 82; W. LeFanu, Catalogue of Portraits … [at] the Royal College of Surgeons, 1960, no.45). Exhibited Second Special Exhibition of National Portraits ( ... William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867, no.237. Engraved J. Faber II (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 79). Other versions are at Westminster Hospital (presented by the sitter), and St Thomas’s Hospital (purchased from Bonham’s in January 1973); a copy is in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (illus. A. Bearly, Portraits in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, 1993, p 77), and see F. B. Cockett, STH Gazette, Spring, 1979, pp 4-7).


Drawing by Gerard Vandergucht, profile bust. Royal Academy, lent to the Royal College of Surgeons 1953 (W. LeFanu, Catalogue of Portraits … [at] the Royal College of Surgeons, 1960, no.47, pl.42).


Terracotta bust by L.-F. Roubiliac, wearing turban, with open shirt. Royal College of Surgeons, presented 1804 (W. LeFanu, Catalogue of Portraits … [at] the Royal College of Surgeons, 1960, no.46, pl.11; illus. M. Baker, Figured in Marble, The Making and Viewing of eighteenth-century Sculpture, 2000, p 106, no.83).

Image and info from National Portrait Gallery website:


For Art UK website with works relating to Cheselden see -


for Cheselden's Osteographia, Pub 1733. 

in reasonably high resolution see - 

See also The English Virtuoso: Art, Medicine, and Antiquarianism in the Age of Empiricism

By Craig Ashley Hanson page 153.


John Belchier

The plaster bust at the Royal College of Surgeons

John Belchier (1706 - 85).

Louis Francois Roubiliac .


Royal College of Surgeons.

 I am very grateful to Bruce Simpson, Curator, Royal College of Surgeons for providing this photograph (above).

There is mention of busts of John Belchier and Dr Richard Mead in the Museum at Guys Hospital in an inventory published in 1829 by Thomas Hodgkin.

 John Belchier (1706-1785) who was at Guy's Hospital 1736-68. He discovered at about the time of his Guy's appointment that the vegetable dye madder stained newly forming bone tissue, opening up the study of the growth and development of the skeleton, which was vigorously taken forward by Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau and John Hunter. , and was a member of the Court of Assistants at the Company of Surgeons from 1751 to 1785. [Wikipedia]

The Oxford DNB entry is more extensive:  "John Belchier  (bap. 1706, d. 1785), surgeon, the son of James Belchier, innkeeper and bailiff of Kingston, was born at Kingston, Surrey, and was baptized there on 5 March 1706. He entered Eton College as a king's scholar in 1716. On leaving school he was apprenticed to William Cheselden, head surgeon at St Thomas's Hospital, London. By perseverance Belchier became eminent in his profession, and in 1736 he was appointed surgeon to Guy's Hospital. In 1732 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.  He was a founding governor of the Foundling Hospital, a charity created by Royal Charter in 1739. Belchier was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society in 1737, and his name appears on the list of the council from 1769 to 1772.

He contributed some papers to the society's Philosophical Transactions. On Belchier's retirement as surgeon of Guy's Hospital he was elected one of its governors, and also a governor of St Thomas's Hospital. He had an exaggerated reverence for the name of Guy, saying ‘that no other man would have sacrificed £150,000 for the benefit of his fellow-creatures’. In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1743 is the following story:
One Stephen Wright, who, as a patient, came to Mr. Belchier, a surgeon, in Sun Court, being alone with him in the room clapt a pistol to his breast, demanding his money. Mr. Belchier offered him two guineas, which he refused; but, accepting of six guineas and a gold watch, as he was putting them in his pocket Mr. Belchier took the opportunity to seize upon him, and, after a struggle, secured him. (GM, 1st ser., 13, 1743, 50)

A stout but active man, Belchier died suddenly in Sun Court, Threadneedle Street, on 6 February 1785 after returning from Batson's Coffee House. His manservant had attempted to raise his master but was told ‘No John—I am dying. Fetch me a pillow; I may as well die here as anywhere else’ (Wilks and Bettany, 127). He was buried in the founder's vault in the chapel attached to Guy's Hospital."


John Belchier
Ozias Humphrey RA

Oil on Canvas
126 x 101.5 cms

Wellcome Collection


John Belchier (1706 - 1785).
 by Ozias Humphrey (1742 - 1810).
Oil on Canvas
76 x 64 cms
 Presented by Henry Watson in 1785 to Royal College of Surgeons.