Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Addison or someone else

This post under construction.

Lead bust described as Joseph Addison (1672 - 1719) and attributed to Henry Cheere.

Sotheby's Lot 213 - 8 June 2021.

The catalogue entry -


Joseph Addison

lead bust; on a later ebonised wood square socle

22 7/8 in. (58.1 cm.) high; 27 ¾ in. (70.5 cm.) high, overall


 Anonymous Sale; Christie's, London, 2 July 1996, lot 189.


Sotheby's "essay"  in its catalogue states - here in its entirity -

The identity of the sitter and the authorship of this bust are both confirmed by the existence of a bronzed plaster on a smaller scale in the York Castle Museum, Kirkleatham (Friedman and Clifford, loc. cit.). Joseph Addison (1672-1719) was one of the great figures of 18th century London, an essayist and librettist, who contributed to The Tatler. 

He is best remembered as the founder and co-author (with Richard Steele) of The Spectator".

This is obvious nonsense it is obviously not Addison - easily checked using Google

I fail to see how this is confirmed - see the York Museum photographs from Art UK website see below.

This bust bears only a slight resemblance to known busts of Addison by John Cheere but I have very definite doubts that it is either Joseph Addison or a sculpture by Henry Cheere himself.

It is much closer to a group of marble busts which have been attributed to Henry Cheere but were most likely sub contracted to a very capable but so far unidentified sculptor, perhaps Louis Francois Roubiliac - these busts are - an anonymous marble bust in the Louvre, bust of George Pitt in the V and A and the bust of  Orlando Humfreys on his monument in St Margaret of Antioch parish church Barking.

The neck tie is telling and suggests to me that these busts were all perhaps made by the same author.

See my blog posts -


Lead busts of the mid 18th century are few and far between but this busts has obvious similarities with the few other lead busts of the period such as the bust perhaps of Farinelli probably by Roubiliac, formerly suggested by me as possibly Senesino (Francesco Bernardi) (October 31, 1686–November 27, 1758) before the appearance of the terracotta bust of Senesino now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

A bust of Senesino was completed by Roubiliac by 1736. I understand that there is a pocketbook belonging to Elizabetta Avanzatti (an Italian historian and distant relative of Senesino and who resides in the Palazzo Bernard Avanzatti in Sienna) which was kept by Senesino and which mentions his sitting for Roubiliac in 1735.

For Senesino see The Unpublished Senesino by Elisabetta Avanzatti in Catalogue Handel and the Castrati -2006. Handel House, London

It seems that Senesino owned a marble bust of himself and requested in his will that it be used as his funeral monument at Sienna.  It has since disappeared, presumed destroyed in the Napoleonic Wars.

There is a short poem by Lockman on Roubiliac and his bust of Senesino in the London Daily Post and General Advertiser of 4 June 1736. I believe this is probably the first mention of Roubiliac in the English press.



To Mr ROUBILIAC on seeing a bust made by him of SENESINO by Mr LOCKMAN

When Senesino breathes in Vocal strains

We think Apollo’s left the aetherial plains

When we the Warbler view, by thee exprest

He seems as by the hand of nature drest

Thy art so happily eludes the eye

His voice such sweetness boasts, and swells so high,

That which best imitates, twill doubtful be

Thou Senesino or Apollo be

Senesino left England in 1736 never to return.

Farinelli (Carlo Broschi born Jan. 24, 1705, Naples, died July 15, 1782, Bologna ), the castrato opera singer left England 11 June 1737.

Lead bust possibly of Farinelli by Roubiliac


London Art Market 2010

see -

 The lead busts of Dr Salmon and his wife V and A

Purchased together with A.19-1921 from the Rev. J.D.C. Wickham, 8 Landsdown Place East, Bath in 1921 for £170.

Image courtesy V and A


Another excellent unidentified lead bust  

Including pedestal height: 75.5cm

Width: 47.1cm

Note the typical socle used by Cheere

Image courtesy V and A

The Lead bust of Matthew Prior now in the Louvre

Matthew Prior

John Cheere

see my blog post

I would suggest that all these busts emanated from the same workshop.

Almost certainly that of  John or Henry Cheere

The  lead busts by John Cheere, illustrated here are all distinguished by the distinct style of the treatment of the embroidery work on their waistcoats.

The excellent workmanship suggests a top rank sculptor  and Roubiliac falls neatly into that slot.


Low resolution images courtesy Sotheby's


Joseph Addison by John Cheere.

Lead bust of Addison by John Cheere


The Lead Bust of Addison, almost certainly by John Cheere from a photograph taken in 1917 of Heywood House, Ballinakill, co. Laois, Ireland. 

The garden was redesigned and furnished from about 1909 by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Lt. Col. Sir William Hutchinson Poe. 

This bust was one of four - the others were Cicero, Shakespeare and Handel. 

The size is difficult to determine probably three quarter life size. The house was destroyed by fire in 1950. They have disappeared - see my blog entry for - 21 January 2014.


Photograph courtesy Country Life Photo Archive


The Kirkleatham plaster bust of Addison - 

Supplied by John Cheere 1748 - York Museums

Height 16.5 ins

Photographs courtesy Art UK website


Another plaster bust of Addison by Cheere is at Stourhead

Size 55.5 x 38 cms

Photograph from the National Trust website


Another small bust of Addison sold from The Peter Hone Collection by Christie's Sth. Ken. 26 Oct 2016

No size given approx. 15 inches tall

This bust was reproduced by Wedgwood and Bentley


Wedgwood and Bentley

Late 18th century

Image courtesy Birmingham Museums 


The Portraits of Addison

Joseph Addison

by Michael Dahl

oil on canvas, 1719

40 1/2 in. x 31 1/4 in. (1029 mm x 794 mm)

Purchased, 1884

Image courtesy National Portrait Gallery  - NPG 714

The slight double  cleft chin in the Dahl portrait is missing in the lead bust.


A pair of life size lead busts of Andrea Palladio and Inigo Jones, were included in Christie’s sale of the collection of Professor Sir Albert Richardson PRA (1880-1964)  in London on September 18 and 19. from the collection of the celebrated architect and President of the Royal Academy (1954-1956).


see -


Whilst we are on the subject:

I don't think this is Addison either or by David le Marchand

Ivory bust

Supposedly Addison by Le Marchand

I think not.

Height 10.5 inches

Image Detroit Institute of Art


This fabulous little bust above is more likely to be French or German and should be compared with the anonymous ivory bust by C. Lacroix in the Metropolitan Museum.

Dimensions: Height (bust only): 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm)

The Met website states

"The virtuoso Baroque carver, here signing C Lacroix fecit (under the man's left arm), was a Franco-Flemish native whose principal activity was in Genoa; he was possibly the same Lacroix, given name unrecorded, who was in Rome producing sculptures for the gardens at Versailles in 1680. Our subject has not been ascertained, but his identity may someday be unraveled through his dis tinctive pockmarked face and pugnacious profile. The two-ribbon tie was worn both in Genoa and at the court of Louis XIV. Lacroix established these details, as well as the pseudobrocade, with punctilio, but what really excited him was capturing the arrested flowing movement of wig and lace.


M. Fau , Paris (by 1865) ; Emma Lazarus Budge ; [ her sale, Paul Graupe, Berlin October 4–6, 1937, lot 85; sold to Otto Dettmers ] ; Otto Dettmers (1937–d. 1986; to his son) ; [ by descent to Boyke Dettmers , Bremen, 1986–2005; sold to MMA ]

Another Ivory bust perhaps by the same hand is in the V and A

and another anonymous bust in the V and A

Thursday, 20 May 2021

The Harpur Monument Busts

 Sir John and Lady Catherine Harpur

St Giles Church, Calke, Derbyshire.

By Sir Henry Cheere (1703-1781).

The monument cost £200

With the distinctive use of coloured marble favoured by Cheere

The curved brackets are another frequent Cheere motif.





This church is the nave of the medieval church that until its first restoration in the 1570s had a chancel, tower and spire. It was rebuilt in 1827-29 by Sir George Crewe who restored the church adding new windows, building a tower and casing the entire exterior in stone.

 St Giles was the parish church of Calke from 1160 until 1834. It is now a private manorial chapel, owned by the National Trust. It sits inside the park of Calke Abbey.


Monument to Bishop Robert Butts

Ely Cathedral 


Henry Cheere


Monument to Jane Molesworth 

Egloshayle Church, Wadebridge, Cornwall.

Henry Cheere

Images above from

See Around Britain website

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

William Adam - attributed to Henry Cheere

 The Marble Busts of William Adam (1689 - 1748). -

Attributed to Henry Cheere.

A Few Notes and Observations.

At first glance a competently executed bust but in my view rather flat, the detail of the hair is not well defined, suggesting to me a second rate sculptor perhaps working in the studio of Henry Cheere.

I have not inspected the bust in the mausoleum at close quarters but the two busts appear to be very similar - it was relatively common for a bust to be repeated - a pointing machine would have been used to transfer the three dimensional detail from an original in terracotta and the roughing out or basic carving would then be done by a studio assistant, in some cases even the final finishing carving would be handed to an assistant. It is my belief that Henry Cheere rarely touched a chisel.

For some busts attributed to Henry Cheere see -

For the salient points of his life see

William Adam was born near Kirkcaldy in Fife, and went on to become the most prolific and distinguished Scottish architect of the early eighteenth century. 

He is renowned for his design of country manors such as Hopetoun House and Duff House (the latter of which now displays part of the National Galleries of Scotland’s collection).

William’s architectural legacy in Scotland was eclipsed only by that of his son, Robert Adam. William purchased estates in Kinross-shire, which he renamed 'Blair Adam'.

He died 24 June 1748 and was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard Edinburgh, his sons erected a mausoleum over his grave about five years later it contained a marble bust and a relief in a marble sarcophagus of his work at Hopetoun House

The socle appears to be a rather clumsy later addition.

Photographs here from Art UK website

Height 68.6 cms

Currently on long-term loan to Historic Environment Scotland, Duff House.

National Galleries of Scotland
Purchased in 1926


Adam Family Mausoleum 
Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh

Matthew Craske in The Silent Rhetoric... Yale 2007 states that the elements of this tomb came from the Westminster workshop of Henry Cheere!

From Robert Adam and his brothers .... John Swarbrick,  1915.


Inscribed on album leaf in red ink 2; lettered and dated on drawing, bottom left: Robt Adam Delint/1753

Pencil, pen, grey wash; ink framing line 473 x 378 (trimmed)

Watermark  IHS/ Villandry


The Adam mausoleum in Greyfriars' Churchyard was designed by Robert and John Adam in 1753 to incorporate the tomb of their father, William Adam, who died in 1748. It was completed in October 1755. There is a later drawing of the tomb c.1824 at Blair Adam (BA 671). 

A design in pencil by Robert Adam for a much larger, three-storied Adam mausoleum, presumably made in the early 1750s, is in the Blair Adam collection (BA 201), inscribed 'The Adamian Sepulchure near/ The Haddingtonian'. A more fanciful scheme can be found in Adam vol.55/37-38.


Rep. J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, John Murray, London, 1962; repr. 1978, pl.40; D. King, The Complete Works of Robert and James Adam London, 1991, p.360.

© Sir John Soane's Museum


William Adam
William Aikman
Location not yet established, still with the family in 2002.