Now confirmed as the bust of Pope originally at Kenwood, belonging to Lord Mansfield.
Inscribed on front edge - Uni Aequus Virtuti Atque ejus Amicus.
These notes are the results of information supplied to me by the Archives at the Estate Office, Scone Palace, family seat of the Earl of Mansfield in 2002.
There is a bust of Lord Mansfield, by Joseph Nollekins R.A. (1737 - 1823), ( sold in the 1922 sale and now returned,) at Kenwood with the family motto ‘Uni Aequus Virtuti’ (faithful to virtue alone), carved beneath the drapery. (Noted as being at Kenwood in the Morning Herald in 1781).
It is perhaps not a co-incidence that the Milton / Fitzwilliam Bust of Pope has carved beneath it ‘Uni Aequus Virtuti Atque ejus Amicus’. A quotation from Horace.
There is also a full length portrait of Mansfield at the National Portrait Gallery. By John Singleton Copley exhibited at the R.A.in 1783, in which, pictured on the door case behind him is a bust of Pope, undraped and with the back cut away as the bust at Milton. It would seem most likely that this is the bust from Kenwood rather than the Temple Newsam version which has a solid back?
It would seem most likely that for his busts of Pope, Nollekins would have had access to the Milton Bust through Lord Mansfield, and made copies of it, although the Nollekins version are also very close to the Barber type.
Mansfield acquired Kenwood in 1754 from John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, his Political Master. Mansfields town house at Bloomsbury Square along with his library and most of his personal papers was burnt down in the ‘No - Popery’ Gordon Riots of 6 June 1780. The bust of Pope was therefor probably at Kenwood before 1780.
There are inventories for Kenwood available at Scone Palace and whilst the information is not very detailed, it gives a some idea of the portrait sculpture in the house from the end of the eighteenth century until the sale of the contents of the house in 1922.
Alexander Pope bequeathed to him a marble bust of Homer with square socle in dark marble, which Pope believed to be by Bernini, ( now at Scone Palace, the replacement now at Kenwood is by Joseph Wilton), he also left him a stone bust of Isaac Newton by Guelfi (also now at Scone).
Pope also left his busts of Milton, Spenser, Shakespeare and Dryden all by Scheemakers and given to him by Frederick, Prince of Wales, to the 1st Lord Lyttleton of Hagley Hall.
Information supplied by the Archives at the Estate Office, Scone Palace, family seat of the Earl of Mansfield in 2002.
Perhaps bust of Pope by Roubiliac, bust of young Mansfield by Rysbrack, bust of lady Mansfield by Roubiliac, and bust of older Mansfield by Nollekins
1905. Inventory - Breakfast room, 6 plaster busts on bookcases.
1910. In the Great Room or Library no. 285 a White marble bust of a gentleman.
Conclusion: Not a great deal of care seems to have been taken with these inventories, but the four busts with black pedestals (socles) mentioned in 1795 are almost certainly -
1. Bust of Pope by Roubiliac (now at Milton?).
2. Bust of young Lord Mansfield by Rysbrack. (Now at Scone Palace, inscribed, 1743, W. Murray).
4. Bust of Lord Mansfield by Nollekins ( now back at Kenwood)
1,3,4, still retain their veined black marble socles. Socle of No. 2 has disappeared.
Exhibited Museum of London, The Quiet Conquest.( The Huguenots 1685 - 1985, T. Murdoch ed. 1985).
Exhibited London Royal Academy Winter 1955-56. English Taste in the Eighteenth
Century. No 139.