Thursday 30 July 2020

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

Updated 9 Feb. 2024.

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

Since reviewing this post it is my firm belief that is definitely not a bust carved by van Nost but almost certainly carved by Christopher Hewetson in Rome.

see my post for a more in depth look


Described by the Museum as possibly by 

John Nost the Younger (1713 - 80).

suggested by Malcolm Baker

Victoria and Albert Museum.

Dimensions - Height: 66.5 cm.

I have written about 3 dimensional portraits of the previous Duke 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 in fact 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, (see examples below).

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