Tuesday 23 February 2021


18th Century Portrait Sculpture in Dublin. 

David Bridgwater's Blog Posts list prepared for the Dublin Sculpture Website of Dublin City Council .


A list of links 

Probably amateurish, not exhaustive and by its very nature the posts  will need to be udated and added to as more knowledge becomes available.

This blog has been written in an almost stream of consciousness fashion, but I do try to get my facts straight and to provide references - as with any visual subject I believe it is most important to provide good photographs and pictures to illustrate the subject.

Please forgive any omissions and mistakes.

I am happy to discuss the subject with any interested parties and am particularly keen to obtain any historical photographs.


The Busts in the Long Room of the Library at Trinity College, Dublin.

































Portrait Sculpture at the RDS, Dublin.

















Dublin Castle – the Bronze Bust of Lord Chesterfield by Louis Francois Roubiliac.












The Statue of George II, formerly at Weavers Hall, Dublin.






 A Statue of William Shakespeare after Scheemakers at  Kilmainham.




 A Statuette of van Dyck after Rysbrack 

and the brief Biographies of the Gahagan Dynasty of Sculptors.




Simon Vierpyl at Charlemont House, Dublin.



An Anonymous bust (perhaps Irish).



Statue of St George Ussher St George, Baron St George, Tyrone House, Galway.

Perhaps formerly in the Dublin Town House.




John van Nost III – A recent study.




 The Equestrian statue of George II John van Nost III, St Stephens Green, Dublin.












The Miniature Equestrian Statue  of George II by John van Nost III, at Dublin Castle.




William and Katherine Conolly by Thomas Carter.




Brief Biography of  John van Nost III.


Monday 22 February 2021

The Sarti Busts at Wimpole Hall (part 1). Pope


The Plaster Busts (Part 1).

Supplied by

Pier Angelo Sarti (1793 - 1868). 

Now at Wimpole Hall, Cambridge 

National Trust

Images courtesy Art Uk sculpture database website.

Alexander Pope after Roubiliac

Bronzed Plaster.

Height  62 x W 45 x D 20 cm.

The bronzing appears to have recently been refreshed.

Comparison with the British Museum plaster known to have come from the Roubiliac Studio bought at the posthumous sale by Dr Maty, suggests that this bust wasmoulded from a mould closely related to the BM bust.

One of a suite of busts by Sarti at Wimpole - Dryden, Locke, and Milton all have the same eared base to the bust on the socle found on classical busts and much used by Cavaceppi and Albacini sculptors working in Rome in the 18th century. 

There is also a plaster bust of William Pitt the Younger after Nollekens at Wimpole bronzed in the same fashion which they say is by Sarti (this needs to be checked).

These busts may originally have been at Wimpole, but are more likely to have been acquired as a job lot after 1936” by Captain George and Elsie Bambridge, who owned and refurnished the house.

The type of socle on this was also much used by the plaster figure manufacturers Benjamin and  Robert Shout (c. 1760 - 1835) of Holborn, busts of Pope, Milton, Locke and Dryden all appear in an undated early 19th century unillustrated catalogue of Charles Harris (d. 1795) with a price list and dated 1777.

see my blog post - http://english18thcenturyportraitsculpture.blogspot.com/2016/01/charles-harris-catalogue.html

They also appear on the Sarti Busts at the Athenaeum with the rest of the socle cut off.

see -


This website provides an excellent potted history by John Kenworthy Brown of the 14 busts supplied by Sarti in or just after 1830 to the Athenaeum.


The British Museum Plaster Bust of Alexander Pope.


Height: 62 centimetres.

Width: 42 centimetres (max.)

Depth: 21.30 centimetres.



Acquired from the posthumous sale of the contents of Roubiliac's studio at St Martin's Lane.


Presented by Dr Matthew Maty, 1762, who purchased it at Roubiliac's sale, either lot 9, first day's sale, 12 May 1762, or lot 3 or lot 14, second day's sale, 13 May 1762, or lot 2, third day's sale, 14 May 1762.


For the further examples of this Roubiliac bust of Pope including the marble in the Royal Collection see -



Alexander Pope


The V and A Marble bust

Height with Pedestal 62.7 cms.



Alexander Pope

after Roubiliac

Plaster bust

560 cms.

The panelled socle was frequently used by John Cheere.

The bust is slightly shorter than the other Roubiliac type plasters having lost a couple of inches off the bottom of the drapery

The Plaster has a pronounced forward lean and the hair is slightly cruder than the Barber Roubiliac terracotta of Pope, but the modelling of the face, neck and clothing is of excellent quality (note the second smaller fold on the edge of the chemise).


The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, Volume 95, Part 2, 1825, with reference to Stourhead mentions "a most spirited bust of Pope by Roubiliac which is generally admired".


The attribution to Harris of the Strand of c 1780 by various authors, I think should be questioned.


My current opinion is that it is a reduced version from the Roubiliac workshop

The Stourhead bust of Alexander Pope

Photographs above by the author.


Alexander Pope

After Roubiliac


Sold alongside busts of Milton, etc at Sotheby's sale, Prior Park Bath, 29 October, 1998.


Property of William Rees Mogg.


A Roubiliac type very similar to the bust at Stourhead the head again with a pronounced forward lean, but this one less truncated with a different, Cavaceppi type socle. This style of socle was much used by Shout and Sarti.

Wimsatt was unaware of this bust.


The Athenaeum Plaster Bust of Alexander Pope.

A lost Plaster bust of Alexander Pope (1688-1744) by Sarti was formerly at the Athenaeum and is one of the four busts now missing.

Supplied by P Sarti in 1830. This is not the marble bust by Rysbrack which was bequeathed to the Club in 1868 and sold in 1986, but a plaster almost certainly based on the bust  by Roubiliac as the Wimpole Hall example illustrated above. 

There is a bronzed bust of Pope, which was formerly at Shardeloes and now at Birmingham (Baker, 128, 155, fig.66). but a close inspection reveals that the Shardloes bust is the same type as the bust in the Wren Library, Trinity College Cambridge and is a version of Pope by Cheere - a telling detail is the embroidery on the drapery which is a typical Cheere feature in my opinion (see my post). Below is another plaster bust perhaps also by Cheere.

see - http://english18thcenturyportraitsculpture.blogspot.com/2018/02/

 In 1833, the Athenæum bust was paired with that of Locke.


The Calke Abbey bust of Pope alongside busts of Shakespeare and Milton.

Alexander Pope


540 x 330 mm.

Calke Abbey - National Trust

Perhaps by John Cheere 

The style of the socle and embroidered drapery on this bust were much used by Cheere.

This bust is very close to a marble bust of Pope photographed by the author in a private collection in Twickenham in 2001 see:



The Sarti bust of Pope was moved downstairs at the Athenaeum in 1846, and there is no further mention of it.

Info above from John Kenworthy Brown - see -  



A Plaster bust of Pope signed JP Papern (Papera), 16 Marylebone St, Golden Square, was in the possession of Mrs Webb and mentioned in her book Michael Rysbrack, Sculptor, pub 1954 p. 78.

Note: Bartholomew Papera  fl. 1790 d.1815. Early 19th century London plaster figure seller.


For a catalogue of plaster anatomical figures by Sarti circa 1850 see -


Friday 19 February 2021

Two Marble Busts of Milton, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull.

Two  Marble Busts of Milton (1608 - 1674), 

at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull.

under construction

A fairly brief post on a subject that really requires in depth study - something I will come back to in due course.

Posted here as an aide memoire and catch up with the Art UK sculpture database website

The images could benefit from a bit of a tweak!

1. John Milton

after? Edward Pierce

John Milton

inscribed W. Faithorne b.1616.

Brush and brown wash, with graphite, on ivory laid paper

320 × 192 mm

The Leonora Hall Gurley Memorial Collection

Art Institute of Chicago




John Milton


After a bust attributed to Edward Pearce

Plaster cast of bust, based on a work of 1660

NPG 2102


© National Portrait Gallery, London



John Milton

Ashmolean Plaster cast

Height 29.3 cms

Purchased 1926

Neither of the two plaster casts of the Pierce type bust appear to be anywhere near first generation.


John Milton

Plaster After Edward Pierce

29 cms

Image courtesy.

National Portrait Gallery of Scotland


John Milton
Height 419cms

Ferens Art Gallery, Hull.

They say after Rysbrack!

Below is the link to my blog post on the terracotta bust of Milton by Rysbrack in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge




Plaster Roubiliac

British Museum

Wednesday 17 February 2021

The Statuette of Milton by John Cheere

 A Statuette of Milton 

by or after John Cheere

Painted Plaster

Height approx 50 cms (to be confirmed)

Private English Collection.

I have posted on the Cheere statuettes previously see -


As can be seen from these photographs this statuette has been quite thickly overpainted.

As I havn't inspected this statuette closely it is impossible to determine the quality.

No obvious sign of an inscription - although it is impossible to see the inscription on the York Art Gallery version below .


John Milton

Bronzed Plaster Statuette

H 52 x W 28 x D 15.4 cm.

York Art Gallery.

Inscribed at the bottom front of plinth: Cheere, Ft. / 1749

not visible in these photographs

These excellent photographs below from the Art UK sculpture database website.



The Milton Statuette at Ham House

Probably John Cheere.

Shakespeare, Milton and Spenser
Statuettes at Ham House
National Trust


Milton and Shakespeare

52.3 cms and 51.1 cms

Plaster Statuettes

Musee Royal de Beaux Arts Belgium.


John Milton

Staffordshire Pearlware

incised to the underside 1816/W. Cook, 1816

Described as probably Enoch Wood

Heigh 48 cms

Sold Christies  Lot 97 26 April 2001



Stockspring Antiques catalogue



Figure of John Milton


Indianapolis Museum.


Charles Harris produced Plaster statuettes of various figures including Milton

probably from moulds originally from John Cheere

           Charles Harris and Richard Parker, Plaster Figures and Busts.

 Harris is noted at 162 Strand, London Kent’s Directory 1794.


 Harris was in partnership with Richard Parker by 1776, working at Parkers premises in the Strand, opposite the New Church with second premises in Bond Street, Bath.


Richard Parker specialized in making casts. There was a set of busts by him at Ashburnham Place, Sussex, - Locke, Milton, Congreve, Prior, See Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors .Roscoe. 2009) Parker is mentioned as Statuary of The Strand, bankrupt in The Gentleman’s Magazine and The Town and Country Magazine in October, 1776.


 Parker was employed by Wedgwood, their archives contain a letter from their London agent William Cox which states “Mr Parker has cast the medallions off in the best manner him and I could well contrive. I should be glad of your notes respecting the propriety or Deserts of the Performance. (Wedgwood/ParkerE5/30873 undated)


 Theodore Parker, father of Richard supplied Wedgwood in 1769 with a figure of Shakespeare. In 1769 Theodore supplied Wedgwood with Flora, Seres, Spencer, Hercules, Seres Large Juno, Prudence, Milton and Shakespeare (Wedgwood/Parker L1/73, Theodore Parker acct Sept 1769 – 18 Dec 1769

 Also supplied ‘Bracket open work’, ‘a boy a couch’ 3 dogge. Same refs


In 1774, Richard Parker supplied busts to Wedgwood & Bentley; see Plagiarism personified. European pottery and porcelain figures, Julia Poole 1986.

 Busts Zingara and Vestal and Pug Dog 10th Feb 1774. On the bill is the printed heading

 ‘Scagliola;/or Plaster casts of Elegant subjects/ proper to introduce into the decoration of rooms, staircases, halls etc/ Richard Parker/ Opposite the new curch in the Strand/ having obtained from Joseph Wilton Esq. statuary to his majesty,/ various moulds of bas reliefs and bustos, made upon his original models / has the honour to acquaint the nobility and gentry, that they may be accommodated with casts at the shortest notice, Sundry samples of which with/ their prices may be seen at the above RICHARD PARKER’S / N.B. These original casts can be had at no other place; and although it may happen/ that some figure makers may clandestinely make moulds of any of those casts, they can / produce at best but an impression void of every original touch’.



In 1785 in Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth: with a catalogue of his works by John Nichols ... - Page 20 mentions a catalogue of the Statues, Bustos, etc of Richard Parker Statuary in the Strand and Hogarth’s Pug Dog.

For Charles Harris and Plaster Statuary see: