Thursday 15 April 2021

Terracotta Statuettes of Duquesnoy and Van Dyck

A Pair of Terracotta Statuettes of Duquesnoy (du Quesnoy - il Fiamingo and Van Dyck

by or after Michael Rysbrack.

with dealers Blairmans in 1958.

with further information regarding the life size terracotta and marble busts of du Quesnoy by Rysbrack.

(updated 1 June 2023).

Whilst searching for information on the life and times of Samuel Tufnell (see my previous post) I came across the Blairman's advertisement below for a pair of terracotta statuettes (below) in the Connoisseur Magazine of January 1958.

It is very difficult to tell from the photograph whether these are original terracottas by Rysbrack - the size is of these two is suspicious given the size (24.4 inches) of the original terracotta of Rubens which is undoubtedly by Rysbrack.

It seems more than coincidence that a pair of these figures of the same size were sold by Sotheby's, Lot 99 - 4 December 1956.

Described as terracotta it was subsequently discovered that they were painted plaster,

Duquesnoy and van Dyck.

Described as Terracotta? almost certainly plaster.
Height 21.5 inches.

I have written at some length in a series of 32 posts on the statuettes and portrait busts of Duquesnoy, Rubens and van Dyck by Rysbrack.

For the magnificent terracotta statue of Rubens by Michael Rysbrack height 24.4 inches see -


Burlington Magazine - 5 October 1963.

Photograph of a statuette of du Quesnoy from the Burlington Magazine. Sold lot 99, Sotheby's 4th December 1956 paired with a statuette of van Dyck (subsequently shown that both were of plaster not terracotta). Height 21.5 inches, 55 cms approx.


Both of these statuettes still remain unaccounted for.


Photograph above lifted from the Burlington Magazine - 5 October 1963.

Scan of the Sotheby's Catalogue entry, Lot 99 - 4th December, 1956.


For more on the plaster statuettes of Rubens, van Dyck and du Quesnoy see previous posts from 2015 - 2016.


I am very grateful for everyone in the Sculpture Department at Sotheby's for providing me with this image.

see -

A terracotta Statuette of Francois du Quesnoy (il Fiammingo).

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

Photographed by the author.


He is shown holding his mallet and leaning against 'The Belvedere Torso'.



It is my feeling that as the Bristol terracotta of van Dyke (above), this is also a cast of a cast - the detailing particularly of the hair and face is rather coarse for a closer look see.

For a discussion (with a couple of factual inaccuracies which are corrected here) about the sculpture of du Quesnoy (il Fiammingo) by Rysbrack see - Burlington Magazine - 5 October 1963.


The Rysbrack bust of Duquesnoy

The black and white photographs here were lifted from the article in the Burlington Magazine - 5 October 1963 written by FJB Watson in memory of Isabel Webb.


The terracotta bust was acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto in 1954.

Sold lot 43 at the Rysbrack sale of 20th April 1765, the marble version (see below) was sold, lot 65 at the same sale. 

The unsigned marble (below) is now in the de Ciccio Collection, in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples where it was put on display in 1959. 

The terracotta of Rubens was sold in the same sale lot 44 - it again came to light at a sale at Christie's lot 17, 29 June 1961.

George Vertue in his notebooks had noted "three busts in marble - he had done.- of - Rubens - Quellin & Vandyke - are highly finish. and masterly done - are standing proof of his great skill". 

The reference to Quellin being a mistake for du Quesnoy.

The colour photographs above very kindly supplied by London Sculpture Dealer Stuart Lockhead.


The Life Size Terracotta Bust of Francois du Quesnoy.

By Michael Rysbrack.

Signed and dated Mich. Rysbrack. 1743.

61.5 x 51.3 cms.


Now in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada.


Photograph from the Paul Mellon Photographic Archive.

Whilst it almost certainly represents du Quesnoy rather than van Dyck it is not a version of the 1743 Rysbrack marble bust of du Quesnoy now in the Capodimonte Museum, Naples. or the Toronto terracotta.

Perhaps an earlier? studio version. The form of the socle or base is not the usual Rysbrack method of supporting a bust.

As yet its recent history since it's sale at Sotheby's remains a mystery.


Van Dyck after Rysbrack by Wood and Caldwell.


Image here courtesy Stockspring Antiques.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

Two Busts of Samuel Tufnell MP (1682 - 1758). Part 1


This Post Under Construction

Samuel Tufnell (1682 - 1758) - Art and Architecture.

Part 1.

The Two Busts of Samuel Tufnell, MP  (1682 - 1758).

of Langley Park (Langleys), Essex.

The Marble bust is on the monument in Holy Trinity Church, Pleshey, Essex.

Anonymous probably by a sculptor working in the workshop of Henry Cheere.

The monument to a design by Henry Cheere.

and The Plaster bust in the Moot Hall, Maldon, Essex.

Some notes on the busts, and Langleys (the family seat).

Another plaster bust is in the Town Hall, Colchester Essex.

(info with grateful thanks Victoria George, Moot Hall, Maldon)

For a good potted biog. of Samuel Tufnell see -

I have already posted at some length on the architecture and sculpture at the Tufnell family seat at Langley Park see -


Samuel Tufnell (1682 - 1758).

For another very useful source of information see -


Grandson of Richard Tufnell who was MP for Southwark in 1640. 

Samuel was the son of John Tufnell (Tufnaile) , brewer, of St Mary's Undershaft, London, and Monken Hadley, Middlesex, and his wife Elizabeth Jolliffe, daughter of John Jolliffe, MP, merchant and alderman of London. 

He matriculated at Merton College, Oxford in 1698. On the death of his father in 1699, he succeeded to the family estate, under the trusteeship of his uncles, Sir William Jolliffe and Sir Edward Northey. 

He was admitted to Middle Temple in 1699 and called to the bar in 1703. He undertook a Grand Tour through the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Switzerland from 1703 to 1705.

 He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1709.

Samuel married Elizabeth CRESSENER, daughter of George CRESSENER of London, Esq. and Maria Anna PAYLER, on 19 Dec 1717 in Sts. Mary & Lawrence, Great Waltham, Essex, England. 

(Elizabeth CRESSENER was born est 1695 in Watling Street, St. Augustine, London, England and was buried 22 Nov 1777 in Holy Trinity, Pleshey, Essex, England.)

"Last Wednesday died in Albemarle-Street, Samuel Tufnell, Esq; of Langleys, in the County of Essex. He formerly served in Parliament for the Boroughs of Colchester and Maldon, in the same County ; and is succeeded in Estate by his eldest Son, John Joliffe Tufnell, Esq; Member for Beverley, in Yorkshire."

 Derby Mercury, 29 December 1759, p. 3

Web photographs - it has not been possible to make real comparisons with the plaster bust below but  it appears that the plaster bust has been taken from the marble.

It is dangerous to make assertions based on the appearance of the physiognomy (he was 76 when he died) but I would say that the bust shows a younger man suggesting to me that it was made some time earlier than the monument.

Drawing for the Samuel Tufnell Monument at Pleshey, from the studio of Henry Cheere

Illustrated in Designs for English Sculpture 1680 - 1860 by John Physick, V and A, 1969.


Samuel Tufnell MP

The Plaster Bust

 Moot Hall


H. 68 x W. 49 x D 23 cm.

Images below courtesy ART UK website see -


To me the turned socle suggests a later date for the plaster.


Samuel Tufnell and Elizabeth Tufnell nee Cressener and family at Antwerp?.

by Pieter Snyers (1681 - 1752)

Dated 1730.

Depicting behind John Jolliffe Tufnell b. 1720, George Forster b. 1723 and Nathaniel Payler (of Nun Monkton Yorkshire)

In the foreground Ann Marie, Mary Ann d.1790, Elizabeth Tufnell, nee Cressener, William Tufnell and Samuel Tufnell

Image from Gallica


Samuel Tufnell II ( d.1796).

From the website of dealer Roy Precious

"It has been suggested by a member of the family that this may not be Samuel Tufnell, but his grandson, also called Samuel Tufnell, who married the daughter of Wilmot-Horton" Roy Precious.

Given the clothing and wig and age I tend to agree.

Quote below from "Samuel Tufnell of Langleys 1682-1758; the Life and Times of an Essex Squire" by Francis W. Steer. pub 1960.

"At Great Waltham in the centre of Essex is the mellow brick mansion of Langleys where, over the dining room fireplace hangs the portrait of a grave-faced boy in a red coat. Two miles away, at Pleshey - a place known to all readers of Shakespeare - is a massive marble monument with the bust of an old man who died full of years and achievements.

The boy and the man are one. The portrait and the bust are both of Samuel Tufnell who bought Langleys and made it into the stately home we see today.

The portrait itself is a good, honest, no-nonsense image of the sitter...he looks directly and frankly at the viewer.

The unknown artist was clearly influenced by the work of Joseph Highmore (1692 – 1780), an artist very fashionable with the gentry at this time.

SIZE: 36 x 30.5 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: Sir Robert Wilmot - Horton.

Yorkshire Private Collection.

Verso, Victorian Gothic script label: "Painting of Samuel Tufnell, esquire, of Langleys, married Elizabeth, daughter of George Cressener. The property of Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton; Artist J. Highmore."


Langleys, Great Waltham, Essex.

Plate dedicated to John Jolliff Tufnell son of Samuel Tufnell.

Langleys was purchased from Sir Richard Everard (1683 - 1733) in 1709 by Samuel Tufnell

This late 18th century image of Langleys from Historic England Archive.