Tuesday 14 March 2023

Marble Bust of Oliver Cromwell, Sotheby's Milan - The Collection of Giovanni Pratesi. Lawrence Anderson Holm fl.1759 - 1777.


Marble Bust of Oliver Cromwell, Sotheby's Milan Sale -

 The Collection of Giovanni Pratesi.

I suspect that this was an added lot.

Here attributed to the Danish sculptor Lawrence Anderson Holme (fl 1759 -1777).

Exhibited at the Society of Arts 1766 (Graves 1907).

I have already posted at great length a series of essays on the portrait busts of Oliver Cromwell.

To be sold Sotheby's Milan, Lot 117, 22 March 2023.


Sotheby's Catalogue say - Attributed to the workshop of Michael Rysbrack.

See my post for the Rysbrack unsigned or dated Littleton terracotta bust of Cromwell at the National Maritime Museum, the Queens House, Greenwich. This terracotta bust was presumably the bust Lot 61 sold in the Rysbrack sale of 14 Feb 1767 -


The Holme bust pictured below was previously offered for sale by Sotheby's New York in 2012. It failed to sell.

see my previous post -



The bust of Cromwell (once believed lost) by the Danish born sculptor Lawrence Anderson Holme (Holm) (fl.1759 - 74) is recorded as exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1766.


see - The Biographical Dictionary of English Sculptors....pub Yale, 2009.

It  is my firm belief that this bust is the missing bust of Cromwell by Lawrence Anderson Holme.

Marble, on a granite base.

 Bust: 61cm., 24in.

 Base: 12cm., 4¾in.

There is no doubt that this bust is of Oliver Cromwell and similar in form to the busts by Michael Rysbrack - The Terracotta is in the Queen's House, Greenwich, and a Bronze in a private collection, but there are several variations. I suspect that Lawrence Anderson Holme was an assistant or subcontracted to Michael Rysbrack.

The socle is a replacement. The form of the current base/ socle is not a shape used by Rysbrack but is similar to those sometimes used in the 17th Century.

The deeply cut chiseled back is also very unusual in an English bust of the 18th Century.


Oliver Cromwell.

 Marble Bust.

Here attributed to Lawrence Anderson Holme (fl. 1759 - 1774).

see A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain pub Yale 2009.

Height 63.5 cms.

 Sotheby's, New York. Lot 356 - 26, January 2012.

 Provenance: Sue Erpf van Bovenkamp (d. 2011).

Probably sold by London dealer Cyril Humphris of Bond Street.

see - http://bathartandarchitecture.blogspot.com/2014_08_29_archive.html

for the busts of Newton and Pope

 Sotheby's describe this bust as workshop of Rysbrack.

 There is no further information in the catalogue.

A little soap and water was all that was needed to reinvigorate this bust.

Photographs Courtesy Sotheby's, New York.




A marble bust of Cromwell formerly at Langley Park. Norfolk.

Whilst it is impossible to say for certain this definitely looks like the Holme bust of Cromwell.

Langley Park, Loddon, Norfolk.

The first published reference to a marble bust of Cromwell by Roubiliac appears in -

 A General History of the County of Norfolk, edited by John Chambers, pub. 1829.

(Although the attribution here to Roubiliac is definitely a mistake).

On page 845 - in the entry on Langley Park it refers to "Four colossal busts of  William II, George I, Hampden, and Oliver Cromwell - Roubiliac on termes of curious Alabaster Fiorito Marble" in the Central Division of the Garden Gallery. 

see my post -


Lawrence Anderson Holme (fl. c. 1759 -74).

A few biographical details.

Lawrence (Lauritz) Anderson Holme (various spellings). fl. 1759 until after 1775.

From Page 636. A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain - 1660 - 1851. pub Yale 2009.

In 1762 he made the model of the State Coach designed by William Chambers (the Builder 1854, 72 repeats the assertion made in From Ancient Topography of London......... by Smith, John Thomas, 1766 -1833. published in 1815. see - https://archive.org/details/b3045671x this suggests perhaps that he had a working relationship with the sculptors Joseph Wilton and G.B. Capizzoldi..

Two years later Holme was working as an assistant to William Atkinson -  for Atkinson see my post - http://english18thcenturyportraitsculpture.blogspot.com/2019/05/bust-of-cromwell-by-lawrence-anderson.html

Whilst with Atkinson in 1763/4 he received a premium from the Society of Arts for a relief of "The parting of Hector and Andromache.

In 1764 Joseph Rose II became his apprentice.

In 1765 Holme received further premiums from the Society of Arts for Adonis Sleeping.

In 1768 he participated in a special exhibition held by the Society of Artists to honour the visit of the King of Denmark exhibiting two busts.

In 1769 Holme exhibited a bust of the King of Denmark.

Above Entry from the Exhibition Catalogue of the Society of Artists, 1st May 1769. In the Great Room at Spring Gardens, Charing Cross.

His name spelt Holm and address given as Great Castle Street, Cavendish Square.

In 1771 Holme received the not insubstantial sum of £408 for works at "Great Room near Exeter Exchange2 which the Society of Artists had built for their exhibitions.


1759. Monument to Sir Edward Hulse, Wilmington, Churchyard. Kent. 

1763. Abigail Prowse, Axbridge, Somerset.

1767. Thomas Prowse and 7 family members. Axbridge, Somerset. (Pevsner Somerset & Nth Bristol. 1958).


All the following works are untraced.


1765 Oedipus expounding the Riddle of the Sphinx. Society of Arts premium. RSA Minutes.

1767. Sophonisba about to drink  the poison as she comes out of the bath. Society of Arts premium. RSA Minutes

1773. Figure sketch for a statue Exhibited at  Society of Artists. Graves



1762.Unidentified Gent. Exhib. Soc. of Artists. see - Graves

1766. Oliver Cromwell. Exhib. Soc. of Artists. Graves 

1768. George Grenville. Special Exhibition, Soc. of Artists. Graves

1768, Unidentified Gent (model) Exhib Soc. of Artists. Graves

1768. Unidentified lady. Exhib. Soc. of Artists. Graves

1769. The King of Denmark Model, Exhib Soc. of Artists. Graves

1769. Unidentified Gentleman, Exhib Society of Artists. Graves

1769. Unidentified Gentleman, Exhib Society of Artists. Graves

1770. Unidentified nobleman, Exhib Society of Artists. Graves

1770. Unidentified Gentleman, Exhib Society of Artists. Graves

From the 1772 Catalogue of the Society of Artists - Holm FSA of Great Castle Street, Cavendish Square.

Bust of a Gentleman.

Model of Hercules

1772, Sophonisba

see - The Society of Artists of Great Britain 1760-1791, The Free Society of Artists 1761-1783 : a complete dictionary of contributors and their work from the foundation of the societies to 1791 / by Algernon Graves, F.S.A. 1907.



Ref. Stratford House, Stratford Place and Lauritz Holm (Lawrence Anderson Holme).
Built in the Adam Style for Edward Stratford Second Earl of Aldborough
Stratford House, now the Oriental Club.

The ground taken jointly by Yonge and Selby was built up over a number of years, before Selby assigned his interest to Yonge in 1779, with stables and coach-houses in Stratford Mews and small houses on Marylebone Lane, including what became the Prince of Wales or Wigmore pub at the corner of the mews. 

The builders here included William Arrow, carpenter, who set up his yard and workshop at the back of the houses. 

Some remaining ground at the irregular north end of the estate, partly abutting Wigmore Street, was let by Stratford in 1775 to the Danish sculptor Lauritz or Lawrence Anderson Holm, then of Castle Street, for a house and workshop. 

The rest was absorbed into the Wigmore Street plots off the estate developed by the Piccadilly violin-maker Thomas Smith, one at least also leased to Holm. Note 11.

Apart from the Lysters, Herring and Calze, the only builder definitely associated with developing Stratford Place is the mason John Devall II, to whom Sayre assigned his lease of the new house No. 1 in December 1773. Few of the surnames given in the surviving notes of Stratford’s transactions with Mayne’s bank in 1771–8 can be confidently linked to work at Stratford Place.

An exception is ‘Holm’ – Stratford’s lessee Lauritz Holm the sculptor. Payments to him between June 1774 and December 1777 amounted to £470.

Very few pieces by him are known, though he was a significant figure in hisday. That Stratford seems to have owned his masterpiece Sophonisba with the cup of poison (see below) could point to him as the author of some of the Stratford House chimneypieces and the carving in the pediment.

 Among others, ‘Westmacott’ must be the sculptor Richard Westmacott I. He was paid £40 in February 1774: an early date, perhaps relating to 22 Stratford Place or 160 Oxford Street rather than Stratford House. ‘Wallis’, paid £334 4s in March 1775, may be the stone-carver John Wallis, while ‘Rhodes’, paid £100 in December 1774, may be the plasterer William Rhodes, a subscriber to George Richardson’s 1776 Book of Ceilings.

Art works included paintings attributed to Andrea del Sarto, Canaletto, Carracci, Rubens and Titian; bronzes; marble busts; and a marble nude statue of Sophonisba, ‘elaborate and singularly fine’.

This last was possibly the prize-winning work of 1767 by Lauritz Holm depicting the Carthaginian suicide, Holm being one of the most important craftsmen employed by Stratford. 57

Several chimneypieces at Stratford House have excellent carving, in particular that in the front drawing room with its figures of Fame and Mars, the supporters of the Stratford arms (Ill. 6.17). They appear too in the pediment over the entrance to the house, where their treatment is animated (Ill. 6.15). The library chimneypiece, with its frieze representing branches of art and science, is also of high quality (Ill. 6.18).


The Monument to Thomas Prowse.
Lawrence Anderson Hulme.
Axminster Church.

Images from Google Street View.


Monument to Edward Hulse d.1759.

In the Church Yard, Winnington, Kent.

In 1763 Lawrence Anderson Holme exhibited a bust of Edward Hulse at the Society of Artists (this bust is as yet unaccounted for).

In Ancient Topography... by JT Smith records that Lawrence Anderson Holme was responsible for the model of the State Coach designed by William Chambers, which suggests that he was associated with Wilton and Cappizoldi, whose involvement in this venture is well documented. In 1764 Holme was working with William Atkinson (d.1766) (see biog below).

Joseph Rose II was his apprentice - Holme received premiums from the Society of Artists for classical subjects in 1765 - when he was recorded as living 'next door to the Kings Arms, Hyde Park Corner' he returned to Denmark in about 1774.

Virtually all his recorded work has disappeared but the monument to Sir Edward Hulse d 1759 in the churchyard at St Michaels, Wilmington in Kent survives a bust of Sir Edward is recorded exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1763) and two mural monuments (to Abigal and Thomas Prowse)  are in Axbridge Church.


From Ancient Topography of London; containing not only views of buildings which in many instances no longer exist, and for the most part were never before published; but some account of places and customs either unknown, or overlooked by the London historians by Smith, John Thomas, 1766-1833.

The state Coach of Queen Anne. It was extremely heavy in its ornaments, but the pannels were beautifully painted by Sir James Thornhill. A friend of mine, Mr. Renton, is in possession of a part of one. The Earl of Carlisle, who did me the honour to shew me a representation of this coach, most excellently painted by Marco Ricci, has liberally given me permission to make an etching of it. This coach served Kings George the First and Second, and was used by our present King, when he first went to the House of Lords, and also on his marriage ; after which it was broken up; and Sir William Chambers recommended the late Joseph Wilton, Esq. R. A. and Mr. Pugello, to conduct the building of the present carriage, which was executed on the scite of the late Mr. Malone’s house in Queen Anne Street East, and is certainly in many parts highly deserving notice. 

The model was made from Sir William’s design by Lawrence Anderson Holme, a Dane, who in 1765 gained a premium from the Society of Arts of 147/. for the best statue in marble. 

The greatest part of the carving of the coach was executed by Nicholas Collett, a little man, and, from his superior abilities, was honoured by Mr. Waldron the actor, with the characteristic epithet of a “Garrick of a carver.” (Mr. Waldron was originally a wood-carver.) 

Mr. Cipriani painted the pannels, and received the sum of 800/ for his performance. The bill for the coach was 9,000/., but it was taxed, and the real cost was 7,564/. 4v. 4 \d .; the odd pence arose from the ribbon-weaver’s bill. It was first used Nov. 15, 1762.



Cromwell after Samuel Cooper

Engraved by George Vertue, 1732.


Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper.

Unfinished portrait miniature of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England (1599-1658), circa 1653, three-quarters sinister, wearing a white lawn collar, brown background (unfinished), the reverse set with a bloodstone plaque. On vellum oval, 3 1/8in. high. On view at Bowhill House, Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust


Oliver Cromwell (c.1650), 

Samuel Cooper.


Image from the website of Apollo Magazine.

By kind permission of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KBE.

see -



Oliver Cromwell.

Christian Richter. (after Samuel Cooper).


Painted on vellum - Image size: 10.5 x 8.5 cm.

Frame size: 15.6 x 14 cm.

Wallace Collection


This portrait derives from the portrait of Oliver Cromwell in armour by Samuel Cooper, signed and dated 1656 (now in the National Portrait Gallery; NPG 3065), which was in turn based on Cooper’s famous unfinished portrait of Cromwell in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch. Cooper’s miniatures of Cromwell were celebrated for their frank naturalism.

The miniature is attributed to the Swedish goldsmith and painter Christian Richter (1678-1732), who worked in England from 1702 until his death. In the first decade of the eighteenth century, Richter made a number of copies after Cooper’s portraits of Cromwell, particularly versions of the Buccleuch portrait. 

The inscription ‘Sum possessor/C Richter 1708’ on the reverse indicates that Richter owned one of Cooper’s versions of the portrait.


for more on Samuel Cooper see -


Cromwell by Peter Lely (1618 - 80) after Samuel Cooper.

Mezzotint of Oliver Cromwell after Samuel Cooper by Peter Lely.

Mezzotint c. 1730

Pub. Joseph Sympson (d. 1736).

Royal Collection.

Previously in the collection of Joseph Gulston; prints dispersed in 1786 sale.



Cromwell after Lely after Cooper.

Royal Collection.

There are four different examples of this mezzotint in the Royal Collection.


Oliver Cromwell 

After Samuel Cooper.

Oil on canvas, feigned oval, based on a work of 1656.

29 3/4 in. x 24 3/4 in. (756 mm x 629 mm).

Purchased, 1879.

Primary Collection.

NPG 514.

see -



Oliver Cromwell.

Gaspar van der Hagen d. 1769.

Ivory Relief.

image from the Paul Mellon photographic Archive.

see - V and A collection website.


Almost certainly once fixed to a box, along with other ivory reliefs. Brought in for opinion to the V&A in 1970. Sold at Sotheby's, London, 8 December, 1988, lot 398. On loan to the Museum since 1992. Loan transferred into gift and given to the museum by J. H. J. Lewis O.B.E. in 2016.


Oliver Cromwell, Inigo Jones, John Milton and William Shakespeare.

 Here attributed to Gaspar van der Hagen.

 Four Ivory Reliefs.

Each 11.5cms high.

Sold Christies, London.

Lot 68 8th July 2010.


Three of the reliefs are after busts by Rysbrack while the fourth - the bust of Shakespeare - is derived from the full-length marble executed by Rysbrack's contemporary, Peter Scheemakers, for the playwright's monument in Westminster Abbey.


Another set of  four oval ivory reliefs - portraits of Milton, King Alfred, Queen Elizabeth and Cromwell were sold at Sotheby's London, 8 December 1988, lots 398-401.


The Tangye Marble bust of Oliver Cromwell.

Now known not to be the bust by Lawrence Anderson Holme but a much inferior version of the Rysbrack bust.

This sadly distressed version is buried somewhere deep in the stores in the Museum of London.

Images kindly supplied by Danielle Thom, Curator of Making at the Museum of London.

see my previous post -

The Tangye Bust of Oliver Cromwell.

Museum of London.

The Sotheby's Milan Bust is much closer to this bust - perhaps the original.

The quality of the Sotheby's bust is far superior to the Tangye bust.


The Queen's House bust of Oliver Cromwell - the original terracotta by Rysbrack.

Photographed by the author.


Bronze version of the Rysbrack Terracotta in a private collection.

Photographed by the author, with the kind permission of the owner.