Tuesday 11 April 2023

A Marble bust of Apollo Belvedere by Joseph Wilton.

A Marble bust of Apollo Belvedere by Joseph Wilton (1722 - 1803).

Signed and Dated 1758.

Christies Online Auction, Lot 60, 2 - 16 June 2022.

The Apollo Belvedere was a model to which Wilton returned frequently.

In 1780, he made a life size copy of the model which is today at Sledmere House in Yorkshire. He later combined the model with a Venus de' Medici to form a pair at Wilton House in Wiltshire.

11 1⁄2 in. (29.2 cm.) high, the bust; 14 3⁄4 in. (37.5 cm.) high, on socle.

Inscribed and dated 'I. WILTON .f:t 1758.' on the reverse.​


Apollo Belvedere.

Christie's London, 22 May 2014.

Attributed by Christies to Joseph Wilton.


21 ½ in. (54.6 cm.) high, overall.

Charles Watson-Wentworth, second Marquess of Rockingham (1730-1782); Wentworth collection; and by descent, until sold; Christie's London, 15 July 1986, lot 89, where acquired.


 An Inventory of all the Household Goods...Statues...which were in the late Charles Marquis of Rockingham's...in Grosvenor Square London...,1 July 1782, Wentworth Woodhouse Muniments, Sheffield City Libraries, M2.

N. Penny, 'Lord Rockingham's Sculpture Collection and The Judgement of Paris by Nollekens', The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, Vol. 19/1991, pp. 5-34.

This bust has reappeared for sale at Sotheby's. 4  July 2023.
Here are their photographs.

 Sotheby's Catalogue entry -

"The present bust, which was almost certainly commissioned by Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham (1730-1782), was attributed to Joseph Wilton by Nicholas Penny in 1991. Penny identified the present bust as one of the 'four busts in Marble’ listed in the 1782 inventory of Lord Rockingham's goods as being at Rockingham House in London (op. cit.). Penny identifies the other busts as being two heads after the antique, , one a Pseudo Seneca, in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (inv. nos. 87.SA.110 and 87.SA.111), and another sold in 1949 by Henry Spencer and Sons, Redford (lot 470)".

The Getty Museum, Wentworth Woodhouse, Apollo Belvedere.

Described as Workshop of  Joseph Wilton.

75.6 cms (29 3/4 in.).


Possibly March 1762 - 1782.

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd marquis of Rockingham (1730 - 1782) (Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire, England)


Possibly acquired from Joseph Wilton in March 1762, previously on display in the Upper Room, South Tower of Wentworth Woodhouse, by inheritance to his nephew William Wentworth fourth Earl Fitzwilliam.


Source: Gunnis, Dictionary, 1968, p. 277. Penny, 1991, p. 16, refers to Gunnis, mentions vouchers for the acquisition date and the 1782 inventory for the location.


1782 - 1833.

William Wentworth, 4th earl Fitzwilliam, English, 1748 - 1833 (Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire).

 By inheritance within the Wentworth Fitzwilliam Family.

 Source: The sculpture was seen at Wentworth Woodhouse in 1802 by Richard Warner (Warner, A Tour through..., vol. 1 (1802), pp. 219-20).


1833 - 1986 -Wentworth Fitzwilliam Family (Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire, England)

 [sold, Christie's, London, July 15, 1986, lot 91, to London dealer Cyril Humphris]


1986 - 1987, with Dealer Cyril Humphris, S.A.

Sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1987.