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90/960 Bust, Queen Victoria, and socle base, from facade of Framers & Co, Sydney, designed by John Horbury Hunt, marble / stone, maker unknown, probably made in Australia, c. 1872-1874. Click to enlarge.

Bust of Queen Victoria

Made in Australia, Oceania, 1880-1890.

This marble bust of Queen Victoria, the second longest-reigning British monarch (1837-1901), is believed to have been commissioned by architect John Horbury Hunt to decorate façade of his Farmer and Company’s landmark Sydney building (now demolished) completed in 1874.

Hundreds of sculpted portraits of Queen Victoria adorned public spaces and buildings across Australian colonies in the second part of the 19th century. Most were imported copies of famous British statues and busts but some were ...

Summary

Object No.

90/960

Object Statement

Bust, Queen Victoria, and socle base, from facade of Framers & Co, Sydney, designed by John Horbury Hunt, marble / stone, maker unknown, probably made in Australia, c. 1872-1874

Physical Description

Head-and-shoulders portrait bust carved in unpolished marble with accompanying carved stone socle. The bust depicts a young Queen, wearing a low cut, off the shoulder dress, trimmed with a band of fleur-de-lis lace. Her hair is plaited and coiled at the back of her head. She wears a circlet composed of fleur-de-lis and Maltese crosses. Around her neck is a pearl necklace with a Maltese cross.

The bust is mounted on a circular steel rod on a separate carved stone socle (shaped pedestal) which is square with a cushion shaped base, concave shaped pedestal and square top. Tool marks are visible on the upper surface.

Marks

No marks

Dimensions

Height

700 mm

Width

700 mm

Depth

300 mm

Weight

260 kg

Production

Notes

The maker and the place of production of the bust are unknown. While it is possible that the bust was used in Farmer's pre-1874 smaller Victoria House store, one can assume that Hunt would have preferred to commission a new bust for his new building: his 1872 façade drawings include an alcove for the bust prominently located in the first floor above the northern entrance. The bust's execution points to local production and its design appears to be a composite of existing images of Queen Victoria in different media from the 1840s -1860s. The coronet and the style of hair and dress resemble those in profile portraits seen on medals designed by the English medallist William Wyon, particularly those issued for the opening of the new Royal Exchange in London in 1844 (N2317). Well known marble busts such as that by the Scottish sculptor Alexander Brodie completed in 1867 show similar facial features.

Made

Australia, Oceania 1880-1890

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Grace Bros Pty Ltd, 1990

Acquisition Date

28 September 1990

Cite this Object

Harvard

Bust of Queen Victoria 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 October 2019, <https://ma.as/110989>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/110989 |title=Bust of Queen Victoria |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 October 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Icons: From the MAAS Collection at the Powerhouse Museum.

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