Two sculptures created for Westminster Abbey and lost for hundreds of of years reappear at auction
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Two sculptures created for Westminster Abbey and lost for hundreds of of years reappear at auction
The terracotta figure was made circa 1728-1731 and was almost certainly the figure described and catalogued in the sculptor’s studio contents sale of 1756. We have no record of who the buyer was in that auction, and the piece has been lost ever since.

LONDON.- Two once lost important English sculptures are to be offered at auction this month. The first is the presentation model for the figure of Gratitude, part of the tomb of Dr Chamberlen in Westminster Abbey. The terracotta figure was made circa 1728-1731 and was almost certainly the figure described and catalogued in the sculptor’s studio contents sale of 1756. We have no record of who the buyer was in that auction, and the piece has been lost ever since.

The other figure that was described and sold with Gratitude at that time, was the terracotta model for the central figure of the tomb; an effigy of Dr Chamberlen. This figure reappeared alone at Sotheby’s, 3 December 1926, as lot 68, bought by a Mr Belham for £8,10s., from whom purchased by Dr W. L. Hildburgh, F.S.A. and given to the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1927. That figure remains in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum to this day.

The auction catalogue of 1756 listed the figure as follows: ‘Dr Chamberlayne, and one of the side Figures of his Monument, by Mr Scheemaker', sold for £6,16s. & 6p, 11 March 1756, lot 18 at Langford’s, Great Piazza, Covent Garden: The Genuine, Large, and Curious Collection of Models and Marbles, In groups, Figures, Busts, &c ...of Mr Peter Scheemaker, Statuary.’

The story behind the creation of this tomb which remains in Westminster Abbey today, is a particularly poignant one. Commissioned by Katherine, Duchess of Buckingham, on behalf of her son, Edmund, (then a minor); it celebrates the life and work of the doctor who saved young Edmund’s life.

A lengthy text is inscribed in Latin on the basement of the monument and is a paean of praise for this distinguished and sympathetic medical man. He was a good generalist, but specialised in childbirth and it was for this that the magnificent monument was erected: ‘In return for a life saved at his birth, for health restored, and at last confirmed, EDMUND DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, place this sepulchral monument, to a man most spotless and friendly. Attached are statues, wrought after the expression of ancient marble, to attest to posterity, what he availed, and what, could it be rendered, remains due to him’ (i.e. presumably Gratitude, hence the subject of the model and the left-hand statue).’

It is very rare for so distinguished and well documented a model to appear on the art market, and wonderful that it relates to Westminster Abbey which has been so integral to the Coronation Celebrations.

In the same auction (at Curated Auctions on 18 May 18th, 2023) is another rediscovered sculpture, lost since the London 1862 International Exhibition, and also significant because it was produced by a female sculptor.

Consigned to the 1862 International Exhibition by Sir Francis Henry Goldsmid, 2nd Baronet (1808 – 1878), and known from the description in the official catalogue; its whereabouts have been unknown since. Although signed by the sculptor, years of surface wear have left the signature virtually invisible to the naked eye. Detected by Sculpture Specialist Rachael Osborn-Howard by touching the surface, the signature only became legible when photographed with a professional camera and lighting and confirmed when compared to other known examples.

Susan Durant is not a well-known name today, but she was one of the first and only female sculptors to achieve major recognition for her work in 19th century Britain, and was for many years a favourite of Queen Victoria. Although much of her work has now been lost, at the time she was very highly regarded; and won numerous important commissions including a number from the royal family. Her medallions of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are now at Windsor Castle, and she also carved a bust of the Queen for the Inner Temple in 1872. These commissions established a close relationship with the royal family and Durant later gave lessons in modelling to the Princess Louise. She was the only woman out of the fourteen sculptors commissioned to produce the marble figures for the Egyptian Hall of the Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London. Her figure for Mansion House 'Faithful Shepherdess' was the first major public work ever commissioned from a female sculptor in England. She won the Society of Arts silver medal for a portrait bust in 1847. She was one of the few female artists to exhibit works at the Royal Academy; and exhibited there between 1847 and 1873. She was also one of the few female sculptors allowed to exhibit at the London 1851 Great Exhibition, and of course the International Exhibition of London 1862.

Both British sculptures feature in the 18th May ‘Opulence: Silver, Sculpture & Islamic Art’ auction at Curated Auctions.

Today's News

May 15, 2023

Inside the last old-school seltzer shop in New York

Rebecca Morris joins Regen Projects

Skarstedt NY now presenting late works by artist Andy Warhol

Meadows Museum announces new acquisitions by modern Spanish painters

Hammer Museum announces new curator Pablo José Ramírez

Galerie Ron Mandos opens Daniel Arsham's fourth solo exhibition at gallery

James Cohan opens an exhibition of new work by Federico Herrero

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery presents a new installation by Jeffrey Vallance on display in the Los Angeles Gallery

Two sculptures created for Westminster Abbey and lost for hundreds of of years reappear at auction

Senegal-based artist Seyni Awa Camara now on view at Nino Mier Gallery

Jessica Silverman and Casey Kaplan announce joint representation of artist David Huffman

100 photographs referencing Colombian Caribbean by Ruby Rumié at Nohra Haime Gallery

What Gustavo Dudamel's recordings reveal about his conducting

Louisiana Art & Science Museum announces "The Republic Finance Gallery". Courtesy of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum.

Phoenix Art Museum acquires new Cannupa Hanska Luger large-scale tipi work

Neue Auctions Decorative Objects, Fine Art & Antiques Sale, May 20

VMFA announces two upcoming exhibitions highlighting works by abstract artist Benjamin Wigfall and Contemporary Artist W

Pema Tseden, pioneering Tibetan flmmaker, is dead at 53

Slava Zaitsev, enduring Soviet-era fashion designer, dies at 85

New play looks for dark humor beneath the Sarah Lawrence sex cult ordeal

The Independent, more inclusive than ever

Onstage in Brooklyn, 'Monsoon Wedding' tries to capture the film's spirit

How the star of 'Kimberly Akimbo' found beauty in her voice again

The Art of Casino-Themed NFTs: A Winning Combination of Digital Art and Gambling Culture

THCa is Taking the Cannabis Industry by Storm

Streamline Your Document Management: A Comprehensive Guide to PDF Combiner Online

The Power Of Music: Unlocking Its Incredible Benefits

Beauty Stores Near Me: Unveiling the Magic of Korean Beauty

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful