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Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) Field-Marshal & Prime Minister

George Abbott

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) Field-Marshal & Prime Minister


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ArtistGeorge Abbott (1803-1883)
ManufacturerW T Copeland (Active 1847-1867)
TitleArthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) Field-Marshal & Prime Minister
Datec.1862
MediumCopeland Parian figurine
Provenancepurchased from Smith Antiques, Bath 1954
Dimensionsheight: 26.00 cm, width: 26.50 cm
AcquisitionPurchased from Smith Antiques, Bath, September 1954
LocationFrance, Paris, British Embassy
GAC number2844
 
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George Abbott exhibited a ‘Bronze Cabinet Bust of the Duke of Wellington’ at the Royal Academy in 1842 (catalogue number 1311) and a ‘Statue of the Duke of Wellington’ at the same venue in the following year (catalogue number 1378). However, this later statuette, originally modelled by Abbott in 1852, is thought to be a copy by Abbott of another artist’s work.

In ‘Notes by the Way’ (1909; a publication to commemorate 60 years since ‘Notes and Queries’ was first published) the author reports that William John Thomas (founder and first editor of ‘Notes and Queries’) ‘noticed a “very characteristic statuette of ‘The Duke of Wellington in the House of Lords’” as an admirable memorial of him modelled by Mr. George Abbott from a sketch by Alfred Crowquill, and executed in Parian.’

Illustrator and writer Alfred Henry Forrester (pseudonym Alfred Crowquill) was a skilled modeller and produced a statue of Wellington in 1851, which he presented to Queen Victoria two weeks before Wellington’s death. In c.1862, Abbott’s statuette after Crowquill was reproduced by the firm of W. T. Copeland in Parian, a type of bisque porcelain designed to imitate marble.

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George Abbott

London-based sculptor George Abbott studied at the Royal Academy Schools on the recommendation of die-engraver Benjamin Wyon. Between 1829 and 1867 he exhibited at the Royal Academy, British Institution and Society of Artists, Suffolk Street. His works include sculptures of historical, genre and literary subjects, as well as portrait busts. He spent much of his career living in the Soho and Bloomsbury areas of London but moved to Pimlico by 1867. His sculpted depiction of ‘Alexander the Great Crossing the Granicus’ was exhibited at the Great of Exhibition of 1851 and his portrait busts of the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel were reproduced in large numbers. Abbott died just before his 80th birthday, leaving a wife, Eliza Frances.