Library busts

The finer neo-classical houses would incorporate a library, intended to reflect the owner's education and culture, and house their books on the classical world. They might display sculpture, vases and other classical features in shell-shaped niches. They would certainly be lined with fine bookcases, complete with pilasters and pediments - broken or otherwise - and be topped with portrait busts. These might be original Roman marbles of gods, orators or philosophers; or contemporary versions, such as those made in black basalt in large numbers by Wedgwood, of historical heroes or ‘modern' statesmen or writers.

Wedgwood produced most of his busts from plaster models supplied by Richard Parker,a modeller based in London, or by Hoskins and Oliver (later Hoskins and Grant), also London-based modellers. William Hackwood re-worked or finished many of the plaster models for busts supplied by Hoskins. A fine bust of Mercury was modelled by John Flaxman Jr in 1781 and produced c. 1790.

 

 

Images

Library bust of Mercury, modelled by John Flaxman Jr

Library bust of Mercury, modelled by John Flaxman Jr