• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12247

    The English Collector: English Furniture, Clocks and Portrait Miniatures

    17 November 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 54

    A PAIR OF PATINATED PLASTER FIGURES OF TORCH-BEARING VESTALS

    BY HUMPHREY HOPPER (1767-1844), 1808

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF PATINATED PLASTER FIGURES OF TORCH-BEARING VESTALS
    BY HUMPHREY HOPPER (1767-1844), 1808
    Each semi-draped figure holding a brass nozzles in their upheld arm on an integrally modelled rectangular plinth and later simulated marble pedestal; the reverse of one inscribed 'Dec. 1808 H. Hopper. London' the other 'Pub. July 4th 1808 H. Hopper Sculp. London'; minor cracks
    The larger figure: 47 in. (119.5 cm.) high
    The pedestals: 33 ¼ in. (85 cm.) high; 20 in. (51 cm.) wide; 20 in. (51 cm.) deep


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Born in County Durham in 1767, and a student at the Royal Academy Schools from 1801 onwards, Humphrey Hopper achieved fame in 1803 at the mature age of 36 when he was awarded a gold medal for his group of the Death of Meleager. He henceforth worked extensively on the design, and creation, of monuments, such as his unfairly maligned monument to General Hay in St. Paul's Cathedral (1814, Gunnis, loc. cit.). In his latter years, however, he excelled in the production of portrait busts and small funerary monuments, many of which were embellished with elegant mourning vestals modelled in a highly classical style.

    Between 1807 and 1813 Hopper exhibited a number of mythological figures in plaster designed to hold lamps at the Royal Academy that were from the same source as his mourning vestal figures. Although numerous copies after his original models exist, a number of signed and dated plaster examples also survive, including the set of four figures sold in the sale at Hackwood Park (Christie's, 20-22 April 1998, lot 159, £45,500 including premium), a further pair sold at Ven House (Christie's, 21-22 June 1999, lot 308, £25,300 including premium) as well as the pair offered here. In each instance Hopper displays the same elegant rendition of the female form and a highly accomplished treatment of the classically modelled drapery.

    Special Notice

    Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square not collected from Christie’s by 5.00 pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Cadogan Tate. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table. These will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. If the lot is transferred to Cadogan Tate, it will be available for collection from 12 noon on the second business day following the sale. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00am to 5.00pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.


    Literature

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, London, rev. ed. 1964, p. 209.