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    Sale 5746

    The Roger Warner Collection - Part I

    20 - 21 January 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 222

    A GEORGE III SCULPTED WHITE MARBLE BUST OF ALEXANDER POPE

    SECOND-HALF 18TH CENTURY, AFTER LOUIS FRANCOIS ROUBILIAC

    Price Realised  

    A GEORGE III SCULPTED WHITE MARBLE BUST OF ALEXANDER POPE
    SECOND-HALF 18TH CENTURY, AFTER LOUIS FRANCOIS ROUBILIAC
    On a portoro marble socle inscribed 'POPE'
    17½ in. (44.5 cm.) high


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    There are a number of versions of the present bust known to exist, including an example of circa 1738 in the V & A Museum by Louis Francois Roubiliac (d.1762). The Warner version is illustrated in William K. Wimsatt's The Portraits of Alexander Pope, p. 240, fig.59.4. and is recorded as 'cut in a style suggestive of a date about 1800'. The Warner bust is closely related to the bust signed by Roubiliac in the Earl Fitzwilliam Collection, Milton, Peterborough, opp cit pp. 237-238, fig.59.1. and the similarity in the curls to the hair of both examples, may suggest that the Warner version is of an earlier date than 1800.
    It has been suggested that the erosion to the top of the head of the Warner version may have been caused by repeated exposure to dripping water. The bust was purchased by Roger Warner from a sale at Buckland Park in the 1960s and it is possible that the bust suffered the erosion when placed in the grotto or ice house at Buckland Park, by the Trockmorton family, prior to the house being sold to Sir Maurice FitzGerald, see Country Life, 15 and 22 May 1915.
    A bust of Pope is also recorded in 'Pope's Grotto' at Twickenham, installed by Lord Stanhope in the 1770s and being described as being in the grotto in 1775 in a journal of the exiled American loyalist Samuel Curwen. Curwen's entry for 25 August 1775 records ' [At] Welbore Ellis's seat, late Mr. Pope's, we alighted and ... entered the gardens and grotto; the latter being arches under the middle of the house... faced with small flint stones, cristal and some other kinds of mortar, with the angles out ... 2 or 3 niches filled with the busts of Pope and I forget who else ... ' see Wimsatt Supplement, 1979, pp. 148-149. A second bust of Pope, in white marble, is described as being 'over an arched way, leading to new gardens'.

    Alexander Pope (1688-1744) is regarded as the greatest English poet of the 18th Century, best known for his satirical verse and translation of Homer. Buckland Park was built in 1757 by Sir Robert Throckmorton. Sir Maurice FitzGerald bought the house in 1908 and the FitzGerald family lived at Buckland Park until 1947 when it passed to Major Richard Wellesley.

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    Provenance

    By repute, the Throckmorton family, Buckland Park, Faringdon, Berkshire until circa 1908.
    The FitzGerald family, Buckland Park, Faringdon, Berkshire.
    Purchased by Roger Warner from Brookes of Oxford's sale, on 13 June 1963.


    Literature

    William K. Wimsatt, The Portraits of Alexander Pope, Yale, 1965, p.240, fig. 59.4.