Queen Victoria's Son - Edward Prince of Wales & Princess Alexandra Parian Busts

PRICE: £1485.00
CONDITION: Excellent
  • Quantity: 
A magnificent pair of large museum quality parian busts of Edward Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Victoria, latter crowned Edward VII, and Alexandra Princess of Wales. Issued on the occasion of their engagement in 1863. The Alexandra bust is an early example, as indicated by the presence of earrings, later versions did not have the earrings.

The bust of Edward was sculpted by Marshall Wood and the bust of Alexandra by Felix Martin Miller both were members of The Crystal Palace Art Union.Both busts were issued by Copeland.

The Crystal Palace Art Union was founded in 1858 by Thomas Battam, who had formerly been director of Art Work for Copeland and Garrett. Until 1864 it was based in the Ceramic Court of The Crystal Palace.

Felix Martin Miller

Felix Martin Miller was active between 1842 and 1880. In 'Sculptors of the Day', published in 1880, Miller is recorded as being at the Art School, South Kensington Museum: He was Master in the Modeling Class from about 1860 to 1880. In 1857 and in 1858 Miller exhibited at the Royal Academy.

In the obituary of the sculptor Henry Foley in the 'Art Journal' of 1874, Miller was described as 'one of the few sculptors whose genius is manifest and who has produced works, chiefly bas-reliefs, that are unsurpassed by any production of their class in modern Art: Foley thought so well of Miller that he commissioned more than one of his works in marble.

Marshall Wood

Marshall Wood was the younger brother of the sculptor, Shakespeare Wood. Marshall began showing work at the Royal Academy in 1854, and was a regular exhibitor for the next twenty years, in all he exhibited 24 works. He also showed work in The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibition in Edinburgh in 1856.

A brief obituary in the 'Art Journal' described him as an artist who was 'also a sculptor' but so far the only works connected to him are sculptures. The 'Art Journal' credits Wood with having executed statues of Queen Victoria for Melbourne, Sydney, Montreal, Calcutta, and Ottowa. A further statue destined for Toronto was shown at the Royal Academy in 1875.

There is one work by Marshall Wood listed in the Royal Collection further works are in The V&A. Both of these busts are in the British Government Art Collection.

I will not try to describe the quality of these superb busts, the 6 photographs we have provided can do them more justice than I can.

Both of the busts are in excellent condition, without any chips, cracks or restoration. The bust of Edward is 12" - 30cm tall and the bust of Alexandra is 11 1/2" - 28.5cm tall. The bust of Edward has the incised inscription "Marshall Wood Sculp.1863 - Pub Aug 1 1863 - Copeland & Crystal Palace Art Union" .The bust of Alexandra has the incised inscription "Pub Feb 1863 - FM Miller Sculp. - Copeland". Both pieces have the incised inscription "Crystal Palace Art Union" around the socle.

See P. Atterbury, 'The Parian Phenomenon', 1989 (p.38, fig.597).
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