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Bust of Queen Victoria: M.1-2018

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 3


Bust of Queen Victoria


Sculptor: Gilbert, Alfred




Carved white marble, over life-sized bust. Signed.


History note: Purchased with funds from the Hartley Johnson Bequest and the National Heritage Memorial Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 86 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (2018-04-30)


19th Century, Late#
1887 CE - 1889 CE


Commissioned by the Army and Navy Club in November 1887, to celebrate both Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and that of the club's foundation. The completed bust was delivered to the club in late May/early June 1889. Drill holes on the top of the head and surviving club records indicate that the bust was once surmounted by a metal crown. This was removed in late 1893 and returned to Gilbert for use as a model for a marble version which he had offered to make for the bust. Gilbert failed to return the original metal crown, nor did he ever supply a replacement. (Jones 2019, pp. 16 and 19). The bust is one of only a dozen or so known works in marble by Gilbert.

Sir Alfred Gilbert RA MVO (1854-1934) was an English sculptor. He studied in London, Paris and Rome, returning to England in 1884. His commissions included the jubilee memorial to Queen Victoria in Winchester and the statue of Eros, in aluminium, for the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus, and in 1900 he was appointed Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy. A period of bankruptcy and divorce followed, and Gilbert moved to Bruges. On his return to England in 1926, his fortunes improved, the highlight being the bronze Queen Alexandra Memorial, at Marlborough House, London, 1926-32. He was knighted by George V in 1932. Gilbert died in poverty in 1934.

School or Style



  • Sculpture UK

Materials used in production

White marble

Techniques used in production

Carving : Sculpted white marble

Inscription or legends present

  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1-2018
Primary reference Number: 223239
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_1_2018
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 31 July 2018 Updated: Friday 5 August 2022 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Bust of Queen Victoria" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-14 03:07:52

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{{cite web|url= |title=Bust of Queen Victoria |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-14 03:07:52|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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