This white marble bust of Manchester manufacturer and Liberal politician Richard Cobden, made in the year after his death, shows him wearing a jacket, waistcoat and bow-tie, and with large sideburns. It was designed by the sculptor Matthew Noble and other versions of the bust are at Dunford House in West Sussex (the former home of Cobden; now Dunford House Conference & Training Centre) and the Reform Club in London, of which Cobden was a member. Noble also produced a statue of Cobden in 1867, for Peel Park in Salford.
Matthew Noble was the son of a stonemason from Yorkshire. He was apprenticed to his father, until local landowner Sir John Johnsone arranged for him to study in London, where he became a pupil of John Francis. In 1845, he exhibited his first works at the Royal Academy. In 1853, he won an open competition to design a monument to the First Duke of Wellington for Piccadilly, Manchester. This led to numerous similar commissions for statuary in the Manchester area, most significantly for the Albert Memorial in Albert Square, Manchester. Noble was a particularly prolific sculptor and, in addition to public statues, he produced numerous portrait busts and funerary monuments. He died at the age of 59 at his home in Kensington, London.
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