William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) Prime Minister
About the work
Interpretation about this artwork is under review
The Government Art Collection recognises its responsibility to artists, colleagues and all our audiences to represent the diversity of the UK and to embed anti-racist and equitable practices throughout our work. We are taking action to address inequality in the Collection and its interpretation.
This small bust of former Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone shows the sitter in a bow tie, a shirt with stand-up collar, waist coat and jacket. It is made of Parian, a type of bisque porcelain, designed to imitate marble. The bust is the same design as an 18 inch high Parian bust, set on a short column, sold through Bonham’s, London, in 2007, from the collection of the Earl of Stratford. Another similar bust, almost eight inches high, with a similar square base, was sold through dealer Tooveys in 2013 and carried the maker’s mark of Robinson & Leadbeater.
Robinson & Leadbeater of Stoke on Trent specialised in Parian figurines and busts. In 1876, around the time that this bust was made, the ‘Staffordshire Sentinel’ reported that business was booming: ‘figure-makers and parian manufacturers report a brisker demand. Indeed there is almost a rage for parian busts, statuettes, and figures.’
Gladstone was a particularly popular subject for such busts and other examples were manufactured and sold by Edwin Pickering of London, J. Graham of Bradford and Mr Stark of Stoke on Trent.
- William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) Prime Minister
- Parian Ware bisque porcelain bust
- height: 17.00 cm, width: 10.50 cm, depth: 6.80 cm
- Origin uncertain
- GAC number