This bust is dated 1833. In that year Joseph exhibited a marble bust of ‘Mrs. Trotter of Ballindean’ at the Royal Academy. He exhibited no further busts of female sitters for three years. A miniature portrait painted by Annie Howard after an original by Sir William Charles Ross of 1838, also representing ‘The Hon. Mrs. Trotter’, was sold through the fine art auctioneer Phillips in 1999 and the sitter bears a strong resemblance to the woman depicted here.
If this is that 1833 Royal Academy exhibit by Joseph, it depicts Mrs. Mary Trotter (née Rollo). In 1832, Mary’s father-in-law, William Trotter (1772-1840) of Edinburgh purchased the Ballindean estate, from Sir David Wedderburn and substantially extended the property. William was an Edinburgh wood merchant and cabinet maker, and in 1826 and 1827, Lord-Provost of Edinburgh. He died in 1840 and his eldest son, Robert Knox Trotter, inherited the estate. At a young age Robert entered the 17th regiment of Lancers, later rising to the rank of captain. In 1833 he married Mary Rollo, eldest daughter of the eighth Lord Rollo. This bust may have been commissioned to commemorate their marriage.
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