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  • Place of origin:

    Europe (made)

  • Date:

    1850-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Parian ware

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bust represents Ludwig van Beethoven ( 1770-1828), the brilliant German pianist and composer who had his first music published when he was twelve years old, and made his first concert apearance in Vienna aged fifteen. Beethoven was born in Bonn but moved to Vienna in 1792 when Haydn invited him to study with him, and lived there until his death. Unlike any other composer before him, his music made him a great public figure and when he died 10,0000 people were said to have attended his funeral.

This bust is made of Parian or statuary ware, which was a fine-grained, waxy porcelain resembling white Parian marble, developed in the 1840s by Copeland and Minton. Parian ware items were much admired at the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace, London in 1851, and in New York's own Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1853, and soon became a favourite medium for portrait busts and parlour ornaments. This continental bust was probably produced in the mid to late 19th century, along with busts of other famous composers including Mozart, Haydn and Wagner.

Physical description

Parian ware bust of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) on a separate base, the bust fixed to the base with a brass screw and nut, the bust incised 'BEETHOVEN'. He is wearing a double-breasted jacket, a waistcoat, a loosely tied jabot and a ruffled shirt front.

Place of Origin

Europe (made)


1850-1900 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Parian ware

Marks and inscriptions

Incised on front of the bust at the bottom, above where the bust is fixed to the base.


Height: 29.0 cm, Width: 18.2 cm maximum width (across shoulders), Height: 6.2 cm of base, Diameter: 8.8 cm of bottom of the base

Descriptive line

Bust of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1828), Parian ware, continental, 19th century.




Entertainment & Leisure; Parian ware


Theatre and Performance Collection

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