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Relief - Christ blessing children
  • Christ blessing children
    Lucas, Richard Cockle, born 1800 - died 1883
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Christ blessing children

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1840 - ca. 1865 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lucas, Richard Cockle, born 1800 - died 1883 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is an ivory plaque made by R. C. Lucas in the 19th century in England. The plaque is carved in high relief and represents Christ blessing the little children (Matthew 19: 13-15).

Richard Cockle Lucas (1800-1883) is mainly known as a sculptor in wax and ivory, but he also worked in glass, marble and bronze, as well as being a painter. Lucas began his career as a sculptor as an apprentice to his uncle, who worked as a cutler in Winchester, carving knife handles. He joined the Royal Academy Schools in 1828 and studied under Richard Westmacott. Lucas made two models of the Parthenon, in its original state and after the explosion of 1687, which were acquired by the British Museum. He is best known for his small scale works including wax sculptures and ivory carvings. Lucas was at the centre of a controversy about the bust of Flora in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin. The bust was thought to be an authentic work by Leonardo da Vinci but the sculptor's son Albert Dürer Lucas claimed in the Burlington Magazine that the bust was modelled by his father. It is now generally thought that the bust is probably by Leonardo or his circle but was repaired by Lucas. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1829 and 1859 and showed ivory carvings and imitation bronzes at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

Physical description

Christ standing in the middle of a group of figures, blessing three children and a baby held in the mother's arm. A cityscape can be seen in the distance.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


ca. 1840 - ca. 1865 (made)


Lucas, Richard Cockle, born 1800 - died 1883 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 19.3 cm, Width: 12.9 cm

Object history note

Given by Richard Cockle Lucas in 1865, through Lord Palmerston, one of 33 works by Lucas received by Richard Redgrave on behalf of the Museum on 17 June 1865.

Descriptive line

Relief, ivory, Christ Blessing the Little Children, by Richard Cockle Lucas, British, ca. 1840-1865

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. London: Published under the Authority of the Board of Education, 1927-1929, Part II, p. 124
Inventory of Art Objects acquired in the Year 1865. Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol. 1. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 33
Roscoe, I., with Sullivan, M.G. and Hardy, E., A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain, 1660 to 1851, New Haven, 2009, p. 765
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 168





Subjects depicted

Children; Cityscape; Baby


Plaques & Plaquettes; Sculpture; Christianity; Religion; Reliefs


Sculpture Collection

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