Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Statue - Boy Playing the Bagpipes
  • Boy Playing the Bagpipes
    Cibber, Caius Gabriel, born 1630 - died 1700
  • Enlarge image

Boy Playing the Bagpipes

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1680-1690 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cibber, Caius Gabriel, born 1630 - died 1700 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved Portland stone

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 23, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries, case FS

This is a fine example of late 17th-century garden sculpture; its weathered surface is evidence of its exposure to the elements. The subject may be related to genre works produced by the Netherlandish sculptor Pieter Xavery (active 1667-1674), and connections have also been suggested with the bronze statuettes by Giambologna (1529-1608). The sculptor Caius Gabriel Cibber (1630-1700) was a native of Denmark, and also studied in the Netherlands and Rome, before settling in England in the 1650s. He was appointed Sculptor in Ordinary to William III, in 1693. Cibber introduced a fluent style of sculpture, as well as new figurative subjects into Britain, thanks to his training in Europe.

Physical description

Seated figure of a boy in breeches, coat and wide-brimmed hat, playing the bagpipes. A small dog is seated nearby.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1680-1690 (made)


Cibber, Caius Gabriel, born 1630 - died 1700 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Carved Portland stone


Height: 108 cm of figure, Weight: 268 kg plinth, Width: 51 cm of figure, Depth: 59 cm of figure, Height: 134 cm of plinth, Width: 60.5 cm of plinth, Depth: 66 cm of plinth

Object history note

This work was probably made for the Duke of Argyll, as it was housed at his house in Whitton for 100 years. It was then moved to 178 Tottenham Court Road occupied by the studio of a sculptor named Hinchliff. Later it was under the possession of Hinchliff's son, with whom it remained until ca. 1835. At some point it was removed to Stowe House, Buckinghamshire. It was included in the Stowe sale of 1848, sold as lot 134 for £38 17s 0d to a Mr. J Browne. Re-purchased by Mr. Mark Philips. Then in the gardens at Snitterfield, Mr Philip's seat at Warwickshire. Later in the possession of Sir George Trevelyan at Welcombe. Then included in the sale of garden ornaments held by Sotheby's in 1929 and bought in for 115. It was then acquired by the museum by private treaty, via Alfred Spero and Kerin Ltd, London in 1930 for 150.

Descriptive line

Statue, portland stone, Boy Playing the Bagpipes, by Caius Gabriel Cibber, ca. 1680-1690

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

M. Whinney Sculpture in Britain 1530 to 1830 (revised by J. Physick) London, 1988 (2nd Ed.) p114
Roscoe, I. Of statues, obelisks, dyals and other invegetative ornaments. Sources and meanings for English garden statues. January 1995. CXL. p. 39. fig. 3. (eb. 393)
Trusted, Majorie. ed. The Making of Sculpture: the Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture. London: V&A Publications, 2007. p. 101. pl. 176.
Bilbey, Diane and Trusted Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2002. p. 2. cat. no. 1.
Cf. Avery, C., Radcliffe, A. Giambologna 1529-1608 Sculptor to the Medici. London, 1978. p. 164. cat. nos. 135, 136.


Portland stone



Subjects depicted

Dog; Bagpipe; Boy




Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.