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Queen Victoria

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1888 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gleichen, Victor Count (Count), born 1833 - died 1891 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Gerald Kerin Ltd.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery, case fs

Object Type
The occasion for the commission of this formal marble bust is unknown; the piece was acquired by the Museum in 1963. In addition to her other decorations, the Queen is shown wearing the badge of the Imperial Order of the Star of India and the Royal Red Cross (instituted in 1883).

Count Gleichen (Viktor Ferdinand Franz Eugen Gustav Adolf Constantin Friedrich Prinz von Hohenlohe-Langenburg) was the son of a half-sister of Queen Victoria. He served in the Royal Navy, and was promoted Admiral in 1887. After losing all his fortune in a bank crash, he became a professional sculptor and was accorded a studio in St James's Palace. He had been a pupil of William Theed (1804-1891), one of the sculptors favoured by Queen Victoria. Gleichen exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy, and his daughter Fedora, Countess Gleichen, also became a sculptor.

Materials & Making
Marble busts were among the most popular and prestigious types of public portrait undertaken in Britain during the Victorian period. The marble, a relatively expensive material, was imported, usually from Italy via The Netherlands, since there are no marble quarries in this country. The skills needed to carve marble might also be learned abroad, where an aspiring artist would probably gain his most important training assisting an established sculptor.

Physical description

The head of Queen Victoria is turned slightly to the viewer's right. She wears a small crown over a veil. The Garter sash passes over her left shoulder. The bust finishes in a corsage of laurels, tied with a bow.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1888 (made)


Gleichen, Victor Count (Count), born 1833 - died 1891 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

'G 1888'
Signature; date; Back of the bust; 1888

Inscription; decoration; On the front of the marble block; 1889


Height: 85 cm, Width: 58 cm, Depth: 43 cm maximum, Width: 29 cm base, Depth: 28.5 cm base

Object history note

Given by Messrs Gerald Kerin Ltd., 9 Mount Street, London, in 1963.

Descriptive line

Bust, marble, of Queen Victoria, by Count Victor (Prince Victor) Gleichen (Hohenlohe-Langenburg), English, 1888

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

Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p. 286, cat.no. 440

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Queen Victoria was a keen patron of contemporary sculpture. This bust was sculpted by the son of her half-sister. The Queen is shown wearing a laurel wreath and the Garter star, with the badge of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert. [27/03/2003]



Subjects depicted



British Galleries; Sculpture; Portraits; Royalty


Sculpture Collection

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