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Statuette - Victory
  • Victory
    Gilbert, Alfred Sir, born 1854 - died 1934
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Victory

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1891 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gilbert, Alfred Sir, born 1854 - died 1934 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze, agate and ebony

  • Museum number:

    1050-1905

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bronze statuette entiteled 'Victory' is made by Sir Alfred Gilbert ca. 1891.

This statuette was in the collection of the actor-manager Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) at the time of his death. Apparently Gilbert often presented casts of it as gifts to his friends. The figure was originally designed to surmount the orb held by the figure of Queen Victoria in the Queen Victoria Jubilee Memorial in the Great Hall at Winchester Castle, which Gilbert executed in 1887.

It was the sculptor Thomas Brock (1847-1922), a member of the Museum's Council for Advice on Art, who recommended the figure for purchase. He wrote: 'I have inspected the small bronze statuette "Victory" by Alfred Gilbert R.A. lot 81 to be sold at Christie's tomorrow, and I consider it a very beautiful work and one which should, if possible, be acquired for the Museum. This figure has evidently been cast under Mr Gilbert's supervision, therefore has additional value.' A.B. Skinner, the Director of the Museum, added to Brock's comments: 'We are gradually forming a collection of bronze statuettes by artists of recent times, and among the most beautiful and valuable are those of Mr Gilbert. It is not often that the work executed either by him or under his immediate supervision comes into the market - commercial replicas are to be had, but these we would rather not possess ... It is in every sense a beautiful figure and the bronze has a fine quality about it, so very different in tone to the examples found in the trade.' Another version exists in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, said to be identical to the present piece; a further example is in the Leeds City Art Gallery.

Gilbert exhibited a sketch model for the Victoria Jubilee Memorial at the Royal Academy in 1888 (now in the Academy's collection). The Royal Academy also owns a bronze figure of Victory.

Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934) was a famous British sculptor of the late 19th century. He was also medallist, goldsmith and draughtsman. He was known for his inventiveness and characteristically used many different materials in the same work. He epitomised the movement known as the “New Sculpture”, with a new focus on naturalistic forms. His many commissions included for example the celebrated figure of Eros, part of the Shaftsbury memorial.

Physical description

The figure of Victory stands on a ball of agate and ebony pedestal.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1891 (made)

Artist/maker

Gilbert, Alfred Sir, born 1854 - died 1934 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze, agate and ebony

Dimensions

Height: 33 cm, Height: 43 cm including base

Object history note

The figure was originally designed to surmount the orb held by the figure of Queen Victoria Jubilee Memorial in the Great Hall at Winchester Castle, executed by Gilbert in 1887.

In the collection of the actor-manager Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) at the time of his death. Dorment records that the figure of Victory was a favourite present which Gilbert gave to friends: John Singer Sargent, Seymour Lucas, Henry Irving, and Mark Senior were all presented with casts, very often completed with elaborate bronze bases below the spheres.

Purchased from the sale of the collection of Theatrical Relics, Costumes, Bronzes, Silver, Furniture and Decorative Objects. The Property of Sir Henry Irving (deceased) held at Christie, Manson & Woods on 14 and 15 December 1905. This figure sold on 14 December. lot 18 for £131 5s. Purchased by Messrs Ernest Brown and Phillips, Leicester Galleries, Leicester Square, on behalf of the Museum.

Historical context note

The statuette was in the collection of the actor-manager Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) at the time of his death. Dorments records that the figure of Victory was 'a favourite present which Gilbert gave to friends: John Singer Sargent, Seymour Lucas, Henry Irving and Mark Senior were all presented with casts.
Another version is in the Ashmolean and another in the Leeds City Art Gallery.

Descriptive line

Statuette, bronze, Victory, by Sir Alfred Gilbert, England, ca. 1891

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

Bilbey, Diane with Trusted, Marjorie, British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2002, 522 p., ISBN 1-85177-395-9.
List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in the Years 1905 - 1908. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, During the Year 1905, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition with Appendix and Indices. London: Printed for His Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, 1909, p. 204
Penny, Nicholas. Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, III, Oxford, 1992, p. 78
Curtis, P. and Friedman, T., eds. Leeds' Sculpture Collections: Illustrated Concise Catalogue. Leeds, 1996, p. 13
Sankey, John A. Thomas Brock and the Critics - an Examination of Brock's place in the New Sculpture Movement,/u>, Ph.D. thesis, University of Leeds Fine Art Dept., 2002, p. 174
Cox, Machell E., Commemorative Catalogue of an exhibition of models and designs by the late Sir Alfred Gilbert R.A., exh. cat., Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Oxford, 1936, p. 24

Materials

Bronze; Agate; Ebony

Categories

Sculpture; Metalwork

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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