Works included in this catalogue
Ball Dean Macartney 1888 {1889} SLV [SC]
* Ball James Moorhouse {1890} Loc? [SC]
* Ball J.Cosmo Newbery {1896} Museums Victoria [SC]
Gilbert & Ball Redmond Barry 1887 {1887} SLV [SC]

The son of a sculptor, Ball was born in London, and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1865 and 1882. In 1886, he arrived in Melbourne, completed James Gilbert’s unfinished statue of Redmond Barry, and ended up staying in Australia for the remainder of his career. He undertook a range of commissions in Melbourne, including a statue of Francis Ormond, founder of the Melbourne Working Men’s College, now RMIT University (where the statue, dating from 1890-92, still stands).

His last major work was a bronze relief panel of Phryne before Praxitiles for the façade of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (commissioned in 1898); he travelled to London to supervise the casting, but died there before the work was complete. Other works by him were acquired later by the SLV, including marble busts of The French Colony in Victoria (1889) and publisher George Robertson (1890): refer SLV catalogue.


Standard references include Radford Early Australian Sculpture (1976), intro.text by Noel Hutchison (unpaginated) and Sir William Wallace Monument; Sturgeon Australian Sculpture ( 1978), pp.73-75, including a reproduction of Phryne before Praxitiles (fig.42); and Scarlett, Ken, biography in ADB: (first publ. 1979)

See also Ridley, Ronald T. “The Mysterious James Gilbert: The Forgotten Sculptor, 1854-85,” The La Trobe Journal no.54 (March 1995), pp.18-32 (including comments on Ball’s completion of various works by Gilbert); and Holsworth, Mark: (a blog discussing various Ball statues)