Noble, Matthew (1817-76; British), after 
Bust of Queen Victoria
Parian ware, size unknown
Presented by Captain Lonsdale (c.1860)
Present location unknown

This bust of the Queen in the earlier years of her reign was listed in the NGV catalogue published in 1865, and noted in the 1870-71 Annual Report (surveying the history of the Library’s early collections). It appears in a photograph of the library’s temporary picture gallery (1872 SLV Picture Gallery): detail shown here. In the 1894 NGV catalogue, it was recorded as presiding over the first of Melbourne’s two cast rooms.

Noble, a prolific producer of portrait busts and statues, especially in northern England, was well known for running a large workshop producing multiples of many of his works. Gerard Vaughan (2013) suggests that this figure was probably a reduced-scale replica of Noble’s bust of the monarch commissioned for the Manchester Town Hall and unveiled in 1856. There are other examples, in both marble and Parian porcelain (for this medium, see * Bonham Carter Florence Nightingale {1880} Loc? [SC], also noting other pre-Felton examples). In 1855, Noble married John Francis’s grand-daughter Mary: see now Francis Lord Melbourne 1837 {1901} SLV [SC].

NB entry updated and amended 5 Sept.2020; previously listed as * Unknown (British 19C) Queen Victoria {c.1860} Loc? [SC]

Refs.

NGV 1865, p.36 (bust no.70); AR 1870-71, p.33 (under “Illustrations of Ceramic Art,” noting Noble’s name); NGV 1894, p.135 (VII.Cast Gallery, no.1)

See also Vaughan “Queen Empress” (2013), including the 1872 photo of the temporary picture gallery; https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/2082/queen-victoria-1819-1901-0 (a marble bust in the Royal Collection; accessed 27 Sept.2018); and http://www.victorianweb.org/sculpture/noble/index.html (including the information about Noble’s wife; accessed 5 Sept.2020)