Unknown (British, 19thcentury)
Bust of Queen Victoria
Parian ware, size unknown
Presented by Captain Lonsdale (c.1860)
Present location unknown

The statue recorded in the NGV’s 1894 catalogue as presiding over the first of Melbourne’s two cast rooms was presumably identical with the figure shown accompanying the early painting collection, in a photograph of the library’s temporary picture gallery (1872 SLV Picture Gallery): detail shown here.

Gerard Vaughan (2013) suggests that this figure was probably a reduced-scale replica of a bust of the monarch by Matthew Noble, commissioned for the Manchester Town Hall and unveiled in 1856.

For “Parian marble,” a type of porcelain, see * Bonham Carter Florence Nightingale {1880} Loc? [SC] (also noting other examples in the pre-Felton collection).


NGV 1865, p.36 (bust no.70); NGV 1894, p.135 (VII.Cast Gallery, no.1)

Vaughan “Queen Empress” (2013), including as fig.1 the 1872 photo of the temporary picture gallery (H96.160/1973)

Cf. https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/2082/queen-victoria-1819-1901-0 (for one of Matthew Noble’s busts of the queen, noting that it was also reproduced in Parian ware; accessed 27 Sept.2018). Another marble variant by Noble is in the collection of the UK Parliament (WOAS089): see https://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/mathew-noble/bust-of-queen-victoria-1819-1901-reigned-1837-1901/s89 (accessed 20 July 2020)