Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood, 1800
Pottery. Black basalt ware. Bust of Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood. The square bow-fronted plinth, moulded in relief with naval trophies, and impressed ‘HOOD’. The Admiral is shown embroidered coat, head turned slightly to the right.
The present bust belongs to a group of busts of naval heroes thought to have been modelled by Pierre Stephan. He was employed at the Derby factory, and at the short lived Wirksworth factory, in the Derbyshire town of the same name. He is also known to have supplied models to Josiah Wedgewood.
These two portrait busts were also produced in buff stoneware (see V&A 414:1119-1885), enamelled earthenware and enamelled porcelain. Examples in faux basalt were produced by Enoch Wood’s firm Caldwell and Wood, and at Liverpool’s Herculaneum factory.
Admiral Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood (1724-1816) was a Royal Navy officer. As a junior officer he saw action during the War of the Austrian Succession. While in temporary command of HMS Antelope, he drove a French ship ashore in Audierne Bay, and captured two privateers in 1757 during the Seven Years' War.
He held senior command as Commander-in-Chief, North American Station and then as Commander-in-Chief, Leeward Islands Station, leading the British fleet to victory at Battle of the Mona Passage in April 1782 during the American Revolutionary War.
He went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, then First Naval Lord and, after briefly returning to the Portsmouth command, became Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet during the French Revolutionary Wars.