This object is eligible for a Certificate of BADA Provenance
Attributed to Joseph Nollekens (1737 – 1823)
Nollekens’ celebrated bust of William Pitt was his most famous work.
Pitt the Younger became the youngest British Prime Minister aged 24 in 1783, he served until 1801 and then again from 1804 until his death in 1806.
On Pitt’s death Nollekens was asked to take a death mask which he was to use to produce busts of William Pitt. Nollekens’ biographer, J.T. Smith, records that he sold 74 examples of the bust in marble and a further 600 later plaster casts.
There are marble examples in museums worldwide, including the V&A and the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
The present marble bust, raised on a marble socle, is a particularly fine example.