Bust of George IV

  • Designer / Maker

    Manufactured by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell (various partnerships, 1788-1842)

  • Detail

    Ormolu; mounted with enamel, gold, diamonds, emeralds and rubies

    19 1/2 in (49.5 cm) high

    English (London), 1830

  • Marked

    ‘RUNDELL, BRIDGE ET RUNDELL AURIFICES REGIS LONDINI’ (above plinth)

  • Inscribed

    ‘TO SIR HENRY HALFORD BART / THIS BUST OF HIS LATE MAJESTY KING GEORGE IV / IS PRESENTED / BY THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKES OF CUMBERLAND AND CAMBRIDGE / THE PRINCESSES AUGUSTA THE LANDGRAVINE OF HESSE HOMBURG / THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER AND THE PRINCESS SOPHIA / AS A TOKEN OF THEIR ESTEEM AND REGARD / AND IN TESTIMONY OF THE HIGH SENSE THEY ENTERTAIN OF HIS PROFESSIONAL ABILITY / AND UNWEARIED ATTENTION DURING THE ILLNESS OF THEIR LATE BELOVED SISTER / Inscribed / THE PRINCESS AMELIA OF HER LATE MAJESTY QUEEN CHARLOTTE, AND HIS LATE / MAJESTY KING GEORGE III HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE LATE DUKE OF YORK / AND LASTLY OF HIS LATE MAJESTY KING GEORGE IV / MDCCCXXX’, and with Royal monograms (on plinth)

  • Provenance

    Sir Henry Halford (1766-1844), physician extraordinary to George III, who also attended George IV, William IV and Queen Victoria

  • Collection

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

  • Notes

    The jewelled and classically draped bust of George IV was modelled (probably after a marble) by Francis Chantrey (1781-1841), who also designed independently for Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. The Gothic pedestal might tentatively be associated with either A.C. Pugin (1762-1832), or his son A.W.N. Pugin (1812-52), who were supplying Gothic furnishings for Windsor Castle from 1826; the younger Pugin also worked for Rundell’s. The gold medal by Benedetto Pistruicci (1784-1855) is dated 19 July 1821, and commemorates the coronation of George IV.

    Among other ormolu representations of George IV by Rundell, Bridge and Rundell are a large equestrian group (private collection), a bust on pedestal, dated 1821 (Royal Pavilion, Brighton) and a standing figure on pedestal, dated 1822, formerly in the collection of George IV’s mistress Elizabeth, Marchioness of Conyngham (1768-1860), sold Christie’s, London, 19 November 1992, lot 114.