BELL, John. 17628



Autograph Letter in the third person, to Joseph Williams, agreeing that Bell’s statue of Viscount Falkland can be copied in the Illustrated News, this letter incorporating Bell’s sketch of the statue, suggesting which view is taken, with an account of the statue and its inspiration. 3 pp. 7 x 4 inches, in good condition, with the original franked envelope. 1 Marlbro’ Terrace, Kensington, 25 July 1847. John Bell (1811-95), sculptor, produced the Guards’ Memorial (1858) in Waterloo Place, and the American group in the Hyde Park Albert Memorial (1873). He was also one of the first British sculptors to experiment in the use of polychrome and new materials such as terracotta, which again became popular at the end of the nineteenth century for symbolist and the ‘new’ sculpture. The statue of Viscount Falkland (1610-1643) by John Bell, now in the Houses of Parliament, was exhibited in Westminster Hall in 1847 and at the Great Exhibition in 1851. It was commissioned by the Fine Arts Commission in 1845. In 1855 the sword fell from the statue, probably due to a fault in the fixing, and broke in half. In 1908 a suffragette chained herself to the statue causing the spur to break off – this was not reattached and is now assumed lost. “… three of sixteen statues intended to be placed in St Stephens Hall in the Houses of Parliament. They will be raised on octagonal pedestals of four feet in height in front of clustered columns which are to run up to the roof. The sills of the windows in the Hall will be 22 feet from the floor. The statues will be seven feet in height. The attitude of Lord Falkland is intended to represent his grief at the calamities that oppressed England at the commencement of the Civil War, and he mourns over the sword which he bares to defend his King.”