Accession Number
White marble statue of a nude girl, with her hair pulled up in a ribbon at the top of her head. She holds a bird's nest containing four eggs, with a cloth draped behind it. Her head is turned away and she has her right hand to her face. There is a small stump behind her right leg.

Marble figures like these examples were often used by wealthy Brisih, Continental, and North American Victorians to decorate their domestic interiors. The Dunsmuir family might have had similar examples at Craigdarroch. On June 21, 1909, lot "131 Pair Figures", sold from Criagdarroch's main hall at the Dunsmuir Estate auction. This description and some other descriptions in the 1909 auction catalogue are too vague to be of definitive use in guiding acquisition decisions. However, when considered in conjunction with the auction catalogue's listing of lot "266 Beautiful Carrara Marble Statue, on blue marble pedestal, by noted sculptor, Aristide Fontana S. Carrara, valued at $1,000", it can be reasonably concluded that these two marble figures would not have been out of place in the Dunsmuir household. A survey of the works of Italian sculptor Aristide Fontana reveals examples similar to these two.

History of Use

These two marble figures once graced the drawing room of the Townshend family manor house in Rossett, County of Denbigh, North Wales.  The 65-acre estate known as Trevallyn was in the Townshend family for over 100 years. After the death of the donor's great-grandmother in 1940, the statues were shipped to her son, Henry Richard O’Grady Townshend who resided with his wife Dorothy Townshend (nee: Dorothy Louise Beaumont Boggs), a pioneer Victorian at their cottage near Patricia Bay, North Saanich, where the marble figures remained until being acquired by The Castle Society in 2019.

19th century
78.5 x 40.5 x 28 cm
Stone, marble

Related Objects

sculpture , 2019.002.001.002 (is related to)