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This bust of Wellington was one of a group of British worthies commissioned by Sir Robert Vernon. The others were of George Canning, Sir Isaac Newton and Dr Samuel Johnson. The sculptor was Edward Hodges Baily, best known for the statue of Admiral Nelson in Trafalgar Square. Baily copied the head of Wellington from a bust by Joseph Nollekens (Apsley House), but gave the composition much character with the addition of grandiose classical drapery and an eagle motif on the Duke’s pendant.

October 2013