A wonderful George III period carved marble bust of Charles James Fox ( 1749 - 1806 ) in the manner and most likely from the studio of Joseph Nollekens ( British 1737 - 1823 ) this bust has been outside for many years so has weathering and has had some restoration.
Nollekens produced his first bust of Fox in 1791 (The Hermitage), a magnificently Baroque piece which showed the politician in a short if unruly wig in the conventional late eighteenth century manner. The Hermitage bust had originally been carved for Earl Fitzwilliam's mausoleum, but Empress Catherine the Great requested it as a memorial of Fox's help to Russia in the Russo-Turkish War when he had been Foreign Minister.
A later bust was carved for the Duke of Bedford from sittings in 1801 and shows Fox in a toga and with short, Roman hair. These Roman busts are of two types, distinguished by the presence or otherwise of a toga, draping the figure's truncated bust. The undraped type, derives from a further sitting to Nollekens in 1804. It is represented by the bust in the National Portrait Gallery, carved in 1805 for William Smith MP, a friend and adherent of Fox. Fox was initially reluctant to sit for a further bust and he wrote to Smith on November 29th 1804: ‘I can let Nollekens have one sitting, but I own I think the Bust he has done is so good & meets with such universal approbation, that it is a pity to have it altered in the slightest degree.’ Nollekens’s Roman bust of Fox was reproduced in great numbers. Along with his bust of Pitt it was the most frequently commissioned of his studio output.