Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757)

Head-and-shoulders marble bust on a round socle, with its original inscribed pedestal and plinth in two parts

The sitter is shown facing half to his right, with a cloak over the right shoulder and under the left arm. This is over a surcoat with three buttons visible, beneath which is a decorated cuirass and gorget bearing intertwined dolphins. Beneath the armour is a pleated shirt with a high neck-cloth. The sitter's curled hair or wig is parted in the centre and worn at long neck length, just on his left shoulder and behind his right.

This fine ensemble of bust and original marble base came from the collection of Charles E. Dashwood of Wherstead Park, Ipswich, via a sale at Sotheby's on 15 June 1934. It was purchased there by Spink's on behalf of Sir James Caird (for NMM).

The flared pedestal bears the inscription ' Admiral Vernon / Quid virtus & quid Sapientia possit / Utile proposuit nobis Exemplar'. While not entirely correct Latin, this can be translated as 'He set before us a useful example of what virtue and wisdom may achieve'. The attribution of this bust to Roubiliac, suggested by Rupert Gunnis ('Dictionary of British Sculptors') is not certain, since Gunnis may have been misled by the old Roubiliac/ Rysbrack confusion of the bust which may be its model, now at Sudbury Hall (see SCU0056).

Object Details

ID: SCU0057
Collection: Sculpture
Type: Bust
Display location: Display - Nelson, Navy, Nation Gallery
Creator: Roubiliac, Louis-Francois; Rysbrack, John Michael
Date made: 1743-4; 1744?
Exhibition: Nelson, Navy, Nation
People: Vernon, Edward
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 810 mm x 560 mm x 270 mm x 109 kg
Parts: Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757)

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