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Lot 157: John Adams-Acton, British (1834-1910) A marble figure of the Lady of the Lake signed and dated 1861

Est: £10,000 GBP - £20,000 GBP
Bonhams 3July 06, 2011London, United Kingdom

Item Overview


signed and dated 1861
the standing lady with a dog beside her, her long hair falling in curls down her back, signed to the reverse JOHN ADAMS SC. ENGLAND 1861, on a naturalistic base, 123cm high (48" high)

Artist or Maker


Adams-Acton studied under the important neo-classical sculptor John Gibson in Rome, and later executed a bust of his tutor, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1866 (now in the Walker Art Gallery). He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1854 until 1892 producing numerous portraits including those of Gladstone, King Edward VII, Queen Victoria and even Pope Leo XIII (he was the only protestant sculptor to do so).

The present sculpture is signed John Adams and dated 1861. In 1869 the sculptor changed his name to John Adams-Acton to differentiate himself and his work from other artists, particularly the sculptor George Gamon Adams and the painter John Adams. George Gamon Adams' sculpture of General Napier in Trafalgar square was described by one critic in the Art Journal at the time as 'perhaps the worst piece of sculpture in England' and so Adams-Acton may have wished to distance himself from this other lesser sculptor.

According to the list of Royal Academy Exhibitors, in 1861 Adams-Acton exhibited a statuette of the Lady of the Lake which most likely refers to the present figure which is dated to that year.

B. Read, Victorian Sculpture, Yale University Press, 1983.

Auction Details

Fine European Furniture, Sculpture and Works of Art

Bonhams 3
July 06, 2011, 12:00 PM GMT

101 New Bond Street, London, LDN, W1S 1SR, UK