Plaster bust 26.5 ins; 67cm high; inscribed Major Gen Sabine 1859 - J Durham London
Born in Dublin Sir Edward Sabine was a noted physicist, who served in the artillery in 1803, and maintained his connection with it till his retirement in 1874 as general, however he is principally noted for his experiments in determining the shape of the Earth and for his studies of the Earth’s magnetic field. He was appointed astronomer to the Arctic expeditions of Sir John Ross (1818) and Sir William Parry (1819) in search of the Northwest Passage; was President both of the Royal Society from 1861 to 1879 and of the British Association 1853.
Joseph Durham is chiefly known now for his image of Prince Albert behind the Albert Hall in South Kensington, London, but in his day he was a popular sculptor whose work was much reproduced, with a variety of public statues to his name. He studied under John Francis, and then worked for E.H.Baily before establishing his own practice, and exhibited prolifically at the Royal Academy from 1835, being elected an Associate in 1866. The original marble bust from which this plaster copy was taken is in the Royal Society, London. Plaster copies were often executed for a wider distribution and this particular work was probably made shortly after the marble was completed in 1859.