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Plaster copy of a bust of Charles Dickens by Thomas Woolner, c.1875



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Object name (per part)


Production person

Woolner, Thomas

Production date



This is a plaster cast of a bust created from a death mask of Charles Dickens, by Thomas Woolner. Woolner was a sculptor, poet and founding member of the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. When Dickens died on 9 June 1870 Woolner was summoned the next day to Gad’s Hill to take a cast of his face. Woolner used the death mask to create a marble bust which was exhibited at the Royal Academy and hailed as a faithful portrait of the novelist. In 1908, Woolner’s widow gave permission for Dickens’s publishers Chapman & Hall to take casts of the bust to sell to the public for 15 shillings. When this bust was donated to the Museum in 1930, it was recorded that 'Woolner presented the bust to Francis Carr Beard' suggesting it could be an earlier cast made by the artist.

Physical description

Plaster, painted black.

Inscription content

WOOLNER SC. / 1871
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