A bust is a form of sculpture modelled on person’s head, neck and part of the chest and shoulders. As a portrait type, it dates back to classical Greek and Roman antiquity although it can also be found in non-European ancient cultures.

Busts come in many materials including bronze, terracotta, wood, wax and marble. In the UK, they were particularly popular in the 18th and 19th century with the best Georgian and Victorian examples of well known figures continuing to command strong interest among collectors as well as museums.


Bust of Baron Vivian in Cornwall

29 August 2012

This large 19th century cast-iron bust of a gentleman is believed to be Richard Hussey Vivian (1775-1842), the 1st Baron Vivian, famed for his distinguished military career which included leading Lord Uxbridge’s cavalry charge at Waterloo.


£2.5m bust heads a rare feast of sculpture in Paris

20 July 2012

This summer’s ‘Temps Fort’ sales in the French capital have thrown up an usually strong contingent of sculpture.

Burglary at Iron Duke’s house

09 July 2012

Paintings and smaller works of art dating back to the time the first Duke of Wellington moved into the house given to him by a grateful nation have been stolen.


Marble bust stolen from Kent church

07 March 2011

THIS marble portrait bust of Ann Borrett by the 18th century sculptor Henry Cheere was stolen from the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Shoreham, Kent at the end of January.


£33.5m record for Modigliani and for France

21 June 2010

IT may have been an exceptional piece that generated an equally exceptional level of presale interest but, even still, few people present at Christie's Paris for the sale of Amedeo Modigliai's (1884-1920) Tête were expecting it to become the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction in France.


Thief takes sculptor’s show entry

07 April 2008

THIS lifesize bust of the actor Charles Dance has been stolen from a car only days before it was due to be entered for exhibition.


Double Dux – the gaze and the glaze

24 April 2006

MUSSOLINI’s son-in-law and foreign minister, Count Galeazzo Ciano, would have done well to heed the imagery of this black glazed terracotta head when another version of it came into his possession.


Medieval ivory of Arthur’s knights sells for a king’s ransom

13 April 2005

IT was a matter of success breeding success for Oxfordshire auctioneers Holloway’s in March. Late last year they sold an 18th century ivory bust, possibly of Handel, for £29,000, and when the owner of a tiny medieval ivory panel read of it in ATG No 1671, January 8, he decided to offer it in the Banbury rooms.


Chorus of approval for £29,000 ‘Handel’ bust

04 January 2005

A more academic ivory carving than anything at Kidson-Trigg’s sale was this unsigned but fine quality 6 3/4in (17.5cm) portrait bust, right, offered at the Banbury rooms of Holloways (15% buyer’s premium) on November 30.


Webb feat remembered in porcelain

20 October 2004

AT 10.41 on the morning of August 25, 1875, to the sounds of Rule Britannia, Captain Matthew Webb emerged from the cold and choppy waters of the Channel. It had taken him 21 hours and 41 minutes. He had covered close to 40 miles. But he had become the first man to swim from English to French soil.

Terracotta bust of the Virgin and Child makes £3m

08 January 2003

European Works of Art: There was no real surprise about the star lot in Sotheby’s December 10 works of art sale. The piece that attracted plenty of attention at the pre-sale viewing and made far and away the highest price in the 177-lot gathering was this c.1520-25 terracotta bust of the Virgin and Child by Il Riccio, which, at £3m, singlehandedly accounted for two thirds of the auction’s entire £4.47m total.