History of the British Museum and its collections, £6.00
Height: 24.000 cm
Gift of Matthew Raper III (1765)
P&E MLA Ivory Catalogue 455
Room 46: Europe 1400-1800
Carved ivory bust of Sir Isaac Newton by David Le Marchand
London, England, AD 1718
The renowned mathematician and scientist
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), the renowned
mathematician and scientist, was elected President of the
David Le Marchand (1674-1726) was born into an artistic family in Dieppe, a port where elephant tusks were shipped from West Africa and which was a well-known centre for working in ivory. Carved with drills, ivory can then be polished to a smooth, cream-coloured surface. This makes it ideal for use in portraiture.Wax models of the subject were usually made first, taken either from life, or from an engraving or painting, with the complex process of carving the ivory taking place at a later stage.
On the back of the stand is inscribed: 'ISAACUS NEWTON / EQ: AVRA / AN: 1718 / Le Marchand / Sc.ad.vi'.
A. Dawson, Portrait sculpture, a catalogu (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)
C. Avery, David Le Marchand (1674-1726), (London, Lund Humphries, 1996)