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Equestrian Maquette for the Royal Scots Greys Memorial, Edinburgh
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Equestrian Maquette for the Royal Scots Greys Memorial, Edinburgh

Circa 1904

Measurements: Overall: 35cm (13.75in) x (32cm) 12.5in x 14cm (5.5in)



Bronze figure of a trooper in full review order of circa 1900 mounted on an ovoid ebonised base applied with a silver escutcheon engraved ‘The / Royal Scots Greys / (2nd Dragoons)’. Height of bronze: 30cm (12in). A reduction of Birnie Rhind’s model in silver was later produced in small numbers, circa 1920-30, by Hamilton & Inches to serve as a regimental presentation centrepeiece.

Birnie Rhind produced some of the best known military memorials in Scotland, notably those of the Royal Scots Greys (1905), the Black Watch (1908) and the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (1919). He was also a distinguished architectural sculptor, with most of his important work in Edinburgh.  By the accounts of his contemporaries he was a hard task master and careful with money, a trait that often caused him to use his own craftsmen as models. However in the case of the Royal Scots Greys Monument erected in West Princes Street Gardens to commemorate the fallen of the Regiment during the Boer War, there are competing and compelling claims from the descendants of several of the regiment’s South African War veterans. The full size statue was unveiled by the Earl of Rosebery on the 16th November 1906.

William Birnie-Rhind R.S.A. (1853-1933) born in Edinburgh and was eldest son of the sculptor John Rhind. He trained at the Glasgow School of Design and Royal Scottish Academy before establishing a studio in Glasgow with his sculptor brother J. Massey Rhind in 1885-87.  He afterwards settled permanently in Edinburgh where he produced sculpture for a number of important institutions including the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (1898); The Scotsman Building (1900); and Jenners department store in Princes Street (1893-1903). Other important public work included sculpture on Winnipeg Parliament Building, Canada (1916-19); the Boer War Memorial at Alloa (1904); the equestrian Marquis of Linlithgow in Melbourne, Australia (1908); the statue representing Science on Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow (1898); the figures and heraldic panel on the former National Bank of Scotland in Glasgow’s Glassford Street (1902-3); and the Boer War Highland light Infantry Memorial, Kelvingrove Park (1906). He exhibited regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy, 1878-1933, and at the Royal Academy, London, 1898-1904, showing portrait busts and models for many of his public and architectural sculptures.