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Lord Derby’s Statue Desk Weight, 1873
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Lord Derby’s Statue Desk Weight, 1873

Measurements: 10.5cm (4.25in) x 6cm (2.5in)



Bronze.  Cast with the Stanley family crest - On a chapeau gules turned up ermine an eagle, wings endorsed - and bearing an integral plaque inscribed ‘Metal of Lord Derby Statue. Cast 26th April 1873’.  The present desk weight was produced from the residual metal used in the casting of the statue of the statesman and three-time Conservative Prime Minister, Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby.

The statue by Mathew Noble (1817-76) is located in Parliament Square, Westminster, and was unveiled on 11 July 1874. The unveiling ceremony was performed by the then prime minister Benjamin Disraeli and was attended by many members of the Lords and Commons and ‘a large number of ladies’. At the conclusion of his speech, following the unveiling, Disraeli said:“We have raised this statue to him not only as a memorial, but as an example; not merely to commemorate but to inspire.” The four sides of the granite pedestal bear bronze reliefs depicting Derby addressing the House of Commons during a debate on slavery, attending a Cabinet meeting, at a meeting of the Lancashire Relief Comitteee and at his inauguration as Chancellor of the University of Oxford.