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Queen Victoria - Diamond Jubilee Bust, 1897

Electrotype. Queen Victoria wearing small crown, sash and star of the Order of the Garter, Sovereign’s badges of the Order of Victoria and Albert and the Order of the Crown of India. Inscribed to the front with the sixty years of her reign 1837 - 18997. Signed to the reverse 'O. Wheatley for G. Schaub’.  Raised on a turned rosso antico marble sole. 

Oliver Wheatley (1868-1931) was born in Handsworth and was an award-winning student at Birmingham School of Art and then at the forerunner of Royal College of Art in South Kensington where he was National Scholar (1891-2) and the recipient of a gold medal and travelling scholarship. In 1895-96 he trained in the Paris studio of the symbolist painter Aman-Jea. A figure of Prometheus, shown at the Royal Academy, was said to be ’a very clever study in what we may recognise as the École des Beaux Arts manner, dramatic and strong in light and shade’. Over next twenty years he enjoyed some considerable success, exhibiting widely including the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Liverpool Autumn Exhibition and Royal Academy of Arts. Amongst his more important commissions were the statues of Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren for the facade of Aston Webb's extension to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Wheatley also published a book on 'Ornamental Cement Work' (London, 1912). He was nominated to the Royal Society of British Sculptors and for membership of the Royal Academy. However, an entry in the Royal Academy nominations book for 26 March 1920, states 'certified in lunatic asylum'.

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