LIV.—STATUE OF QUEEN ANNE
The stone statue of Queen Anne (Plate 111) which now stands against
the return flank wall of No. 15 Queen Anne's Gate, seems to have stood
originally in the middle of the east side of Queen Square. (fn. 1) Its origin is
obscure, but from the facts (i) that the owners of the different houses in the
square had a joint interest in the statue (see p. 104), and (ii) that it was
already in position in 1708, (fn. 2) it may fairly be assumed that it was included in
the original lay-out of the square. The name of the sculptor is not known.
The figure represents the Queen standing, with the left foot slightly
advanced and the head inclined to one side. A small crown rests lightly
on the head, and the hair falls down in curls to the shoulders, while a necklace
supplies a touch of feminine adornment. The dress is cut low on the shoulders, with the corsage affixed with jewels, displaying the lines of the waist,
and the basque is scalloped. The half-sleeves are festooned and have ruffles
and lace frills, leaving the lower parts of the arms bare. The skirt is richly
brocaded, the folds being cleverly shown, and is finished with a frilled hem.
From the shoulders is suspended the mantle, lined with ermine and brought
forward in draped folds, while the cordons are knotted in front and depend
from the waist with tassels. The Queen is represented as wearing the
Collar and George of the Order of the Garter, with the Star attached to the
left breast, and carrying the Orb and Sceptre. (fn. 3) The workmanship is most
skilful, and the statue forms an interesting record of the state robes and
regalia worn at that time. It stands on a high bow-fronted pedestal, which
is ornamented at the sides with foliated scrolls in profile resting on the spread
of the moulded plinth and finished with a moulded table course. On the
upper portion of the die is inscribed "ANNA REGINA."
The back of the statue has been left quite rough, and has no connection
with the brickwork in its present situation. The statue is now under the
charge of H.M. Office of Works. (fn. 4)
In the Council's Collection are:—
(fn. 5) Statue of Queen Anne (photograph).
"A beautiful statue of Queen Anne in Queen Square, Westminster," 1830 (pencil
drawing, by T. H. Shepherd).
||It is shown in that position in Kip's View (Plate 77), and a writer in 1814 states that it
"until of late occupied a conspicuous situation on the east side of the square, but now we find it
huddled up in a corner." (Gentleman's Magazine, 1814, p. 238.)
||Hatton's New View of London.
||The writer in the Gentleman's Magazine above referred to states that the Sceptre was
||When taken over it was in a very dilapidated condition. The children of the locality were
accustomed in their play to call upon the statue by the name of "Bloody Queen Mary" to descend
from its pedestal, and on receiving no response to assail it with missiles. (Return of Outdoor Memorials
in London, pp. 8–9.) There is another statue of the Queen in front of St. Paul's, a copy of that
by Francis Bird erected in 1712 to commemorate the completion of the cathedral. The features
and costume are somewhat different from those of the statue in Queen Anne's Gate.