Statue of Queen Anne

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English Heritage

Publication

Author

Montague H. Cox (editor)

Year published

1926

Supporting documents

Page

122

Citation Show another format:

'Statue of Queen Anne', Survey of London: volume 10: St. Margaret, Westminster, part I: Queen Anne’s Gate area (1926), pp. 122. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=67624 Date accessed: 29 August 2014.


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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).

Footnotes

1 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.)
2 Hatton's New View of London.
3 The writer in the Gentleman's Magazine above referred to states that the Sceptre was "lately destroyed."
4 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.
5 Reproduced here.