London: Artists and Subjects, Sculpture 20 Could anyone tell us more about the sculptor of these portrait busts of opticians in the collection of The Royal Society?

Topic: Artist

George Dollond (1774–1852) was a British optician who was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society in 1819.

There is another portrait bust in the same collection of instrument maker and optician John Dollond (1706–1761), who invented the Achromatic Refracting Telescope. He was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society in 1761. Inscribed on the back ‘R.J. GARLDAND SC.T. CAMBERWELL.’ [sic]

The 1881 census lists Richard J. Garland, aged 65, a builder and sculptor living in Camberwell.

Andrew Shore, Entry reviewed by Art UK


Kieran Owens,

Richard James Garland was born to William Garland (a stone mason) and his wife Mary Ann, in late 1815 and was baptised at St. Mary's Newington, Surrey, on the 20th February 1816.

In 1841, at an address at Grosvenor Place Court, Richard Garland , aged 23, was listed as a "Sculptor". His father, William, then aged 50, was listed as a "Builder".

The Globe, of Friday 21st December 1849, carried the following marriage notice:

"At Walworth, Mr. Richard James Garland, of Camberwell, to Ellen, daughter of Mr. Kiddle, of Carter Street, Walworth."

The 1851 census shows Richard J. Garland, a "Sculptor", aged 35 (therefore born c. 1816) living in the parish of Camberwell.

In 1861, aged 45, he is living at 33, Brunswick Terrace, St. Mary Newington, and is now listed as a "Builder".

In 1871 he is living at 1, Addington Square, Camberwell, aged 55, with a wife and six children. He is listed as a "Marble Mason".

In 1881, at the same address as 1871, he is 65, and, as Andrew has written, was "Builder & Sculptor".

In 1891, he is found at 18, Derwent Grove, Camberwell, aged 75, and is listed as a "Monumental Artist (?)", as is his 35-year-old son, Alfred.

In 1901, from the same Derwent Grove address, he is 85, and is a "Retired Builder". Both of his sons, Richard (50) and Alfred (45), are listed as "Monumental Mason".

Richard James Garland died on the 22nd August 1903, aged 87. His burial record, at Norwood Cemetery, in Lambeth, states that his address was 18, Derwent Grove, East Dulwich, but that his body had been removed for burial from Camberwell Workhouse.

Just to break the silence on this one: are there any art-dictionary references to Garland, or any other known/detectable examples of his work than the two Dollond busts cited above? He did not exhibit at the RA or the British Institution. I don't have copies of the SBA list, Gunnis or Ingrid Roscoe's more recent update to hand and he is not on the Mapping Sculpture database (though a Henry Garland is but probably not connected since b. in Exeter, 1831).

Jacinto Regalado,

The 2009 Roscoe update of Gunnis is the place to look. It is currently offline while the database is updated by the Henry Moore Foundation, so a paper book version would have to be consulted.

Osmund Bullock,

He's not in Jane Johnson's SBA/RBA exhibitors' book (up till 1893), nor does Johnson & Greutzner's British Artists exhibiting 1880-1940 mention him. I used to have Gunnis (Sculptors 1660-1851), which is very strong on monumental & architectural work, but unwisely lent it to a mad (and now dead) sculptor friend 30 years ago.

However, an electronic version of the the Roscoe/ Hardy/ Sullivan 2009 update is usually available here , but seems to be offline at the moment. Try again in a few days - it's the only reference source I can think of that might have picked up on him.

As Kieran says, Garland was born in late 1815; but his Feb 1816 baptism record is even more precise than that - his DOB was September 23rd.

Osmund Bullock,

Sorry, Jacinto, I've part-doubled up on your info - should have refreshed the page before posting.

Kieran Owens,

Perhaps Marion or David could update the current birth date from 1816 to 1815.

Jacinto Regalado,

Based on this bust, I'd say Garland was perfectly competent and evidently well trained. He probably did not work for well-known or upper class clients, which would help explain his obscurity.

Thanks all; the early Grosvenor Place Court address must be Camberwell (though no longer exists). Other bits yet to emerge could usefully include the dates of his wife Ellen (nee Carter).

The Roscoe/ Hardy/ Sullivan 2009 database referred to above is indeed offline and has been for almost a year as they put it onto a new footing. When I remonstrated that lockdown was not the time to do this, I was told that they could provide individual entries if approached by email! It's not something that I can take on at present.

Jacob, thanks very much for letting us know that the editor for the online edition of Roscoe/ Hardy/ Sullivan's biographical dictionary of sculptors will accept email enquiries.

Thanks to Osmund for the link, which is copied here.

I can write to them, but I'd like to check first whether anyone's already onto that?

Garland's birth date has been amended.

Jacinto Regalado,

So then nothing else is known about or by this Garland. I suppose he may have been related to the Garland of Garland & Fieldwick, given it was a firm based in Camberwell.

Jacinto Regalado,

Pieter, I believe it was Ellen (née Kiddle) of Carter Street, Walworth.

E Jones,

I had a look at this a while back, but am afraid have been a little too unwell to post. There are a few bits of information that may still be of use though.

Am I right in thinking that the information from Roscoe says that that the company stopped trading in 1847? Am I reading it correctly?

From a notice in the Newspaper of 1864 the partnership of ‘Garland and Fieldwick” wasn’t dissolved until 1864, after the death of Henry Fieldwick. The elder Garland (William) didn’t die until 1875. I’ve also seen planning permission notices being awarded with “Garland and Fieldwick” as the main contractors until at least the mid 1860’s. This is why I presumed that Richard J. Garland’s occupation was described in different ways at various times throughout his life. The family were builders as well as Monumental masons. Building drains, demolishing and erecting conservatories etc

According to the “Survey of London” ....
“No. 86 Camberwell Road and the buildings forming the entrance to the yard next to it were erected in 1814-15 (as No. 16 Grosvenor Place) for Messrs. Garland and Fieldwick, masons and builders. the firm continued to occupy the premesis until 1869.”
I think that this is why he was noted to have lived in Grosvenor Place during an earlier part of his life.

As mentioned above Richard J. Garland was recorded as having been taken from the workhouse to be buried.

He was admitted as Rich James Garland into the Constance Rd Workhouse on Wednesday the 12th of August. The reason being given for admission was that he was “Alleged insane”. Observations on his discharge sheet note that he had “Senile Dementia”. After having his last meal on Tuesday the 18th of August, he was discharged through death.

I have images of all of the above if at all needed.

Kieran Owens,

Ellen Garland (née Kiddle, daughter of William Kiddle and Ann Goulbourn) was born in Newington, Surrey, in 1826 and was interred, aged 86, from her address at 523, Lordship Lane, Camberwell, in the Borough burial ground at Forest Hill Road, Peckham Rye. She and Richard James Garland had eight children between their marriage in 1849 and the birth of their last child in 1865.

Jacinto Regalado,

So then Richard Garland should be the son of the William Garland who was a partner in Garland & Fieldwick. Roscoe says the firm flourished 1807-47, but that may be because the latest in its list of works by the firm is dated 1847. It may well be that the firm continued in business after that, but no later works are known about or considered notable enough to the compilers of the dictionary.

Kieran Owens,

Oops, I omitted her burial date, which was the 26th February 1912. The year before, Ellen had been included in the 1911 UK Census at the same Lordship Lane address. Head of household was her son-in-law William Henry Blaxland (51; a steam laundry wet cleaner), whose wife was Beatrice (45; a steam laundry depôt manager). Also on the census return was their son William Richard Blaxland (19), a draper's assistant and Ellen's sons Richard (60; a Parliamentary Registration Agent's clerk) and Alfred (55; a Cemetery monumental letter cutter).

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