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BRONZE DARWIN BUST
Artist: Brian Caster
Medium: bronze
Height: 17 cm
Base: 5 x 5 cm
Weight: 1.5 kg
Patina: Antique / Penny Bronze
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Bronze Darwin Bust

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It's almost impossible to find a decent statue of Charles Darwin available for sale. I know, I've spent a long time looking. The only ones I did find looked more like Socrates or Captain Birdseye. I wanted an instantly recognisable piece that got me thinking about Darwin and his works as soon as my eye fell upon it. I didn't want to have to work to recognise him. I shared my frustrations with friends in Edinburgh who run a bronze-works. Much sought after, their foundry produces public and private works of art for clients worldwide. As well as being brilliantly skilled technicians, they are also very gifted artists in their own right, and lovely people. So, when Brian offered to attempt his own modelling of Darwin as a bust, I was overjoyed and confident that he would produce a quality piece. But, I was totally unprepared for how exquisite and accurate he has captured Darwin's likeness: the noble brow and deep-set eyes. There really is no other piece that matches this handsome statuette. Cast in bronze, it stands 17 cm high and weighs in at just over one-and-a-half kilograms.

Darwin was not in perfect health, and his wife and daughters took care that he should retire early. My opportunity for conversing with him came next day. In the soft spring morning before sunrise I looked out of my bedroom window and saw Darwin in his garden, inspecting his flowers. His grey head was bent to each bush as if bidding it good-morning. And what a head! All that the phrenologists had written was feeble compared with a look at that big head with its wonderful dome, and the lobes above each luminous eye. All the forms of organic nature had contributed something to represent them visibly in the constitution of the head able to interpret them.

Conway, Moncure Daniel. [1867]. [Recollection of Darwin]. In Conway. 1905. Autobiography: memories and experiences. 2 vols. London: Cassell and Co, vol. 2, pp. 324-7.