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    Peter Turnerelli (Belfast 1772-1839 London) -Bust of Henry Grattan (1746-1820)

    THIS 1813 marble bust of Henry Grattan sold for £13,860 over a top estimate of £12,000 at Sotheby’s sale of Old Master Sculptures and Early Jewellery in London today. The prime version of Turnerelli’s portrait of Henry Grattan is in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Born in Dublin in 1746 Henry Grattan was a brilliant politician and orator who, in his mid-thirties backed by the Protestant Volunteer movement, declared an independent parliament for Ireland. “Grattan’s Parliament” did not last long and when rebellion broke out in 1798 he was blamed by conservatives for having stirred up resentment against the status quo. He opposed the Act of Union in 1800, but this did not prevent him from later sitting as a MP in London. While he continued his efforts on behalf of Ireland his great days as a parliamentarian were over and he died in 1820.

    The bust is likely to have been acquired by Grattan’s contemporary Charles Kinnaird, 8th Lord Kinnaird. He was a prolific art collector who assembled one of the great Scottish collections of antique statuary and pictures. Many of his paintings, which included works by Rubens, Titian and Poussin, had come from the collection of Philippe Égalité, duc d’Orléans.

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