British (English) School
Stone, Prudence, British (English) School, c.1760-63. A statue depicting the allegorical figure of Prudence, looking to proper left and holding her attributes of a mirror in her proper left hand and a snake in her proper right. Prudence is one of four statues installed on the parapet of the South Front of Kedleston Hall (completed 1763), with Thalia (NT 108047), Euterpe (NT 108048), and Diana (NT 108050).
In place of a statue of Prudence, Nathaniel Curzon's handwritten 'List of Statues I have' (c. 1760) shows that he originally intended to mount a statue of 'Fortuna', with her attributes of a 'Cornucopia, Rudder & Wheel', as part of Robert Adam's design for the new South Front Portico (MS, Kedleston Archive). In the event, this statue of the allegorical figure of Prudence was chosen to flank statues of the muses and goddess Diana. Prudence is listed in the published 'Catalogue of the pictures, statues, &c. at Kedleston' of 1769 (p. 4). The National Trust has traditionally attributed the South portico statues to William Stephenson, a sculptor from Liverpool identified by Rupert Gunnis as carrying out work on the Liverpool Town Hall in 1752 and possibly the Palladian bridge at Stowe (Gunnis 1968, p.373). There is no evidence to prove this attribution. The statues may have been produced by local stone carvers to designs by Robert Adam (see, for example, NT 109129). Alice Rylance-Watson February 2019
Purchased by Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Baron Scarsdale (1726-1804) c. 1760-63; identifiable in the 'Catalogue of the pictures, statues, &c. at Kedleston', 1769 (p. 4); purchased with part of the contents of Kedleston Hall with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund in 1986 when the house and park were given to the National Trust by Francis Curzon, 3rd Viscount Scarsdale (1924-2000).
Kedleston Hall, The Scarsdale Collection (acquired with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and transferred to The National Trust in 1987)
Makers and roles
British (English) School, stone carver previously catalogued as attributed to William Stephenson, sculptor
Curzon 1769: Nathaniel Curzon, Catalogue of the pictures, statues, &c. at Kedleston, with some account of the architecture, 1769, p. 4 National Trust (Great Britain), Kedleston Hall., 1993, p. 11 Gunnis 1968: Rupert Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, London 1968, p. 373