Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 35 items
  • 25 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 89 items
  • 3,452 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 41 items
  • 11,360 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,235 items Explore
  • 8,497 items Explore
  • 5,051 items Explore
  • 72 items Explore
  • 167 items Explore
  • 10,622 items Explore
  • 13,625 items Explore
  • 4,639 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 153 items Explore
  • 2,084 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,754 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 437 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 19,203 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,029 items Explore
  • 1,113 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 2,392 items Explore
  • 449 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 920 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7 items
  • 19,787 items Explore
  • 800 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 800 items
  • 25 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 319 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 146 items
  • 2 items
  • 7 items
  • 119 items Explore
  • 119 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,021 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 803 items
  • 95 items
  • 27 items
  • 108 items
  • 29,236 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,848 items Explore
  • 1,521 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 158 items Explore
  • 9,973 items Explore
  • 9,670 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 5,765 items Explore
  • 7,461 items Explore
  • 4,439 items Explore
  • 1,613 items Explore
  • 930 items Explore
  • 3,493 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 334 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,428 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 354 items Explore
  • 797 items Explore
  • 1,095 items Explore
  • 505 items Explore
  • 1,047 items Explore
  • 1,123 items
  • 89 items
  • 124 items Explore
  • 6,952 items Explore
  • 170 items
  • 310 items
  • 4 items
  • 20 items
  • 61 items
  • 304 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,922 items Explore
  • 1,575 items Explore
  • 203 items
  • 43 items
  • 19,429 items Explore
  • 1,244 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 843 items Explore
  • 32 items
  • 1 items
  • 132 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 40 items
  • 20 items
  • 252 items
  • 314 items
  • 743 items Explore
  • 1,893 items
  • 349 items Explore
  • 2,425 items
  • 2,525 items
  • 3 items
  • 3 items
  • 4,390 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 37,821 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,288 items Explore
  • 275 items Explore
  • 8,067 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 762 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 161 items
  • 52 items
  • 21,752 items Explore
  • 917 items
  • 18 items
  • 22,348 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,338 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,030 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 59 items
  • 499 items
  • 3,289 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 453 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 21 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 76 items
  • 281 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 6 items
  • 128 items
  • 295 items
  • 734 items
  • 868 items
  • 1 items
  • 895 items Explore
  • 272 items Explore
  • 11,300 items Explore
  • 760 items Explore
  • 6,050 items Explore
  • 11 items
  • 7,589 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 5,358 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,727 items Explore
  • 9,199 items Explore
  • 7,748 items Explore
  • 200 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 867 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 4,133 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,096 items Explore
  • 223 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,545 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 696 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 134 items
  • 6,729 items Explore
  • 15,808 items Explore
  • 3,130 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 8 items
  • 9,317 items Explore
  • 37 items
  • 2 items
  • 21,319 items Explore
  • 129 items
  • 38 items
  • 13,167 items Explore
  • 3,390 items Explore
  • 2,136 items Explore
  • 44 items
  • 42,199 items Explore
  • 635 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 24,442 items Explore
  • 218 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 20 items
  • 27 items
  • 325 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 13,212 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,261 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 14 items
  • 25 items
  • 1 items
  • 4,532 items Explore
  • 918 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 464 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 220 items
  • 702 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,284 items Explore
  • 1,662 items Explore
  • 15 items
  • 1,928 items Explore
  • 151 items
  • 84 items
  • 773 items Explore
  • 3,137 items Explore
  • 43 items
  • 17 items
  • 12 items
  • 10,682 items Explore
  • 23,090 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,373 items
  • 180 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 92 items
  • 13,324 items Explore
  • 3,574 items Explore
  • 2,663 items Explore
  • 4,776 items Explore
  • 22 items
  • 45 items
  • 6,899 items Explore
  • 4,772 items Explore
  • 272 items Explore
  • 2,300 items Explore
  • 2,978 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,863 items Explore
  • 291 items
  • 223 items Explore
  • 470 items Explore
  • 6,120 items Explore
  • 8,810 items Explore
  • 1,859 items Explore
  • 5,793 items Explore
  • 3,339 items Explore
  • 11,064 items Explore
  • 86 items
  • 11 items
  • 1,675 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 5 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,968 items Explore
  • 620 items Explore
  • 62 items
  • 17 items
  • 151 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 87 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 463 items
  • 2 items
  • 996 items Explore
  • 3,609 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,406 items Explore
  • 48 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 42 items
  • 3 items
  • 13,713 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,169 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 10,565 items Explore
  • 1,005 items Explore
  • 1,920 items
  • 7,549 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,945 items Explore
  • 1,418 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 9,575 items Explore
  • 16,395 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,669 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 58 items
  • 5,684 items Explore
  • 9,403 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 25 items
  • 2 items
  • 59 items
  • 3 items
  • 7,394 items Explore
  • 402 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 103 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 5 items
  • 480 items
  • 297 items Explore
  • 8,369 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 22,520 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 7,350 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 25 items
  • 3,832 items Explore
  • 464 items
  • 339 items Explore
  • 12,692 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 20 items
  • 7 items
  • 4 items
  • 315 items Explore
  • 434 items
  • 183 items
  • 3,688 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,228 items Explore
  • 2,493 items Explore
  • 732 items Explore
  • 36 items
  • 1,135 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 41 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 74,347 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,065 items Explore
  • 2,847 items Explore
  • 237 items
  • 3,618 items Explore
  • 1,832 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 17,341 items Explore
  • 5,508 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 632 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 468 items
  • 39 items
  • 76 items
  • 29 items
  • 177 items
  • 3 items
  • 41 items
  • 1,176 items Explore
  • 109 items
  • 805 items
  • 17 items
  • 11,172 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 13 items
  • 1,548 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 214 items
  • 16,994 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 9 items
  • 8 items
  • 324 items
  • 2 items
  • 626 items Explore
  • 1,587 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 1,034 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 261 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

A sundial borne by a life-size, kneeling figure of an African man

Andrew Carpenter (c.1677 - London 1737)

Category

Art / Sculpture

Date

c. 1735

Materials

Lead, paint, bronze, stone

Measurements

1850 x 1140 x 1140 mm

Place of origin

London

Order this image

Collection

Dunham Massey, Cheshire

NT 936871

Summary

Painted lead, sundial borne by a life-size, kneeling figure of an African man, attributed to Andries Carpentière (Andrew Carpenter; c. 1677 – London 1737) after the model by John Nost I (Mechelen c. 1660 - London 1711-13), c. 1735. A cast lead figure of a young African man in a half-kneeling position, the proper right knee and shin on the plinth, the proper left knee raised, supported by tucked left toes. The hands held aloft to support a stone disc and bronze sundial plate mounted on top of the head. The figure is nude, save for a feathered loin cloth painted blue and green. Polychromed according to the contemporary practice, and with blue eyes. After the so-called ‘blackamoor’ model by John Nost I, installed in 1701 in the Privy Garden of Hampton Court Palace. Mounted on a moulded stone plinth.

Full description

This life-size figure of a kneeling African man has stood prominently in front of the entrance to Dunham Massey for over three hundred years. It is attributed to Andries Carpentière (Andrew Carpenter), a sculptor and maker of lead statues who was commissioned by George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675-1758), to produce monuments to the late 1st Earl, in 1735. The figure is believed to have been supplied by Carpentière around the same time. Within the lexicon of western art history, this sculpture has been categorised as a ‘blackamoor’, a personification of the continent of Africa, and an anonymous ‘kneeling slave’. These shifting, entangled designations reflect Britain’s own fraught relationship with the Black body and the legacies of its long and lucrative involvement in the colonial slave trade. In June 2020 the sculpture was temporarily removed from public view in response to the global anti-racism movement following the death of George Floyd (1973-2020). The National Trust is currently reassessing its display. The ‘blackamoor’ Cast after a model by John Nost I for William III’s Privy Garden at Hampton Court Palace, the original design for this figure derives from a European aesthetic tradition known as the ‘blackamoor’. A conflation of the Black African and Muslim ‘Moor’, the stereotyped and highly stylised figure of the ‘blackamoor’ took a variety of forms in ceramic and silverware, furniture and sculpture, architecture, painting and print (e.g. NT 413922, 452977, 118826, 802613, 1139940, 1140088). The ‘blackamoor’ typically wore exoticised and orientalised costume – here a feathered loincloth – and was often posed in service, literally functioning as a clock, tray or box holder, a torchère, or as a motif carved into the supportive elements of furniture. Here the kneeling man acts as a baluster or plinth, a load-bearing Atlas figure, his body braced beneath the weight of time, his expression unmistakably supplicant. The lead body is vividly painted according to the mid-Georgian fashion for ‘life-like’ garden statuary, the man given incongruously clear blue eyes to exoticise him further. The ‘blackamoor’ belongs to a range of objects marketed in the west to signify colonial prosperity. They were designed in European workshops for elite domestic settings and were displayed with other luxury goods purchased, imported, and collected from across the globe. This figure – and others like it – was of a type manufactured during British monopoly of the Transatlantic slave trade: a brutal and dehumanising economy that greatly enriched Britain, and contributed to its imperial expansion around the world. To the majority of Georgian Britons, the African body was an object of distanced fascination, entirely divorced from the miseries of slavery. The violence of that trade was inherent in the ornamental figure of the ‘blackamoor’, but at the same time ameliorated by it. In an extreme form of objectification, the enslaved African brought back to Britain to attend the wealthy was often dressed in exotic livery, and lived a limited life as a domestic servant, pageboy or coachman. As in art, the living ‘blackamoor’ was a piece of luxury property, passively conspicuous. This is no more acutely observed than in bust by John Nost I, carved for William III in around 1700 (RCIN 1396). It depicts an enslaved African man in a feathered turban, a jewelled livery collar, and a padlocked slave collar. Said to be a portrait of the king’s favourite servant, the sitter’s body is rendered from highly polished black limestone, his clothing and accoutrements from a variety of imported coloured marble. The kneeling African man at Dunham Massey occupies a prominent position directly in front of the front door, and is flanked at a distance by a pair of heraldic lions bearing the Booth family crest (NT 932335-8). A continuous and principal feature of the southern forecourt since 1735, the figure has survived eclipses in fashion, remodelling schemes, and, significantly, the Abolition. The Hampton Court model The most reproduced of all lead sculptures after John Nost I, this figure, and its derivations by Carpentière and John Cheere, originate from a well-documented model made for William III in 1701 (Eyres 2011, pp.25–95). As a former assistant to Nost, Carpentière, who set up independently in around 1714, would have had access to casts of the model, if not actual moulds. In the very same year that Britain entered the War of Spanish Succession (1701-14), Nost had been engaged by the Royal Works to produce a figure of ‘a Blackamore [sic] kneeling, 5 foot high, and holding a sundial’ (HCP accounts, 1701-2, National Archives, Works 5/52). The model was installed in October of that year, and joined in December by a pendant figure – a variation of the piece-moulded ‘blackamoor’ – ‘representing an Indian Slave Kneeling’, that also supported a sundial (Arley Hall cast reproduced Davis 1991, p. 49, pl. 1:14). The pendant suggests that the ‘kneeling blackamoor’ may have been intended as an allegory of the continent of Africa, the ‘Indian Slave’ personifying Asia. That the other known continents – Europe and America – were unrealised has been ascribed to the untimely death of the king in March 1702, a matter of months after ‘Africa’ and ‘Asia’ were installed. There is, however, no evidence to suggest that a continental set was ever planned (Davis 1991, pp. 48-9). Like the category ‘blackamoor’, the continental allegory was an entirely Eurocentric motif reflecting the politics and interests of the age. Europe was represented triumphantly, with symbols of intellectual and artistic wealth; Africa, Asia, and America depicted as its culturally impoverished subjects, though nevertheless rich in resources. Mounted opposite each other, and before the Palace itself, the king’s kneeling ‘blackamoor’ and ‘Indian’ symbolised powerful trade routes carrying cash crops, manufactured goods, and enslaved people from and between Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. In this context ‘Africa’ and ‘India’ seem an appropriate choice for the Dutch stadtholder and English king William III: the ‘blackamoor’ representative of England’s slave-trading ambitions, the ‘Indian slave’ of the Anglo-Dutch coalition that secured its monopoly in textile and spice trades, and that protected the East India Company’s control of the Madagascar slave trade. Emulating royal taste, subsequent casts of the ‘blackamoor’ and ‘Indian slave’ models were manufactured until at least 1750 for patrons such as Thomas Coke (Melbourne Hall), Elihu Yale (Plas Grono; YCBA, inv.no. 1922.8), Thomas Wentworth (Wentworth Castle), and many others (see Eyres 2011, pp. 15-25 for an inventory of extant casts). Coke and Wentworth’s ‘blackamoors’ can be read as symbols of political prowess, both erected in celebration of personal diplomatic achievements that gained Britain territories and trade rights. Wentworth’s cast in particular commemorated his negotiation of the Peace of Utrecht, a treaty that brought the Successional War to a close and awarded Britain the Asiento to trade enslaved Africans to Spanish America. An investor in the South Sea Company (SSC) – which ran the Asiento until its notorious collapse in 1720 – Wentworth also held shares in the East India Company and Mississippi Company. Similarly, the ‘blackamoor’ by Carpenter at Cannons signified fortunes made by the 1st Duke of Chandos in the Successional War, as well as his investments in the SSC, the Royal Africa, and Mississippi Companies. At least three further casts are known to have been installed in the gardens of Fetcham Park, Purley Hall, and Bush Hill, the homes of South Sea Company directors (Eyres 2011, pp. 72-6). A testament to the power of profit, Nost’s ‘blackamoor’ was the most popular and widely purchased of all lead statuary manufactured in the 18th century. Derivations of the model were continuously available until John Cheere died in 1787 and casts continue to circulate in the market today. Alice Rylance-Watson 2020

Provenance

Probably acquired by George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675-1758), c. 1735; and thence by descent into the Stamford collection; devised to the National Trust by Roger Grey, 10th Earl of Stamford (1896-1976).

Makers and roles

Andrew Carpenter (c.1677 - London 1737) , sculptor after John Nost I (Mechelen c.1660 – London 1710-1713), sculptor

References

Davis 1991: John Davis, Antique Garden Ornament, 300 years of creativity: Artists, manufacturers & materials, Woodbridge 1991 Roscoe 2009: I. Roscoe, E. Hardy and M. G. Sullivan, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660-1851, New Haven and Yale 2009 Eyres 2011: Patrick Eyres (ed.), The Blackamoor & the Georgian Garden, New Arcadian Journal, 69/70, 2011 Levenson, Yang, Gonzales-Day 2015: Cyra Levenson, Chi-ming Yang, Ken Gonzales-Day, ‘Haptic Blackness: The Double Life of an 18th-century Bust’, British Art Studies, I, 2015 Olusoga 2016: David Olusoga, Black and British, A Forgotten History, London 2016 Shohat 2018: Ella Shohat, 'The Spectre of the Blackamoor', The Comparatist, vol. 42, October 2018, pp. 158-88.

View more details