In response to the previous post about the bust of Charles II, Alastair Laing has just told me that he now thinks the maker of the bust is in fact Caius Gabriel Cibber (1630-1700). There is no documentation proving that the bust was either by Bushnell or by Cibber, but stylistically the latter seems a better fit. Such re-attributions are part of the ongoing research into our collections.
Cibber was born in Denmark, travelled to Italy when he was about seventeen and moved to England in about 1655. He became sculptor to Charles II in 1667. When he was imprisoned for gambling debts this position allowed him to be released from the Marshalsea prison on a daily basis to carve the large relief on the monument to the great fire of London.
His masterpiece is probably the pair of reclining figures Melancholy Madness and Raving Madness which he created for the gates of the Bethlem Hospital. Other places he worked at include Belvoir Castle, Chatsworth, Hampton Court and St Paul’s Cathedral. A sundial by Cibber is at Belton House (above).