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William Cavendish, Seventh Duke of Devonshire (1808-1891): M.1-1908

Object information

Current Location: In storage


William Cavendish, Seventh Duke of Devonshire (1808-1891)


Sculptor: Goscombe John, Sir William




Bronze, cast from model for bronze statue at Eastbourne (1901). Full-length, seated, turned front, facing and looking half right, left hand hanging beside the chair, holding a book, right hand on chair-arm, in robes of Chancellor of University. Bare-headed; bushy side-whiskers. Wears court dress with bands, collar of the Garter with the Garter George over robes, the Garter round left leg, feet resting on a footstool. Heavy carved chair. Signed on chair right: 'W.Goscombe John.A.R.A.' Mounted on a marble plinth incised with inscription.


History note: Commissioned from the sculptor by the Committee and subscribers; given by the Committee and subscribers to the University of Cambridge, and placed in the Fitzwilliam Museum (Grace 1 & 2, Feb. 1908).

Legal notes

Given to the University by the Committee and Subscribers and placed in the Fitzwilliam Museum

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1908)


Edward VII
20th Century, Early
Production date: AD 1907


Born in Cardiff, Goscombe John studied under the French sculptor, Aime-Jules Dalou (1838-1902) and was admired for his unpretentious realism and technical brilliance of modelling. He was commissioned to design many public monuments and statues of public figures.

William Cavendish endowed the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, which was named after his relative, the scientist Henry Cavendish (1731-1810). This full-length seated portrait was cast in 1907 from the model for the large bronze statue at Eastbourne, unveiled in 1901, for which Goscombe John was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Salon of the same year.

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Sculpture UK

Components of the work

Statue composed of bronze Depth 59.7 cm Height 69.8 cm Width 56.9 cm
Plinth composed of marble Depth 71 cm Height 120.8 cm Width 60.6 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: W.Goscombe John.A.R.A.
  • Location: On chair right
  • Type: Signature

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1-1908
Primary reference Number: 12290
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_1_1908
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 17 August 2022 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "William Cavendish, Seventh Duke of Devonshire (1808-1891)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-27 16:38:17

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{{cite web|url= |title=William Cavendish, Seventh Duke of Devonshire (1808-1891) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-27 16:38:17|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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