Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports compiled by Rictor Norton

Waxworks and Models

6 August 1703   On Wednesday last Mrs. Go[l]dsmith, the famous woman for waxwork, brought to Westminster-Abbey the effigies of that celebrated beauty the late Dutchess of Richmond, which is said to be the richest figure that ever was set up in King Henry’s Chappel. [Daily Courant]

13-15 December 1708
The effigies of his Royal Highness George Prince of Denmark, made in wax, and seated at a banquet, near the effigies of Her Present MAJESTY, and His Highness the Duke of Gloster. All happily performed in a very near Imitation of the life. By Mrs. Goldsmith. Also the effigies of King William, and Queen Mary, with divers of the nobility and gentry. To be seen at Mr. Goldsmith’s, at the sign of King William and Queen Mary, in the Old-Jury. Where are six rooms furnish’d with variety of curiosities. Price one shilling. All persons that have been already there, shall be kindly receiv’d at half the price. [English Post]

3 January 1711
Mr. Penkethman’s Wonderful Invention.
This is to give notice, That Mr. Penkethman has, by his indefatigable industry, invented a most surprizing and magnificent machine, call’d, The Pantheon, consisting of several curious pictures and moving figures, representing the Fabulous History of the Heathen-Gods. The whole contains 14 several entertainments, and near 100 figures, (besides ships, beasts, fish, fowl, and other embellishments,) some near a foot in heighth [sic]; all which have their respective and peculiar motions, their very heads, legs, and arms, hands, and fingers, artificially moving exactly to what they perform, and setting one foot before another, as they go, like living creatures, in such a manner that nothing but Nature it self can exceed it. It continues to be shewn every day from 9 in the morning till 9 at night, in the great room at the Duke of Marlborough’s Head in Fleetstreet. Price 2s. 6d. 1s. and the lowest 6d. [Daily Courant]

6 August 1726   Mr. Whistson has made a model of Solomon’s Temple, to shew in opposition to that in the Haymarket; both of which are pretended to be true models, yet are different. If our virtuosi can’t agree upon corporeals, no wonder there is such a difference in speculative matters. [Mist’s Weekly Journal]

22 November 1726
The Temple of SOLOMON, with all its porches, walls, gates, walls, chambers, holy vessels, the altar of burnt-offering, the molten sea, golden candlesticks, shew-bread-tables, altar of incense, the Ark of the Covenant, with the mercy-seat, the Cherubims, &c. As also the Tabernacle of Moses, with all its appurtenances according to the several parts thereof, erected in a proper model, and material representation, is 20 foot square, and 12 foot high. Is every day to be seen, from eleven in the forenoon to five in the evening, in the Long Room of the Opera-House in the Hay-Market. This compleat masterpiece for its excellent architecture, exact and perfect simetry [sic], and richness in gold, silver, jewels, carvings, and figures, has not its like in the universe, there being above 6700 pillars, 1500 chambers, and windows in proportion, to be seen conform to the oiginal. The printed description of it, with 12 fine Cutts, is to be had at the same place at 5s. the book. Every particular will be shewn and explained by some persons attending there for that purpose. The price for seeing the Temple is 2s. 6d. N.B. The publick is desired to take notice, that the said Temple will be shewn but a little time longer. [Daily Courant]

28 October 1727   We hear his Majesty hath purchased the famous model of the Temple of Solomon, brought from Hamburgh in the last reign, and shewn in the Haymarket, in order to make a present of it to one of the Universities. [British Journal]

Saturday, 8 March 1729   ’Tis surprising how much the FIGURES representing their Majesties and the rest of the Royal Family, made with a new composition, are applauded. We are assured that the life was never imitated in such great perfection before. Figures that are made in wax, are painted over; but in these the colouring is work’d up gradually in the composition; has infinitely more spirit, and not a certain polish which is seen in waxen figures, and which make it less natural. They are daily visited by persons of the greatest quality and taste; and we are told that Her Majesty, the Princes, and the Princesses intend to see them. (London Journal)

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Waxworks and Models", 19 March 2002, updated 4 March 2005 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/waxworks.htm>

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