This bust ultimately derives from a Roman bust of the 2nd century AD from the Farnese Collection, now in the Archaeological Museum, Naples which copies a Greek original of the 1st century BC. Marble copies were in various great English collections such as those of Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke, Charles Watson-Wentworth, second marquess of Rockingham and Charles Townley.
Wedgwood and Bentley purchased a plaster cast from Hoskins and Grant, for which they were invoiced £1.1.0. In their trade catalogue of 1774 Wedgwood and Bentley list two busts of Homer, no. 30 and a larger one no. 54. Ours is an example of no. 30.
The black-painted plaster of Paris bust by Hoskins and Grant survives in the V & A Wedgwood Collection (WE.491-2014)
The so-called ‘chimney’ or ‘stove-pipe’ support is one of the earliest used by Wedgwood and on larger busts seems to be exclusively confined to the Wedgwood and Bentley period. (Reilly p. 515, fig. 748).
An unmarked example is in the collection of the Duke of Anhalt-Dessau in Wörlitz (Weiss 1995, cat no. 21, p. 25). Another example, impressed Wedgwood and Bentley, was exhibited in Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries, (Mint Museum of Art, 2020), no 14.1.
Good, no restoration
Gallagher, Brian D, Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries, (Mint Museum of Art, 2020)
Thomas Weiss et.al., Wedgwood 1795-1995 – Englische Keramik in Wörlitz, (Seemann 1995)
Robin Reilly, Wedgwood, (Stockton Press 1989), vol. I, p. 460 fig. 660