Queen Victoria by Alfred Turner RA (1874-1940). 1902. Tynemouth. Bronze seated statue on a hefty but elegantly turned Portland stone base with a wide square surround, of two steps, inscribed to the "Late Beloved Queen / Victoria...." The enthroned monarch is shown in plush robes, with lace trimmings and brooch giving a feminine touch, but she looks decidedly pensive: "A noteworthy study of character" (Grundy et al. 594). Earlier descriptions show that she used to wear a crown and grasp a sceptre in her right hand, and that there used to be small statues on the finials of the throne. A mother and child group on one side is still noted in recent descriptions, but has disappeared now.
Left: Three-quarter view from left. Right: Close-up from right.
The statue is a second cast from one made for New Delhi, and does seem broadly similar in style to Alfred Gilbert's Victoria in Newcastle (minus the elaborate canopy, of course). But the throne is not at all like the high-backed throne of Frampton's Victoria in Kolkata (for both suggestions, see Underwood et al. 206). What really distinguishes the statue, however, is the face:
The Queen's expression is memorable. She seems to be looking back over her reign with a measure of fatalistic acceptance. It was not for nothing that Turner, when still studying at the South London Technical School of Art, carried off the gold medal and travelling studentship awarded by the City and Guilds Institute in 1898 (see "The Speaker..."). The statue was paid for by public subscription.
Photographs, formatting and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]
Grundy, John, et al. The Buildings of England: Northumberland. 2nd (revised) ed. London: Penguin, 1992.
"The Speaker on Technical Education." Times, 28 January 1898: 4. Times Digital Archive. Web. 16 July 2014.
"Statue of Queen Victoria Opposite Number 10, Tynemouth." British Listed Buildings. Web. 16 July 2014.
Usherwood, Paul, Jeremy Beach, Catherine Morris. Public sculpture of North-East England. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000.
Last modified 16 July 2014