Boer War Page 91g
Great Canadian Heritage Discoveries
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More key items the Museum has added to its collections in its ongoing efforts to preserve important Canadian heritage memorabilia from this period.

Victorian Busts for the Masses - Parian 2

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GUESS WHO? It is always a treat to find an unusual Parian bust especially when it is signed. The following are the only ones of these subjects we have ever seen. Most are R&L, and all come from Canadian sources. They were acquired for display long ago as memorabilia items to connect Canadian families into stirring moments in the history of their country, as it unfolded on foreign fields...
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Parian Bust, Cecil Rhodes, 1900
Orig. parian marble - Size - 8"
Found - Vancouver, BC
Signed Robinson & Leadbeater
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Parian Bust, Gen. Hector "Fighting Mac" Macdonald, 1900
Orig. parian marble - Size - 8" - 9.5" plinth
Found - Dundas, ON
Signed by sculptor WC Lawton, Mar 6, 1900, Robinson & Leadbeater
Cape to Cairo: Above is Cecil Rhodes, who perhaps started it all with his Cape to Cairo dream, pushing aside anyone who didn't agree with his drive for a British railway that joined an unbroken patchwork of red on the map of Africa from Cape Town to Cairo.

Below is Joseph Chamberlain - sort of the Cheney Halliburton man of his time - whose family was in ammunition manufacturing and looking for a way to expand business... What's that about stuff repeating on you - I mean history... Oh, did we forget to mention that he was also the British Colonial Secretary. He wanted Canadian boys to fill in the holes made by the Boers, in the ranks of the British Army. But Prime Minister Laurier was not about to allow eager young Canadian volunteers to be used as cheap cannon fodder by the British Colonial Secretary...

Fighting Mac: Above is Fighting Mac, General Hector Macdonald, who took over the Highland Brigade after General Wauchope was killed at the Battle of Magersfontein. A man without the usual pretentiousness of British officers of the time, because he had worked his way up from the ranks, he was a favourite of the Canadians who appreciated people without airs, or is that heirs...?

Canadian artillery Lt. EWB Morrison was amazed to discover than an officer he had spent time amiably chatting with on a railway platform, turned out to have been none other than the unpretentious British General...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Parian Bust, British Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, 1900
Orig. parian marble - Size - 8.25"
Found - Vancouver, BC
Signed Robinson & Leadbeater
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Parian Bust, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, c. 1850
Orig. parian marble - Size - 7"
Found - Chatham, ON
Minton
The Iron Duke: OK so it's not a Boer War personality, but it's Minton. But who can resist an ancient antique bust, at a bargain price, from a seller who didn't recognize Britain's most famous general.

One must also remember that there are probably more streets, towns, parks, gardens, and squares, in Canada named in his honour than that of any other human being, including Queen Victoria...

For starters: Wellington, Duke, Wellesley, Arthur, Salamanca, Waterloo...

It happened because when the huge British army, which had been assembled to fight Napoleon, was disbanded in 1815, thousands of unemployed soldiers came to Canada as immigrants.

They built the Regency cottages that still dot the Ontario countryside, and they gave names to the places they hacked out of the wilderness, in honour of the man who had played the most important role in their lives - the General who had brought them back from the brink of death alive... and covered with glory...

"Nothing except a battle lost, can be half as melancholy, as a battle won!"
- Arthur, Duke of Wellington after Waterloo


Boer War Discovery of the Month (Dec. 2001)

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Parian Bust, Lord Roberts, 1900
Orig. parian marble - Size - 8"
Found - Montmagny, PQ
Signed by sculptor WC Lawton, Jan. 4, 1900, Robinson & Leadbeater
Lord Roberts of Kandahar, VC: We recently were fortunate to acquire the magnificent Boer War memorabilia bust of Lord Roberts (left). It started life as a wonderful 8" high white Parian bust inscribed WC Lawton, Sculptor, Copyright Jan.4, 1900 like the one below. But, as sometimes happened with Parian ware, a Victorian artist decided he or she would add colour to make "Bobs" look even more magnificent. The paint job is extremely old.

The bust was made available through the courtesy of Rejane & Clement Theberge, of Montmagny, Quebec, who found it in the home of an old man.

From Kabul to Kandahar:

This bust commemorates "Bobs," immortalized by Rudyard Kipling, in poem and song, and certainly one of the British Empire's most beloved generals. He was born in India, and spent his entire career (1852-93) in the British army in India, becoming Commander-in-Chief. He won fame for his victorious campaign to root out lawlessness in Afghanistan, after the British consul was murdered. He defeated the Afghan army several times including at Kabul.

He received his title after his celebrated "March from Kabul to Kandahar", covering 313 miles in 22 days, and then inflicting a crushing final defeat on the Afghan army. In 1893 he retired to Britain and published a most affectionately written autobiography "41 Years in India" in which he recalled with great warmth all of his past associates from lowly Indian servants to top generals during his long years of service.

Then the Boer War broke out, and, at the age of 67, Roberts began another career that would make "Bobs" a household word around the globe with his world famous "March to Pretoria". It was the biggest march of a conquering army since Napoleon's March on Moscow, and turned out to be just about as successful in the end. Just like the Russians, the Boers refused to quit. And so the longest and most bitter part of the war began after Roberts returned home to a stupendous welcome as "The Conquering Hero."

Canadian artillery, infantry, and mounted rifle regiments served under Bobs during his March to Pretoria. They too would be drawn under the spell of this British General who went out of his way to praise the Canadian contribution to making his "final victory" possible. In his honour, when they returened home, they bought plates, handkerchiefs, pitchers, and mugs that bore his image. And busts, which like this one turn up in estate auctions, as those, to whom these memorabilia items were once precious, pass on...

OK, give me an overload of more of the same...

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