Height 23 ½ inches (60cm) Width: 13 inches (33cm) Depth: 11 inches (28cm)
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This charming bronze portrait bust of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was commissioned by St Mary’s Hospital Paddington. It shows her looking at us with a gentle smile. She is wearing one of her familiar hats with an upswept brim and curling feather, a three-strand pearl necklace and one of her favourite brooches – The Palm Leaf Brooch. Signed ‘VM 3’. English, 2002.
The Palm Leaf Brooch was created for the then Queen Elizabeth by Cartier in 1938, using stones already in her collection. This may have been a particular favourite because the motif was a reference to her Scottish ancestry. The boteh, a curved teardrop shape, is known in Britain as ‘paisley’ because it was made famous by the Scottish textile weavers of that town In fact, one of the French translations for the word paisley is palme. In the Middle East, especially in Ancient Persia, and India where it is called a buta, this symbol represents long life and eternity, fertility, strength in adversity and sovereignty. This brooch is the prominent item of jewellery in the iconic “Three Queens in Mourning” photograph taken by Ron Case after the death of George VI. In ‘The Queen’s Diamonds’ Hugh Roberts informs us that, since she inherited the brooch in 2002, our present Queen has worn it for least 30 public engagements.
Vivien Mallock became an Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1998. Her largest work to date, the nine-foot memorial to the Royal Tank Regiment, unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen in 2000, stands in Whitehall Court and depicts the five-man crew of a Comet tank. In 2013, her large bronze roundel bas relief portrait of Her Majesty The Queen was unveiled in the Great Hall in Winchester and this piece is on of the initial trials, without the Tudor rose in the background. She was commissioned to model The Prince of Wales by the Army Air Corp and has completed numerous public sculptures of military figures, six of which constitute a unique series in Normandy. In early 2014 her bust of Sir Winston Churchill was unveiled in the Pentagon as a gift from the British Government to the US Department of Defense. Other recent subjects have varied from footballer Brian Clough to Sir Walter Raleigh. The second bronze was purchased by the Goring Hotel where sitter and sculptor usually met – including the memorable day when Vivi was invited to show her portfolio, kneeling on the floor with her arm around Her Royal Highness’s waist. The sittings for this bronze were the last ones undertaken by the Queen Mother.
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Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother by Vivien Mallock