From this detailed examination of his life, English sculptor Benjamin Cheverton emerges as an exceptionally talented and interesting man, operating effectively in the fields of both science and art in the early Victorian period. His principal 'profession' was as a maker of reduced-size sculpture, mostly in ivory. Whilst he was not a creative sculptor, nor even a journeyman carver, his sculptures – products of technical ingenuity, made by a machine which he, as an inventor, perfected – are of very high quality. It is for these elaborately neat busts that he is chiefly remembered. As quite a large number of his letters and papers have been preserved by Cheverton's family, it has been possible to give some impression of the texture of his life, and to place him, both geographically and intellectually, in early Victorian London. The family papers also enable us to accompany him on his foreign travel, a six-month-long not-so-Grand Tour in France, Spain and Italy, in 1821. This revealing biography accompanies a catalogue of an outstanding assemblage of over 200 of his busts made by the collector Kenneth Thomson (the 2nd Lord Thomson of Fleet), which are on display in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada.
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