Bust

Grosvenor Hotel - head 13

Erection date: 1862

Site: Grosvenor Hotel - 14 heads (14 memorials)

SW1, Buckingham Palace Road, Grosvenor Hotel

This 1860 building, by architect James Knowles Snr, is studded with many portrait busts of which we believe only these 14 are representations of particular individuals. Given their facial features and rather exaggerated head-gear the others seem more to represent types: racial, or national, etc.  The 14 are on the central section of the Buckingham Palace Road elevation, facing to the right in our photo, in the first floor window spandrels.

However we have failed to identify most of these heads. Victoria was easy and she gave us Albert, on her left, but the 6 on each side are tough. The costumes help - a few indicating military men, and the togas presumably indicating politicians but the two with loose-collared shirts - artists? We wonder, did the Victorian populace of the 1860s enjoy this 'spot the celebrity' game? If you have an eye for faces please have a go and let us know who you find.

2018: Via a lead we've nominated one of the heads as Palmerston. 3 down, only 11 to go.

2023: We've noticed that the south elevation which is barely visible also has some roundels, certainly at the fourth floor. We can't see the first floor at all but that could also have some heads. Perhaps when the hotel was first erected this elevation was more visible. Since those on the north elevation are generic, we trust these are too.

One of the more interesting visitors to this hotel was Emile Zola.

This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Grosvenor Hotel - head 13

Also at this site i

Nearby Memorials

Old Westminster Library - head 3 - Chaucer

Old Westminster Library - head 3 - Chaucer

SW1, Great Smith Street

The foundation stone is immediately to the right of the central entrance. Above the entrance: "Westminster Public Library, The united pa...

1 subject commemorated
Colonial Office - B09 - Ethelbert

Colonial Office - B09 - Ethelbert

SW1, Whitehall, Foreign Office

Statues Hither and Thither has been invaluable in identifying some of the busts and most of the statues. The statues are not labelled and...

1 subject commemorated, 2 creators
President Lincoln bust

President Lincoln bust

EC3, Royal Exchange Buildings, Royal Exchange

Easily missed, this bust was brought to our attention by IanVisits.  It's at the eastern entrance to the building.

1 subject commemorated, 3 creators
Albert - W1

Albert - W1

W1, Mount Street, 122/3

1 subject commemorated
Hitchcock bust

Hitchcock bust

N1, Poole Street, Gainsborough Studios

There's a suggestion in the sculpture that the face is actually a mask.

1 subject commemorated, 37 creators