Bust: Grosvenor Hotel - head 14
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. The others seem more to represent types: racial, or national, etc. We deduce this from their facial features and rather exaggerated head-gear. The 14 are on the central section of the Buckingham Palace Road elevation, 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.
One of the more interesting visitors to this hotel was Emile Zola.