"I was having a look at your
photo of the fiddler in the garden at Holyrood Palace and thought it rang
a bell with me.
If you have a look at the book,
'Thomas Begbie's Edinburgh, a Mid-Victorian Portrait', you'll find Plate
17 on page 50 shows 'The Fiddler' taken possibly in the late 1850's.
from the book:
Plates 17 and 18
are almost certainly works by the self-taught sculptor, Robert
Forrest, (1790-1852) whose 'Exhibition of Statuary' on the Calton
Hill in Edinburgh was one of the wonders of the city in the
nineteenth century. At some stage after his death the sculpture
moved to the Royal Gymnasium at Fettes Row and sold from there by
Lyon and Turnbull on Monday, 6th November 1876. Lot 7, 'The Fiddler'
sold for 55/-.
Plate 17. Begbie
has a great interest in sculpture and made a number of interesting
negatives of work by native carvers. This piece is attributed
to Robert Forrest (1790-1852), who had an enormously successful
sculpture park on the Calton Hill from 1825 until his death, very
little of which survives.
Alan Wilson, Trinity, Edinburgh: July 5, 2010
Calton Hill Statues
Thank you, Alan for reminding me that the statue of the fiddler once
stood on Calton Hill. I've now added the Begbie photograph of 'The
Fiddler' statue on Calton Hill to the EdinPhoto web site. Please
click on the thumbnail image above to see the Begbie photo.
Some of the detail in the stone carving has worn away over the 150
years between the Begbie photo taken on Calton Hill and my photo taken in
the grounds of Holyroodhouse in 2010.
Edinburgh: July 11, 2010