Thomas Duckett (1839-1868)

Nymph Disturbed at the Bath by Thomas Duckett (1839-1868) is on display in the Green Regency Room.

The sculpture has been on loan from the Starkie family of Huntroyde, Lancashire since 1933 and the only information provided by the owners was to give the title as “Nymph Disturbed at the Bath” and to name the artist as “Thomas Duckett”. The work is unsigned and undated and in the 1970s was incorrectly assigned to his father, Thomas Duckett of Preston (1804-1878).

The work appears to have something in common with a statue by Richard James Wyatt (1795-1850), ( a cast #76, R.J. Wyatt's "Nymph Entering the Bath" was exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition). At Wyatt’s death an unfinished work of the “Nymph coming out of a bath” was completed for Mr Foot of Read Hall (a place very close to Huntroyde) by the studio of Benjamin Spence and John Gibson.

In the 19th century, the Starkie family owned works by Gibson (Venus), Spence (Rebecca at the well) and Wyatt (Nymph), see Whitaker TD. 1876. History of Whalley, 4th edition, Volume 2 .

It appears Thomas Duckett (1839-1868) was in contact with Gibson during a stay in Rome in 1863-4 and it seems more likely that the work now at Towneley was created by him after his studies in Rome. No other known work by Thomas Duckett the elder compares with the style of the work in question.

Author: tk - August 2016