Spelter bust of Uncle Tom

W. Charles May
1876, London
Painted cast metal, 48 cm high

Painted cast metal bust of ‘Uncle Tom’ who was in real life the Reverend Josiah Henson. On the base of the statue is a small plaque depicting a scene from Uncle Tom’s Cabin with Tom and Eva, the young daughter of his master. The novel is concerned with what makes a good Christian. Both Tom and Eva are cast in sacrificial roles within the story, with Eva having a vision of heaven as she dies from illness and Tom forfeiting his life so that others might live free. The book became popular around the world being sold across America and Britain, and translated into over 37 languages.

© The American Museum in Britain (Bath, UK)

Accession reference: The American Museum in Britain (Bath, UK),1972.273