Parthenon Marbles

Image credit: The Literary & Philosophical Society

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Between 1801 and 1812 the 7th Earl of Elgin had appropriated and shipped to London the famous marbles from the Parthenon frieze in Athens. Plaster casts of these exceeded the Townley vases in popularity. Two entries in the Society’s accounts of 1824 show that the sum of £40/12/0 was paid to John Shaw Esq of London for casts of the Elgin Marbles, and that the Reverend Charles Thorp paid the Society 6 guineas (six pounds and six shillings) 'for a cast of one of the Elgin marbles'. The original set may therefore have comprised six casts of which by prior agreement Reverend Thorp purchased one. One of the five casts displayed on the stairs disappeared without record in the years between inventories made in 1937 and 1947 respectively. These classical allusions were fashionable statements of Enlightenment belief in human intellectual progress.

The Literary & Philosophical Society of Newcastle

Newcastle upon Tyne


Parthenon Marbles






H 140 x W 146 x D 20 cm (E)

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1824

Work type


Inscription description

inscribed on wall, lower left: C THORP B D / DIDII


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Normally on display at

The Literary & Philosophical Society of Newcastle

23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 1SE England

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