Albert Memorial

Model of Scott's design

Model for the Albert Memorial with a close-up of detail

Close-up and whole view of preliminary model for the Albert Memorial, c.1863
Plaster and paper
Model by Farmer & Brindley, and H. Armstead
Designer: Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878)
Copyright (whole view): V&A Images. Museum number: A.13-1973


This large model was made to offer Queen Victoria an impression of how Scott's design for her husband's memorial would look in three dimensions. It is over two metres tall and was completed in 1863. It now sits in the British Galleries of the Victoria and Albert Museum, but originally it was placed on a large pedestal in Buckingham Palace. Numerous discussions would have taken place around the model during the early stages of the memorial's construction.

The model is made of plaster which has been coloured, gilded and polished to imitate the actual building materials. Coloured paper mosaics are also used to represent the enamel mosaics which were designed for the sides and underside of the canopy by Clayton & Bell, and later made by the Italian firm, Salviati.

Scott’s opinion of the model

Scott was very pleased with the model, feeling that it represented well his vision for the memorial. In his recollection notes he recounts that in hindsight he wishes he had had a stronger influence on the various sculptors involved with producing the monument. In particular in light of the fact that his design had been drawn out partly by Mr Clayton and partly by his sons G.G. Scott Junior and John Oldrid Scott. However, he is very positive about the model maker Mr Armstead, writing:

'Without derogating from the merits of the sculpture as eventually carried out, it is but just to say that I doubt whether either the central figure or a single group, as executed, is superior to the miniature models furnished by Mr Armstead.'