David Garrick's Urns Return To Hogarth House

Replicas of a gift from the famous actor to the artist now installed

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Replicas of two elegant urns given by David Garrick, the celebrated actor, to his great friend William Hogarth can be seen again at the entrance to the artist's Chiswick home for the first time in over a century.

The original urns were given between 1749, when the Hogarths acquired their second home in Chiswick, and the artist’s death in 1764, but had been moved firstly indoors at the beginning of the 1900s and then to Gunnersbury Park Museum in 1997 for safety as they were in need of conservation work.

That work has now been completed but it was decided they would be too much at risk if kept outdoors so high-quality replicas have now been installed at the entrance which were unveiled this week (June 17).


The fundraising campaign to have the urns restored was led by Rosaline Elliott of the Hogarth Trust, and restoration was made possible by donations from individuals, the Leche Trust, the Old Chiswick Protection Society, the theatre world and the Garrick Club.

The urns can be seen on 19th century photographs of the house and have swags of fruit and artichoke finials, symbols of a productive garden. The Hogarths had fruit trees, including the mulberry which is probably older than the House, and a “nut walk” where Hogarth played nine pins or skittles, but we it is not known if they grew artichokes, which had been introduced to England in Henry VIII’s reign.

The replicas are made from Jesmonite, a high-quality modern resin, and the work was carried out by Plowden & Smith. Visitors to Hogarth’s House can see the urns if they enter at the small gate near the front door.

The William Hogarth Trust says it hopes in the near future to be able to create more replica urns to raise funds to support its work. williamhogarthtrust.org.uk


June 21, 2013