The life-size standing figure of the Prince, is wearing the robes of Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. Beneath the robe he wears knee-breaches, hose, waistcoat and cravat. His right hand rests gently on his chest and his left holds a squared, taselled, academic cap. The sculptor has defined the drape of the robe and its embroidery to a very high degree of detail. The head is very slightly lowered in a contemplative mode. The aedicule, on the half-landing containing the statue, is part of the wall behind the the main staircase and this is surrounded by a gothic arch with supporting polychrome pillars of Devonian coral limestone.
This memorial statue was not commissioned in the accustomed way. The Exeter- born sculptor, Edward Bowring Stephens, agreed to execute the work free of charge and only the cost of the stone was met by the committee that had raised funds to build the museum in which it stands. At a public meeting, called by the Mayor of Exeter, William Kendall, held in the Guildhall on 6 February 1862 (the year after the death of the Prince Consort) the following resolution was
unanimously adopted: 'That it is desirable to erect a memorial in the City of Exeter to His late Royal Highness the Prince Consort'. The outcome was 'a Museum with adjuncts for the study of Art, Science and Literature, in which His Royal Highness took so deep an interest'. (1) Six years later, when the museum building in Queen Street, designed by John Hayward, was opened, the statue was erected on the present site in the entrance hall.
Incised on the centre face of pedestal in gilded decorative caps, approximately 11cm high:ALBERT
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