Where’s London’s oldest…public bust?

You don’t have to go far in London to find a bust of a famous figure from English history but the oldest public bust (that is, located outdoors where passersby can see it) is in fact from Egypt.

Sitting above the entrance to Sotherby’s auction house in New Bond Street, Mayfair, is a bust of Sekhmet, a lion-headed Egyptian goddess of war and healing. The half-statue, made from black basalt, was made around 1,320 BC during the 18th dynasty.

It has been sitting above Sotherby’s entrance since the 1880s when it was sold at auction for £40, but never collected.

Sotherby’s, founded by Samuel Baker in 1744, has operated on the site at 34-35 New Bond Street since 1917 when it moved from its previous home at The Strand.

You might be interested in seeing our earlier entry for London’s oldest full length outdoor statue here