Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Hughes, Ball

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HUGHES, Ball, sculptor, b. in London, England, 19 Jan., 1806; d. in Boston, Mass., 5 March, 1868. He early showed a fondness for modelling, and procured his first supply of wax by collecting candle-ends, with which he made a bass-relief copy of a picture, representing the judgment of Solomon, that was afterward cast in silver. His father placed him in the studio of Edward H. Baily, with whom he remained for seven years. During this time he gained important prizes, including a large silver medal that was given by the Royal academy for the best copy in bass-relief of the Apollo Belvedere, a silver medal from the Society of arts for a copy of the Barberine Faun, a large silver medal for the best original model from life, and a gold medal for an original composition called “Pandora brought to Earth by Mercury.” He also executed several ideal statues, and busts of George IV. and the Dukes of Cambridge, Sussex, and York, besides a statuette of George IV., that was afterward cast in bronze. He came to the United States in 1829, and settled first in New York, where he made in marble a statue of Alexander Hamilton for the Merchants' exchange, but it was destroyed by fire in 1835. The life-size monumental high-relief of Bishop Hobart of New York, now in the vestry of Trinity church, New York city, was made by him about this time. Later he resided in Dorchester, Mass., and there made “Little Nell” and the group “Uncle Toby and Widow Wadman,” which are preserved in plaster at the Boston athenæum, but never have been carved in marble. Among his later works are a model of an equestrian statue of Washington, intended for the city of Philadelphia, a “Crucifixion,” a statue in bronze of Nathaniel Bowditch that is now in Mount Auburn cemetery, a statuette of Gen. Joseph Warren, a bust of Washington Irving, and a “Mary Magdalen.” Mr. Hughes also lectured upon art, and attracted attention by his sketches that he made on wood with a hot iron.