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Object Record

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Object Name BUST
Title Jefferson F. Davis
Catalog Number 0985.04.00009
Date ca. 1862
Description Plaster bust of Jefferson Davis. Head turned slightly to its right. The artist's signature and date, "F. Volck / 1862", are on the base.
Material plaster
Owned Jefferson Davis; J. W. Davies
Made Frederick Volck, Richmond, Virginia, CSA, 1862-63
Event Evacuation of Richmond, April 2-3, 1865
Provenance This bust is the one from which the Confederate postage bearing Davis' likeness was drawn. The bust was taken from life, while Frederick Volck was in Richmond, Virginia in 1862 and 1863. Davis gave the bust to John W. Davies when he left Richmond on April 2, 1865. The following is quoted from Jefferson Davis' letter, dated April 5, 1865, to his wife Varina, "I packed the bust and gave it to Jno. Davi[e]s who offered to take it & put it where it should never be found by a Yankee . . . Both were removed after dark." Davies hid it, perhaps burying it underneath an ashes pile behind his house, or in his marble yard on the west side of 9th St.), to save it from Union troops when they occupied Richmond on April 3, 1865. The Richmond "Daily Dispatch" printed an article in its December 7, 1889 issue, regarding an exhibition of the bust, "A very fine bust of Mr. Davis was exhibited in front of the Lee Gallery on Main Street yesterday. . . . This bust was the property of Mr. John W. Davies, who had a marble-yard and a room for the exhibition of statuary at the northwest corner of Main and Ninth Streets - on the lot now covered by the Masonic building."

The 1905 Catalog provides the following information, believed erroneous: "Copy of plaster bust of President Davis, by Galt."
People Davis, Jefferson
Davies, John W.
Volck, Frederick
Search Terms Confederate Executive Mansion
Confederate White House
Executive Mansion
White House of the Confederacy
Richmond, Virginia
Confederate States Post Office
items hidden from Union soldiers
Subjects Art
Post offices