Robert William Sievier

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Robert William Sievier FRS (24 July 1794 – 28 April 1865)[1] was a notable English engraver, sculptor and later inventor of the 19th century.

Engraver and sculptor[edit]

Sievier showed an early talent for drawing, and studied under John Young and Edward Scriven, before attending the Royal Academy Schools from 1818. His speciality was portrait engravings, though he also did other works, including subjects from William Etty (whose portrait he also engraved).[2] By 1823, however, he had abandoned engraving for sculpture. His sculpture portrait subjects included Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Sir Thomas Lawrence (the latter work now in the Sir John Soane's Museum[3]). His students included William F Woodington and Musgrave Watson.

Sievier exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1822 until 1844, and his output there included several busts, figure subjects, gravestones and monuments. His first studio was in London's Southampton Row; in 1837, he relocated to Henrietta Street, near Cavendish Square, and he had a separate residence in Upper Holloway.[2]

Sievier's plaster model for his statue of William Harcourt, 3rd Earl Harcourt

Other works[edit]

In 1837 he came third in the competition to design a monument to Nelson in Trafalgar Square, with a proposal devised jointly with the architect Charles Fowler.[10]


In 1836, Sievier patented a process for rubberising fabrics and formed a ‘patent’ company (the London Caoutchouc Company - caoutchouc being the original name for India rubber). The company became large-scale manufacturers of elastic driving bands for machinery, rope for mines, waterproof cloths and garments, and waterproof canvas, as well the first rubber-insulated wire.[11] His interests in manufacturing took over from the early 1840s onwards. Sievier's factory was situated close to his home, the Old Manor House, in Upper Holloway, at the south corner of Red Cap Lane (later Elthorne Road). Sievier also carried out experiments in electrical telegraphy there. The house was demolished in 1897.[12]

In Mar 1841 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[13]

He died in Kentish Town, London and is buried there in Kensal Green Cemetery.[14]


  1. ^ Sievier, Robert William (DNB00)
  2. ^ a b Sievier, Robert William (1794-1865)
  3. ^ The Collections
  4. ^ A History of Clewer
  5. ^ "Bust of John Silvester". Courtauld Institute. 
  6. ^ a b Herbert, N.M., ed. (1988). "Gloucester: The cathedral and close". A History of the County of Gloucester. Victoria County History. 4: The City of Gloucester. London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research. pp. 275–88. Retrieved 7 November 2006. 
  7. ^ cgareatrust
  8. ^ A&A |Search Results
  9. ^
  10. ^ Mace, Rodney (1975). Trafalgar Square:Emblem of Empire. London: Lawrence & Wishart. p. 62. 
  11. ^ History of the Atlantic Cable & Submarine Telegraphy - Distant Writing by Steven Roberts
  12. ^ "Islington: Growth: Holloway and Tollington". A History of the County of Middlesex. Victoria County History. 8: Islington and Stoke Newington parishes. London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research. 1985. pp. 29–37. Retrieved 7 November 2006. 
  13. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Paths of Glory. Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery. 1997. p. 89. 

External links[edit]