This year, we have worked with Robert J. Grace of Grace of London to gild our life-size, plaster bust of Jane Austen in 24ct gold, in celebration of the writer's bicentenary this year. The bust has been 'on tour' over the Summer, visiting venues including Combe Grove Hotel, Bath Tourist Information Centre, Tylney Hall Hotel, Hampshire and the Jane Austen Regency Ball at the Guildhall. It is currently on display at the iconic Royal Crescent Hotel.

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We are now pleased to announce that the bust will be auctioned at the prestigious Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Collars & Coats Gala Ball on Thursday 2nd November. 

The Ball raises significant funds to help care for the thousands of vulnerable animals who arrive at the home each year. The theme of the 2017 Ball  is ‘Stories’ and so naturally, one of Britain’s, and Bath's best loved writers is the perfect fit.

The event will take place at Battersea Evolution where “guests will be treated to a spectacular night of entertainment and fine dining as well being invited to step inside the stories of some of our wonderful rescue animals. The headline entertainment for the evening will be provided by the legendary reggae band UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue.” The bust will feature in a silent auction from 19 October at http://www.collarsandcoats-auction.org.uk and is expected to raise over £1000 for the charity.  

The bust is featured below with local Pug, Captain (outside Bath Tourist Information Centre), echoing Lady Bertrum’s lap dog in Austen’s third published novel, Mansfield Park.

Modern Souvenir Company's owner and founder, Timothy Richards, said:

"As a Bath-based craft workshop, we are delighted to celebrate the bicentenary of one of Bath's most famous residents, and to be able to support such a worthy charity is a bonus. This bust, sculpted in the workshop by Charlotte Hern and manufactured in British plaster, has been beautifully enhanced by the 24-ct gilding by Robert J. Grace. We hope this venture will raise the profile of Jane Austen's association with Bath still further."

Robert J. Grace said:

My craft allows me to meet some of the most extraordinary people past and present and that includes the beauty that is Jane Austen. I was delighted to have gilded this piece in collaboration with the Modern Souvenir Company. The piece will be auctioned for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and as an animal lover both Samson and Delilah and myself are delighted.” 

Members of the public have been encouraged to post selfies with the bust on social media using the hashtags #janeausten200 and #janeontour.