Desiree Quigg 1930, bronze 26cm H Murch Estate



Original 1930 plaster cast of Desiree Quigg

In mid 2019 I was contacted by the son of Desiree. He had inherited the original plaster cast of the portrait bust of his mother. I learnt some history of Desiree and her son has generously shared the information and photograph. He writes of the cast: “Considering its age (nearly 90 years old) and its fragility, it’s in not too bad a condition. It used to reside on the mantlepiece above an open fireplace in my grandparent’s bedroom – hence the discoloration, particularly on the nose, which mum thought was hilarious.  It’s had several moves in its existence – Croydon Park (two residences) with my grandparents, with my mother in Carlingford, Gosford East and Erina, then to my sister in Wyee Point and finally to me in Melbourne.”

Desiree Quigg’s history: “Mum was born Desiree Jean Quigg on 8th December 1922, the second of four children, residing in Croydon Park until she married in 1942 to Donald Millman Crook, a sergeant in the AIF. She had three children – David (me) in 1944, Susan in 1947 and Mark (stillborn) 1954.  My father was not a good provider, so mum entered the workforce in the late 1950s in various clerical/administrative roles, primarily to ensure that my sister and I received a good education, finally retiring around 1987.  She lived a simple life, quite content in her own company, enjoying reading and watching TV.  She survived a couple of heart attacks, strokes and a bout of TB but eventually succumbed, as did most of her siblings, to chronic pulmonary fibrosis in 2002, nearing her 80th birthday.”


Glazed earthenware version of Desiree Quigg. A limited edition was produced in 2018.



Colin James Conacher 1930, bronze 30cm H x 27cm D x 19cm W excluding plinth


This beautiful head of a boy aged 9 was completed in the same years as the head of Desiree Quigg. The portrait of Colin James Conacher was commissioned by his mother Dorothy MacMaster. Andrew Conacher, son of Colin James, has provided the following: “My grandmother, Dorothy was a wealthy woman who supported the arts and artists struggling during the Great Depression.” Dorothy was married to Charles William Davey Conacher who was the manager of the Vesteys meat business.


Archbishop Kelly 1935, bronze 30cm H National Portrait Gallery, Canberra


Datillo Rubbo 1935, ciment fondue, patinated National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Datillo Rubbo


Olga-Philopov-Sculpture1940-for-web Olga-Philopov-v2-for-web

Olga Philipov

1940 Ciment fondue, patinated

Height: 33cm

Murch Estate


Olga Philipov was a member of the staff of the Monte Carlo Ballet Russe. Arthur travelled to Sydney with the troupe on board the Romolo in 1939


Sir Mark Oliphant

c1966 Plaster

Murch Estate


Hedley Marston

c1963 Plaster

Height: 38cm

Murch Estate


Aboriginal Head

c1964 Slip caste earthenware

Height 31cm

Murch Estate


Aboriginal Head

c1964 Cast concrete

Height 31cm

Murch Estate


Aboriginal Head

c1964 Cast concrete

Height: 28cm

Murch Estate


Bas relief Triptych: Arthur Phillip, Henry Parkes, William Bligh

c1965 Plaster

Height: 40cm

Murch Estate


Young Woman

1973 Cast concrete

Height: 48cms

Murch Estate


Head of Lily

1978 Clay

Photograph only remains


Head of Lily

1978 Plaster

Murch Estate


Govett’s Head

1976 Plaster

Murch Estate