Historical information

Arguably Margaret Baskerville’s most famous work, the bronze statue of politician and land speculator Sir Thomas Bent was Baskerville’s first public commission and a significant turning point in her career. Originally located in the centre of the Nepean Highway, in Brighton, it became somewhat of signpost for many Melbournians until it was relocated to the corner of Bay Street in 1980.


The statue of Sir Thomas Bent is of historic and social significance to the State of Victoria. The statue is historically significant for commemorating Bent's long, active and infamous political career in Victoria. He was responsible for many important speculative ventures both within his electorate and in the wider context of Victoria. Although not without thought for personal gain, Bent was a committed advocate of public utilities, railways, roads, tramways and gasworks.
The statue is historically significant as the first large public commission given to a woman sculptor in Victoria. This work helped the sculptor, Margaret Baskerville, preserve her name as Victoria's first professional woman sculptor. The statue is socially significant as testimony to the late nineteenth century land boom and the financial and political corruption and scandals that accompanied it.

Physical description

bronze and granite