Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Baronet, (6 July 1834 – 12 December 1890)
This exceptional signed bronze sculpture of a rearing “Suffolk Punch and Groom” was first exhibited at The Royal Academy in 1869.
Height 59cm x Width 50cm x Depth 34cm.
This beautiful sculpture has been vetted by a LAPADA Specialist, and confirmed to be genuine.
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PRICE CODE: J
Boehm was a medallist and sculptor, best known for the “Jubilee head” of Queen Victoria on coinage, and the statue of the Duke of Wellington at Hyde Park Corner.
He was often commissioned by the Royal Family and members of the aristocracy to make sculptures for their parks and gardens. His oeuvre is substantial, and he exhibited 123 works at the Royal academy, from 1862 to his death in 1890. Ref: Tate 2021.
Boehm (originally “Böhm”) was born in Vienna of Hungarian parentage. His father, Josef Daniel Böhm, was a court medal maker and the director of the imperial mint in Vienna. From 1848 to 1851 Boehm studied in London at Leigh’s academy of art, the forerunner of the Heatherley School of Fine Art. He then returned to Vienna where he studied model making and medal design at the Academie der Bildenden Kunste before working in Italy and then, from 1859 to 1962 in Paris. In 1856, in Vienna, he was presented with the First Imperial Prize for Sculpture.
In 1862, Boehm settled in London, where he exhibited coins and medals at the 1862 International Exhibition, opened a studio and had his first work, a terracotta bust, shown at the Royal Academy. Throughout the 1860s, Boehm, who became a British subject in 1865, devoted his time to the production of portrait busts plus equestrian statues and statuettes. His portrait subjects included John Everett Millais, Stratford Canning and Charles Thomas Newton and Franz Liszt. Boehm’s statuette of William Makepiece Thackeray, although completed after the author’s death, was considered such a good likeness that several copies were made including examples for the Garrick Club and for the Athenaeum.
Boehm was often commissioned by members of the aristocracy to make equestrian and equine sculptures for the parks and gardens of their stately homes. His large sculpture of the stallion King Tom (1874) was commissioned by Baron Mayer Amschel de Rothschild for his new mansion, Mentmore Towers in 1873, and moved to Dalmeny House near Edinburgh in 1982. His most important large animal works include The Young Bull and Herdsman (1871) located at The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Melbourne. The Horse and His Master (1874) located in Malvern and Brueton Park in Solihull was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1874. At the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878 this sculpture was exhibited in the British Fine Art section as A Clydesdale Stallion Rearing. Another example is St George and the Dragon, which is outside the State Library of Victoria.
In 1869 Boehm’s work came to the attention of Queen Victoria and he rose rapidly in favour with the royal court. In 1869 he executed a colossal statue of Victoria, in marble for Windsor Castle, which with the monument of the Prince Edward in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, are considered his earliest great works. In total, throughout his career, Boehm completed some forty royal commissions. Boehm is responsible for a large free-standing statue of Queen Victoria at Queen’s Square in Sydney.
At least fifty-seven public statues and monuments were created by Boehm. In 1874 Boehm completed a substantial statue of John Bunyan (1628–1688) which was unveiled on 10 June at St Peter’s Green, Bedford, by Lady Augusta Stanley, before a crowd of 10,000. There are many statues by Boehm in London. His equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington at Hyde Park Corner, unveiled in 1888 was commissioned to compensate for the removal of the colossal sculpture of the Duke by Matthew Cotes Wyatt from the nearby Wellington Arch to Aldershot.
Boehm’s designs were used on a series of medals minted to mark events in the Queen’s reign. These included the Golden Jubilee, her Diamond Jubilee and for the Visit to Ireland Medal 1900. In 1887, Boehm designed and executed the model for the dies for a series of coins, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign. The coins are signed J.E.B. below the shoulder. This design was severely criticised by his peers as well as the public and was replaced in 1893. The coins depicted the royal arms in the order of the garter on the reverse. As a result, the sixpences were frequently gilded and passed off as gold half sovereigns. Therefore, the sixpence reverted to its standard design.