This white plaster bust shows an authoritative gentleman with a moustache and whiskers wearing a high collar and bow tie with a waistcoat and jacket. It is signed inside one shoulder Boehm fecit. English, circa 1865.
Provenance: Major Hon Denis Gomer Berry and Lady Pamela Wellesley Berry
Richard Gomer Berry, 3rd Viscount Kemsley
Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890) was born in Vienna and came to London in 1848. After three years he went on to Italy, Paris, and Vienna, where he won the First Imperial Prize. On his return to London, in 1862, he exhibited at the Royal Academy where he became a favourite of Queen Victoria. He received a constant flow of commissions for public monuments, portrait statues and busts, including the Wellington Memorial, Hyde Park Corner, Carlyle on Chelsea Embankment, a stone figure of Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales on Temple Bar Memorial, Fleet St and a portrait head of Queen Victoria for 1887 coinage.
According to Lindsay Duguid, Boehm, who enjoyed a good deal of royal patronage, was the lover of Queen Victoria’s artistically-inclined daughter, Princess Louise, who studied sculpture with him. Their “affair … ended with his dying of a burst blood vessel, alone with her in the studio,” says Duguid. Mark Stoker says simply that he “died suddenly on 12 December 1890 at his home, The Avenue, 76 Fulham Road, London.”