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Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Bt

Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Bt, by Edward (Edouard) Lanteri, 1891 -NPG 5273 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Bt

by Edward (Edouard) Lanteri
Cast bronze medallion, 1891
4 5/8 in. (117 mm) diameter
NPG 5273

Inscriptionback to top

Signed (shoulder): ‘ED. LANTERI’;
inscr. around edge: ‘SIR EDGAR. I . BOEHM . BARONET . R.A.’

This portraitback to top

Edward (Edouard) Lantéri came to England from Paris in 1872 and joined Boehm’s studio on the recommendation of the sculptor Aimé-Jules Dalou. The association proved mutually beneficial and lasted until Boehm’s death in 1890. Lantéri rose to become his chief assistant, and Boehm in turn was said to have used his influence to help further Lantéri’s nomination as Dalou’s successor at the National Art Training School in 1880.[1]

Both Boehm and Lantéri were members of the Society of Medallists, founded in 1885; Lantéri made his first medals in 1888. He was strongly influenced by another refugee from the Commune, Alphonse Legros, who from the early 1880s was reviving the art in England with his innovative modelling technique. Like Legros, Lantéri specialized in designing cast as opposed to struck medals.

Lantéri made a statuette of Boehm which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1885.[2] He also designed a large one-sided bronze medallion with a typical irregular circumference, of which NPG 5273 is an example.[3] Hair and cheek bones are in high relief, the sculptor’s attributes (a mallet and laurels) are lightly indicated and the profile is framed in relatively plastic Roman lettering and numerals. The medallion was probably cast by James Moore at the Thames Ditton Foundry,[4] and the edition would have had a commemorative function.[5]

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) Stocker 1986; Stocker 1988, p.32, n.112. See also Forrer 1904–30, vol.3, p.302.
2) RA 1885 (2049); untraced. Though described as a statuette it may be the same as Lantéri’s bust of Boehm referred to in Spielmann 1901, p.125 (not ill.).
3) See the note by Dr Frederick Parkes Weber attached to the example in the BM, London (note 5 below): 'Victoria. 1890. Sir Edgar Boehm, Bart R A (Died 1890) Cast AE portrait medallion modelled from life before his death by Edward Lanteri, Instructor in modelling at the South Kensington School. size 4.6in in diameter. Cast by Moore at the foundry, Thames Ditton'.
4) For information on James Moore, and Boehm's own connections with the Thames Ditton Foundry, see NPG website for a directory of 'British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800–1980'.
5) For other examples see BM, London, 1906-11-3-4763, repr. Attwood 1992 (24); Christie’s, 16 July 1979 (23, not ill.); and a medallion in circular wooden frame, repr. Tilbrook 1986 (117), possibly the same as Christie’s, 17 Mar. 1994 (198, ill.), similarly framed.

Physical descriptionback to top

Head, profile to right.

Provenanceback to top

Purchased by the National Portrait Gallery from Jeremy Cooper Ltd, 1979 (no provenance).

Reproductionsback to top

Stocker 1986, fig.8.

See note 3 for reproductions of other copies of this medal.

View all known portraits for Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Bt