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A George V Standing Figure of a Life Guards Officer, 1933
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A George V Standing Figure of a Life Guards Officer, 1933

Measurements: Overall height: 73cm (28.75in).


Patinated bronze on a separate variegated green marble base. Signed ’R.J. Gunther 1933’. Height of bronze 53cm (21in).
Major Reginald Julius Gunther (1896-1969) was the nephew of the Anglo-German Oxo cube magnate Charles Eugene Gunther. Educated at Eton, he was commissioned into the 2nd Life Guards and served with the Guards Machine Gun Regiment on the Western Front. He was appointed a Chevalier of the Star of Roumania in for war services in 1919. While an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford after the war he visited family’s business interests in Argentina, but subsequently became a railway surveyor. While surveying in the Cotswolds he fell under the spell of a Withington Manor, a 15th century medieval house formerly in the demise of the Bishops of Worcester, which he purchased from the Church Commissioners in 1926. Here he indulged his artistic sensibilities, extensively remodelling the house in the the Arts and Crafts manner. His improvements also incorporated a studio block where he pursued his own art. On the outbreak of the Second World War he was granted a commission in the 5th Glosters.
Gunther received artistic training in Munich under the First World War veteran and Bavarian sculptor Ludwig Eberle (1883-1956), and afterwards in Stockholm under Nissa Sjogren. A version of the present bronze was presented by Gunther to the Warrant and Non-Commission Officers of the Life Guards in July 1933. In 1953 he created a multi-figure bronze of the Grenadier Guards bearer party carrying the coffin of George VI. In 1964 he produced an over life sized stone head of Lord Dunrossil, a former Speaker of the House of Commons, the portrait head being exhibited at the Society of Portrait Sculptors in Conduit Street, London that same year. He also sculpted ‘Blue on Bluesmoke’, a statuette that features a Royal Horse Guard astride a donkey in commemoration of the celebrated donkey patrols carried out by ‘A’ Squadron of the Blues during the Cyprus Emergency (1955-59). At his death he left a legacy to the Household Cavalry Museum, Windsor for the maintenance and repair of the 2nd Life Guards Standards, trumpet banners and cross belts formerly in the possession of Lord Clinton.
The Blue and Royal, 1970.
List of Etonians Who Fought in The Great War.
Oxford University Roll of Service, 1920.
Victoria County History of Gloucestershire
Birmingham Daily Post, 17.2.1953.