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King Edward VII as a Country Gentleman, 1910
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King Edward VII as a Country Gentleman, 1910

Measurements: Overall: 39cm (15.25in)

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Bronze with dark brown patination. Portrayed in tweed and a Homburg hat both of which the subject popularised. Signed F.W. Doyle Jones and dated 1910. Mounted on ebonised wood base bearing the label of the Crown Jewellers, Garrard & Co. Ltd., Haymarket, London. The plaster model for King Edward as a Country Gentleman was exhibited at 1910 Exhibition of Works by Artists of the Northern Counties, and was formally approved by Queen Alexandra.

Well known as a groper and gorger, Edward VII outraged the old guard and excelled in lowering the moral aspirations of the nation whilst Prince of Wales. However as King he endeared himself to many at all levels of society who shared his sporting interests. In 1910 The Times reported ‘They liked to see him taking his pleasure with a zest greater than their own. As sportsmen themselves they were pleased to have a Sovereign who had won three Derbys ... They liked to have a King who ... looked after his estates and his tenants, bred and exhibited prize cattle, and shot his pheasants like other country gentlemen.’

Francis William Doyle (1873-1938) was the son of a monumental stonemason of West Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, and began his working life in his father’s firm. He studied in Paris and in London at the National Art Training School during the 1890s. He operated a studio in Chelsea and worked principally as a portrait sculptor. His output was diverse and included political, literary and sporting figures (Charles Dickens, Major Willie Redmond M.P., Michael Collins and Channel swimmers Captain Webb and T.W. Burgess, among them). Jones also made a large number of war memorials. These include Boer War memorials at Middlesbrough (1904), West Hartlepool (1905), Llanelli (1905), Gateshead (1905) and Penrith (1906). After the First World War he made further memorials at Gravesend, Kent and Sutton Coldfield. In 1909 he exhibited at the Royal Academy a relief in oxidised silver titled White Horses that was based on a poem by Rudyard Kipling. Doyle Jones was an Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

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