A key figure of the Welsh cultural revival of the late 19th century, Goscombe first paved his way onto Wales' landscape at the age of 14, when he assisted his father's wood carving during the restoration of Cardiff Castle.

NMW A 588, George Roilos, Sir William Goscombe John (1860-1952), 1902 Image: National Museum Cardiff NMW A 588, George Roilos, Sir William Goscombe John (1860-1952), 1902
Image: National Museum Cardiff

A spark had been ignited in his early years, by 1881 Goscombe moved to London to study sculpture. The talented student spent a year in Paris, where he watched in awe the work of Auguste Rodin.

During the 1920's, Goscombe designed several memorials which can still be seen throughout Britain today, including the memorial at Port Sunlight dedicated to the employees of Lever Brothers Ltd who had died in World War I; The Northumberland Fusiliers Memorial "The Response;" Kings Liverpool Regiment Memorial; a memorial to the Engine Room Heroes of the "Titanic;" a memorial to those Journalists killed in the Second Boer War.

Peter Francis' sale on 18th May features Sir William Goscombe's  sculpture 'Sketch Model of the Statue at Aberystwyth', of Charles Edwards, DD. The patinated bronze on oak plinth depicts Thomas Charles Edwards (1837-1900), a Welsh minister, writer and academic and the First Principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.

original-14

In 2009, a bronze figure of a boy cast by E.Gruet from the model by Goscombe sold at Christie's for £4 100 against a pre-sale estimate of £1 200 – 1 900. Search realised prices for Goscombe on Barnebys here.

Comment