Charles Bell Birch

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Temple Bar marker topped by Birch's heraldic Dragon. Temple Bar marker in front of the Royal Courts of Justice.
Statue of Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield by Charles Bell Birch, 1883, outside St. George's Hall, Liverpool

Charles Bell Birch ARA (September 28, 1832 – October 16, 1893) was an English sculptor.[1]


Birch was born in Brixton, son of the author and translator Jonathan Birch (1783–1847) and his wife Esther (née Brooke).[2] As a child he showed artistic promise, and at the age of twelve[3] he was admitted to study at Somerset House School of Design. In the following year, 1845, his father moved to Germany, and Birch attended the Royal Academy in Berlin, where he produced his first significant work, a bust of the British Ambassador to Berlin, the Earl of Westmoreland.[3]

He returned to England in 1852 and became a student at the Royal Academy of Arts, gaining two medals.[4] For ten years he was principal assistant to John Henry Foley R.A.[3] and from 1852 till his death he exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, and was elected to the Associateship of the Academy in 1880.[5]

He won a significant prize of £600 in an open competition in 1864 from the Art Union of London for his marble work The Wood Nymph, which was judged to be the "best original figure or group".[3] It was subsequently selected as one of the representative works of British art for the Vienna, Philadelphia and Paris Exhibitions.[4] In 1891 he was one of eight eminent artists who were invited to submit designs for new British coinage.[6]

Adrian Jones and Horace Montford were pupils of Birch.

Works (selection)[edit]


  1. ^ "Charles Bell Birch, A.R.A., 1832-1893". The Victorian web. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
  2. ^ a b Campbell Dodgson, rev. Jason Edwards (2004). "Birch, Charles Bell (1832–1893)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mr. C. B. Birch". The Graphic. London, England (701): 446. 5 May 1883.
  4. ^ a b c d "Death of Mr. C. B. Birch". The Standard. London, England (21619): 3. 18 October 1893.
  5. ^ "Charles Bell Birch, A.R.A." Royal Academy Collections Website. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
  6. ^ "The Designs for the New Coins". The Pall Mall Gazette. London, England (8178): 4. 6 June 1891.
  7. ^ Ninox (12 February 2010). "Charles Bell Birch". Wandering. Retrieved 2010-07-03.