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John Willis Good

Bronze Sculptor 1845 - 1879

John Willis Good was born in 1845 and was one of the very few animalier sculptors that were English, but unfortunately passed away at the age of 34 in 1879. For a very long time, Britain was seen as a nation of animal lovers which was surprising to see so little animalier sculptors.

John exhibited his works throughout 1870 to 1879 at the Royal Academy in London and specialised in creating a range of horse sculptures. He became very popular among anything who was involved in horse racing from which he crafted stunning sculptures of the horses of the day. He would also do commissioned portraits of any of his patron’s favourite horses as and when they were requested. Due to the limit of English bronze sculptors and the limited time John was able to craft these magnificent pieces; his works are not often found which makes them highly sought after by collectors of equestrian sculpture.

Throughout the nine years in which he exhibited his work in the Royal Academy, he exhibited sixteen statuettes in bronze or terra cotta of racehorses and jockeys. It appeared that whenever John made a new bronze sculpture, they were made in pairs in which he would write the correct number on each for the order and would sign it with ‘J. Willis Good’. An example of one of the duel bronze sculptures that he crafter would be the View Halloo and the Whipper-in that were dated 1874. This showed before and after a hunt of a fox in which the second statue only had a slight different with the foxes head strapped to the saddle of the horse.

Another famous bronze pair, dated 1875, showed jockeys before and after they have had a race with slight alterations in each. These were again signed with ‘J. Willis Good’ and a number was etched into each one respectively.

Similar sculptures by this famous British bronze sculptor can be found in our catalogue section so please feel free to browse.