- Also known as
primary name: Burch, Edward
- individual; printmaker; carver; painter/draughtsman; British; Male
- Life dates
- No.24, Portland Place, Charlotte Street, London
- Edward Burch started his life as a water-man on the Thames and became one of the most celebrated gem engravers of the late eighteenth century. He was a self-taught miniaturist and seal-engraver, was made an Associate of the Royal Academy 1770 and a full Academician in 1771, after which he signed his name BURCH RA. He was employed by James Tassie and several of his gems are listed in the Raspe catalogue; he also worked for Josiah Wedgwood for whom he made a series of models of horses after designs by George Stubbs. He specialised in historical portraits, for example Newton and Shakespeare, but also made a number of copies after the antique, mainly from plaster casts. He engraved the two seals that were used by Sir Joshua Reynolds (q.v.), 'Winter' (after Etienne Maurice Falconet; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) and portrait of 'Michelangelo'. In his impoverished old age he was appointed to the sinecure post of librarian to the Royal Academy.
Trade card in Banks Collection (D,2,2184) advertises "Burch Engraver to his Majesty for Medals and Seals in Stone... Heads and Figures in Cameo or Intaglio, Coats of Arms, Crests, Cyphers, and all other works, on Stone or Steel, Executed in a Superior Style, with Taste and Elegance. And on the most Reasonable Terms."
- Catalogue of the Casts of Gems by Edward Burch RA, published at the author's expense in.1795. Dedicated to King George III by the 'Engraver for Medals and Gems to Your Majesty'. 100 gems are catalogued.