Biegel, Peter

Peter Biegel (1913–88) was a pupil of Lionel Edwards, and also studied with Lucy Kemp-Welch. His Edwards influences are easy to see, The Ten Pound Pony being particularly Edwards-esque, but still a lovely illustration in its own right. Biegel met Lionel Edwards by chance on a train journey, and spent a year studying with him. He was Lionel Edwards’ only pupil.

Peter Biegel did not start studying art as a teenager: after he left Downside School, he worked for five years with his father in the City. Deciding that that life was not for him, he left to study art seriously, joining Lucy Kemp-Welch’s school in 1938. He very soon succeeded in selling his work, and started a long association with Shirley Faulkner-Horne and her pony books, almost all of which he illustrated. The first of these was Bred in the Bone, published in 1938, followed by Pat and her Polo Pony in 1939. The war interrupted his studies and paid work, though he did illustrate Shirley Faulkner-Horne’s Parachute Silk when home on leave. This period of leave might have occurred when he was invalided home after being wounded in Normandy in 1944.

After the end of the war, Biegel resumed his studies at Bournemouth School of Art, before meeting Lionel Edwards, and a career in sporting art. Hunting was in his blood: his Dutch father hunted, and was known as The Flying Dutchman. Biegel painted many hunts including the Fitzwilliam and the South Dorset, as well as sporting events such as the Grand National.

Booted and Spurred – An Anthology of Riding, A & C Black, 1949
Peter Biegel’s Racing Pictures, Michael Joseph, 1983

Shirley Faulkner-Horne: Bred in the Bone, H F & G Witherby, 1938
Shirley Faulkner-Horne: Pat and Her Polo Pony, Country Life, 1939
Shirley Faulkner-Horne (with E Ess): Riding with the Kindles, H F & G Witherby, 1941
Shirley Faulkner-Horne: Parachute Silk, H F & G Witherby, 1944 (illustrations also by Haz)
Shirley Faulkner-Horne: Mexican Saddle, H F & G Witherby, 1946
Shirley Faulkner-Horne: Green Trail, H F & G Witherby, 1947
John Thorburn: Hildebrand (reprint), Collins, 1949
John Ivester Lloyd: Riders of the Heath, Country Life, 1951
Hilary Fitzgerald: The Home Farm, A & C Black, 1952
Kathleen Herald ( K M Peyton): Crab the Roan, A & C Black, 1953
Veronica Westlake: The Ten Pound Pony, Blackie, 1953
Shirley Faulkner-Horne: White Poles, H F & G Witherby, 1954
Rosemary Griffin: Cheers for the Ponies, Blackie, London, 1954,
Shirley Faulkner-Horne: Look Before You Leap, H F & G Witherby, 1955
Mona Sandler: Riding with Simon (cover only), Country Life, 1955
Hilary Fitzgerald: Far Away Farm, A & C Black, 1957
Jo Packer: No Pony Like Pepper, Herbert Jenkins, 1957
Jo Packer: Gymkhana Trek, Herbert Jenkins, 1959
Ivor Herbert: Point to Point, Brockhampton 1964
(Reprinted as Longacre, World’s Work, 1978 , cover illustration Ian Robertson)
Marjorie Reynolds: Dark Horse Barnaby, Macmillan, New York, 1967
CCL Browne: The Red Horse, Stephen Green Press, Brattleboro, 1967
Thomas Ivester Lloyd: Come on Young Riders!, Moss Bros, undated, pamphlet.

Mrs Victor Hurst MHF: Ponies and Riders, Collins, 1948 (cover)
Enid Blyton: Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm, Evans, 1948
Henry Tegner: Across the Hills and Far Away (Being the Account of a Cross Country Ride), Hutchinson & Co, 1961
Hon Rothwell Willoughby: Come and Hunt, Museum Press, 1952
Wilson Stephens: Windsor 1955 - A Background to the Three Day European Horse Trials, Moss Bross, 1955 (pamphlet, 32pp.)
W E Lyon: Youth in the Saddle, Collins, 1955
Henry Tegner: The Old Man Hunts, Hutchinson & Co, 1959
David Brock: Privately Trained, H F & G Witherby, 1946
David Brock: The Young Fox Hunter, Adam & Charles Black, 1951
Guy Wheeler: The Year Round, Gentry Books, 1971
Anne, Countess of Feversham: Strange Stories of the Chase, Bles, 1972
John Foote: The Look of Eagles, J A Allen, 1969

Finding the books
Peter Biegel’s Racing Pictures is very expensive indeed; Booted and Spurred is much more reasonably priced. Of the books illustrated but not written by Peter Biegel, their price depends on how sought after the author is, and the rarity of the book. Crab the Roan, by Kathleen Herald (K M Peyton) is therefore very expensive. Hildebrand andNo Pony Like Pepper are also pricey, The Ten Pound Pony, Riding with Simon and the Faulkner Hornes are becoming more expensive. Gymkhana Trek, Faraway Farm, Longacre and Ponies and Riders are all reasonably priced.

Links and sources
Peter Biegel as a Blyton illustrator (Heather's Blyton Pages - site no longer extant)
Some examples of Peter Biegel’s work sold at recent auctions

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