It's The Little Things in Life...

It's The Little Things in Life...

Our upcoming Fine Interiors auction offers a magnificent single owner collection of miniatures that pay testament to the passion of their collector whose interests ranged from the 16th century to the early 19th century, from portraits of Kings to glamorous women...

6 September 2021

Perhaps the most peculiar, are those with fluffy hair from the mid-late eighteenth century such as lot 157 by John Bogle, in which the sitter’s elaborate hair is piled on top of her head in tight ringlets, or lot 159 by John Donaldson, in which the sitter’s hair is as wide as it is high.

Of interest to local Colchester historians, is a 17th century ‘Portrait of Mary Killigrew’ (lot 106), with an inscription on the reverse that makes reference to her brother Sir Charles Lucas, who was involved and tragically executed by firing squad following the siege of Colchester (1648) during the English Civil War.


Left - Lot 157 John Bogle (1746-1804) A lady, in a pale pink dress, with flowing locks, 1787, est. £300-400, Right - Lot 159 John Donaldson (1737-1801)
Portrait of a lady, her natural hair worn à la conseilleur, est. £400-600


Other highlights include (lot 103), Matthew Snelling’s Portrait of a Gentleman, which dates from 1647. This miniature has an unusual reverse with a pair of hearts painted in watercolour on the back beneath the signature.


Lot 103 - Matthew Snelling (fl.1644-1670) Portrait of a gentleman, est. £1,000 - 1,500


Another striking image is Charles Boit’s Portrait of George I, King of Great Britain, dated 1719 (lot 107). George I is depicted in an ermine-trimmed red cloak wearing the ribbon of the Order of the Garter.

Painting miniatures had a tendency to run in the family, Noah Seaman (lot 119) and Abraham Seaman (lot 117 and lot 118) were a talented pair.


It is worth noting James Ferguson’s portrait miniatures. Ferguson produced plumbago miniatures, but is better known today as an astronomer and mathematician, he published on astronomy, designed globes, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of London from 1763.

Female portrait miniaturists likewise balanced their artistic lives and occupations. Mrs Anne Mee was married and mother to six children but worked throughout her life as a successful miniaturist, exhibiting at the Royal Academy between 1815 and 1837. 


Lot 170 - Mrs Anne Mee (c.1770-1851) Portrait of a Lady, est. £500 - 700


Author: Eleanor Garthwaite



Our Fine Interiors auction will be available to view by appointment at our Stansted Mountfitchet Auction Rooms from Friday 10 September. In the meantime, all lots are fully illustrated and available to view online.




Fine Interiors | Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 September 2021


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