Elizabethan miniature makes a big profit in Bonhams' $64,000 sale


2015-06-26 12:09:36


Elizabethan miniature makes a big profit in Bonhams' $64,000 sale

This portrait of Queen Elizabeth I was amongst a charming collection of miniatures sold in London

A portrait of Elizabeth I was the star attraction of Bonhams' second Fine Portrait Miniatures auction of the yearin Knightsbridgeon Thursday(November 24). The sale made total of 371,000 with many lots beating their pre-sale estimates.

The portrait of the Queen was painted by one of her favourite miniaturists, Nicholas Hilliard, who chose to specifically concentrate on her costume and jewellery, whilst always painting the Queens face simply and youthfully.

Hilliard is considered one of the masters of the genre, and the superb example of his work exceeded the pre-sale estimate of 15,000 - 20,000 to sell for an impressive 40,800.

The other notable lot was of a piece depicting a smart officer wearing a red coatee by the artist John Smart, painted during his time in India in 1794. It reached the second-highest price of the sale, realising 24,000.

Further highlights included a portrait miniature by Horace Hone of Sarah Siddons (1755 - 1825), a British actress who found fame on Drury Lane for her portrayal of Lady Macbeth and became the best known tragedienne of the 18th century. The portrait sold for 12,000 against a pre-sale estimate of 6,000 - 8,000.

Other portrait miniatures of historical celebrities included Charles Dickens, painted in 1868 by Walter Saunders Barnard (1851-1930) a mere two years before Dickens died. It sold for 1,800.

Considered to be the first English-language author to have a truly international career during his lifetime, a portrait of novelist Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) by William Bishop Ford (1832 -1922) brought 1200.

Overall, this sale out-performed theirprevious miniaturesauctionin Aprilthis year which took a total of 203,040, proving the continued strength and growth of the market during the last six months.

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.