Wigs on the Green specialises in fine portrait miniatures, silhouettes, small portraits, and provincial art, predominantly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Our portraits are selected for their historical interest and character. They are not only by listed artists but also those who painted and drew for their own entertainment and pleasure – true to life portraits, with real character and, often, a pretty face!
Wigs on the Green
After François Clouet (French 1510-1572), miniature portrait of Francis II (1544-1560) in a black doublet, white ruff, ermine cape and a Tudor feathered black cap, watercolour on vellum; silver frame with bevelled glass and engraved verso ‘Francis II’. Francis was the King of France from 1559. He married Mary, Queen of Scots in 1558 and so was also King consort of Scotland. £1,300
ROBERT SMIRKE RA (1753-1845), a charming pencil and watercolour portrait of the artist’s children, Mary and Sarah. Mary was born in 1779; in 1816 she married Samuel Baker the Younger of Rochester and they had four children. Sarah was born in 1786; she never married and died in 1855, two years after her sister. Their father, Robert Smirke was born in Wigton and apprenticed to a London coach-painter at the age of thirteen. When twenty he entered the Royal Academy Schools. He specialised in small monochrome paintings that were often engraved as book illustrations. Framed size: 28 x 34cm. Accompanied by two letters of provenance. £480
WILLIAM WOOD (1769-1810), miniature portrait of a chubby gentleman in a blue coat and white waistcoat edged with red; original gold frame with plaited hair border, the reverse glazed to reveal a wheatsheaf of hair tied with seed pearls within a blue glass surround, circa 1795. Height: 9cm Born in Suffolk, William Wood entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1785 at the age of sixteen. He subsequently worked in London, Bristol and Gloucester. His work is critically well acclaimed. £2,200
GUSTAVUS HAMILTON, (Irish, ca. 1739- 1775) miniature portrait of a boy in a green coat and matching waistcoat, signed Hamn / 1769; gold bracelet style frame (no bottom clasp). Height: 3.5cm The son of an Irish vicar, Hamilton studied at the Dublin Society’s Drawing Schools. He spent all his working life in Dublin where he attracted a fashionable clientele. £850
JOHN JUKES (1772-1851), miniature portrait of a Regency gentleman with piercing eyes, his hair fashionably rumpled in the à la Titus style; gilt metal frame glazed on the reverse to show the artist’s signature ‘Painted by / J. Jukes London / 1801’. Provenance: Christie’s, May 2001 Exhibited: Irish Architectural Archives, Dublin, 2009 £850
REGINALD EASTON (1807-1893), miniature portrait of Nina Louisa as a four year old child; gilt-metal frame engraved verso with a lock of hair and set in the original folding case. Born in 1879, Nina Louisa was the daughter of Sir Ughtred James Kay-Shuttleworth and Blanche Marion Parish. In 1910 she married County Court Judge Eustace Gilbert Hills as his second wife and with him had four sons. The NPG have a society photograph of Nina taken in 1925. Provenance: By family descent £1,800