This wonderful Ebony Framed piece measures just 2 1/2 inches by 2 1/4" overall, with the painting being 1 3/8 inch x 1 1/8 inch. There is some paint deterioration in the body part but the face area is in excellent condition. There is a notation to the frame back with a name.... Geo Molineaux?..... and the title HIGH SHERIFF with a date of 06 1820. A superb small collectible.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the High Sheriff (or in the City of London the sheriffs) are theoretically the sovereign's judicial representative in the county while the Lord Lieutenant is the sovereign's personal and military representative. Their jurisdictions, the shrieval counties, are no longer coterminous with administrative areas, representing a mix between the ancient counties and more recent local authority areas. The post contrasts with that of sheriff in Scotland, who is a judge sitting in a sheriff court.

The word sheriff is a contraction of the term shire reeve. The term, from the Old English scīrgerefa, designated a royal official responsible for keeping the peace (a reeve) throughout a shire or county on behalf of the king. The term was preserved in England notwithstanding the Norman Conquest. The office of sheriff had its origins in the 10th century; the office reached the height of its power under the Norman kings. While the sheriffs originally had been men of great standing at court, the 13th century saw a process whereby the office devolved on significant men within each county, usually landowners. The Provisions of Oxford (1258) established a yearly tenure of office. The appointments and duties of the sheriffs in England and Wales were redefined by the Sheriffs Act 1887.
The serving high sheriff submits a list of names of possible future high sheriffs to a tribunal which chooses three names to put to the Sovereign. The nomination is made on 12 November every year and the term of office runs from 25 March, Lady Day, which was the first day of the year until 1751. No person may be appointed twice in three years, unless there is no other suitable person in the county.


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Tiny Georgian Miniature Oil on Glass Painting Date 1820


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