This wonderful Regency watercolor on card portrait miniature of a Georgian gentleman dates to the early 19th century, to the year 1815. This watercolor on card was painted in August 1815 by the sought after British miniature portrait artist Albin Roberts Burt (b 1783 – d 1842). This is a particularly desirable example, having a named sitter and being housed in a wholly original frame complete with the highly sought after titled palette shape brass hangar, remains of original blue trade label with artist's poem, and inner inscriptions sealed within the reverse.
The sitter is named as William Lloyd, Esq (b 1736 – d 1816) of the Plas Power estate, Wales. William Lloyd was heir to the Plas Power estate. He was a wealthy gentlemen and a member of the landed gentry. After William’s death the estate was passed on to the Fitzhugh family.
‘The Plas Power estate was established in the early seventeenth century, and eventually comprised lands in Denbighshire, Merionethshire, Flintshire, Cheshire, Montgomeryshire, Shropshire and Lancashire. Its focal point was the area around Wrexham, especially the townships of Bersham, Esclusham and Minera, where there were thriving collieries, quarries and mineral works. Plas Power was completely remodelled in 1858 for Thomas Lloyd Fitzhugh by John Gibson, architect, of London and was demolished in 1946-7. Only the Grade 11 listed 18th century red brick Ice House remains. National Library of Wales Plas Power estate, records and papers. Reference code(s): GB 0210 PLASPOWER
This is an important portrait miniature that is of particular significance to Wales. Sadly, Plas Power hall was demolished shortly after World War II. This detailed portrait miniature thankfully has survived.
About the artist ‘Burt was born on the 1 December 1783, probably in Wales, the son of Harry Burt and his wife Mary (nee Roberts). His brother, Henry Frederick Burt, was secretary to Lord Nelson and his mother was a friend of Emma Hamilton.’
‘Burt began life as an engraver, and was a pupil of Robert Threw and Benjamin Smith. He exhibited “churches” and ‘historical subjects’ at the Royal Academy in 1807 and 1830.’
‘Burt is said to have painted easel portraits of many eminent persons, including a grand piece showing Lady Hamilton as Britannia, unveiling a portrait of Nelson. In view of the association of Burt’s family with Nelson and Lady Hamilton, this portrait may well have been painted from life.’
Ref: Sue Mckechnie (1978). British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760 – 1860 . London : Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd for Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications . p379-380.
This accomplished watercolor and pencil is signed ‘A. R. Burt 1815’ to the bottom right corner of the painting. The reverse of the painting is also signed by the artists own hand ‘Painted by A. R. Burt Park-gate August 1815.’ The reverse of the card backing features a hand written lengthy inscription in Burt’s hand. The original frame is complete with the gilt metal artist's palette & flowers with the relief legend ‘A. R. Burt Miniature Painter.’ To the reverse of the frame we find remains of the original Burt blue poem paper trade label.
Measuring: Frame width 4.75 inch (12 cm) by height 5.5 inch (14 cm). Frame depth 0.25 inch (0.5 cm). Aperture width 2.25 inch (5.5 cm) by height 2.75 inch (7 cm).
Condition: There is a small chip to the outer section of the glass, this is very minor and is hidden below the gilt bezel. Minor surface wear to the frame. The combination of the important named sitter, trade label, wholly original frame with deluxe hangar and the additional hand written inscriptions by the artist make this a very desirable piece.
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