This delightful English watercolor profile portrait miniature of a gentleman on card dates to the early 19th century, circa 1810. The portrait is by the sought after English profile painter William Hamlet the younger (fl. 1785 – 1816) of 12 Union Street Bath. William's father was William Hamlet the elder who also worked from the same address, the father and son artists did use the same trade labels interchangeably. However, because of the red cheeks to this handsome sitter, this definitely is the trade mark of the younger Hamlet. The painting is unopened and is housed behind glass in the most decorative papier mache frame.
Ref: Sue Mckechnie (1978). British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760 – 1860 . London : Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd for Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications. Pages 532 - 539, section 3.
Our example is complete with its original trade label; there is an old family note which partially obscures the trade label but if you lift the note the old William Hamlet paper trade label can be read. The family note reads "-----Storey brother of Isabel Storey who married James Harrison of Cark Hall. He founded a bank at Shaftesbury and sent his sister the silver tablespoon marked J. and I.H".
Through ancestral research we can confirm that the young gentleman sitter is William Storey Snr of Shaftesbury, Dorset, England. William Storey Snr was a banker born in 1786 and died in 1832, his wife was Louisa Storey who died in 1846. This would tie in with the sitter's hair and Regency clothing - he would be approx 24 years of age when this portrait was painted. Their son was also called William, it was the son William Jnr who carried on the family tradition as he was also a banker. William Storey Jnr of Shaftesbury was born in 1818. He founded Storey Thomas’s Banking Co. This private bank was found in 1816 by William Storey Jnr and Edward Thomas.
We can also confirm that the other family members mentioned on the note were James Harrison of Cark Hall, Lower Holker, Lancashire, England. James Harrison was born in 1774 he died in 1858 aged 74 years. His wife, Isabella Harrison was born in 1789 and died in 1865 aged 74 years.
Measuring: Frame width 4.5 inch (11.5 cm) by height 5.25 inch (13.5 cm). Aperture width 2.25 inch (5.7 cm) by height 2/75 inch (7 cm).
Condition: Minor scratch to glass, very minor discoloration around the edges of the card.
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