Still sealed to a vellum backing, upon which is noted, "Painted by W. ___________ 1817". I cannot for the life of me read that last name. Perhaps you can, or will know who this artist is because of your expertise in English portraitists of the era. An early one, this child would have been born about the time Napoleon, having met his Waterloo 2 years earlier, was at the end of his powerful conquests of Empire, and in England, King George IV would have been regent just a few years, and overseeing the victorious but deeply debt-plaqued aftermath of those long wars. Work was scarce, a lot of unrest. And in that time, this boy sat for his portrait. I just listed a Swiss artist's oil painting of a young boy at the same (likely) stage of development and tradition. The point at which he is "in his britches", or that year of his young life when he has been fully potty trained and is shifted rather dramatically from his mother's baby (in dresses and long locks) to his father's son, hair short short and now wearing knickers and jackets like the young man he suddenly is thought of to be. A tender and unique point in time 200 + years ago, it is quite likely this painting was done to remember him at that transformative point in his young life. That he has those lovely blue eyes and is a strawberry blond, if not outright ginger, makes the portrait and its moment in time all the more tender.
Very good to excellent, an important and rare portrait miniature in fine condition, more than 200 years old, still sealed to its vellum backing. Painted in gouache, preserved in the original frame and under the original slightly convex cover glass, he looks out at us from a distant past as if he just lived down the street today. There is some age to the wooden frame, no flaws at all to note other than a very very slight warp to the wafer (see image of it lying outside the frame). No chips, and shows beautifully in frame. No warp to the flat 200+ year old frame. Measurements are noted on the photos
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