announced that a portrait miniature of Elizabeth I exceeded the pre-sale estimate of £15,000 - £20,000 in to sell for £40,800 in the Fine Portrait Miniatures sale held at Knightsbridge on 24th November, with the total sale realising £371,000.
The portrait was painted by one of Queen Elizabeths favourite miniaturists, Nicholas Hilliard, who chose to specifically concentrate on her costume and jewellery, whilst always painting the Queens face simply and youthfully. A smart officer wearing a red coatee, painted by the artist John Smart during his time in India in 1794, was also one of the top lots of the sale, realising £24,000.
Further highlights included a portrait miniature by Horace Hone of Sarah Siddons (1755 1825), a British actress who found fame on Drury Lane for her portrayal of Lady Macbeth and became the best known tragedienne of the 18th century. The portrait sold for £12,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £6,000 8,000.
Other portrait miniatures of historical celebrities included Charles Dickens, painted in 1868 by Walter Saunders Barnard (1851-1930) two years before Dickens died and sold for £1800. Considered to be the first English-language author to have a truly international career during his lifetime, a portrait of novelist Sir Walter Scott (1771 1832) by William Bishop Ford (1832 -1922) sold for £1200.