Thrifting : miniature family portraits part 2

Following on from the post a few days ago about my antique children portraits, we were delighted to reunite the children with their parents!

My Dad wanted to go back to the same thrift store to see if there were any more portraits. My Mum & I laughed at him. Then he came home and laughed at us (was more like a giggle!) as he pulled two portraits out of his pockets… my lost children’s parents! We keep giggling about it, and think it’s very appropriate I found the children, and my Dad found the parents.

Property of Heather Castles – not to be used without permission
Property of Heather Castles – not to be used without permission

Since purchasing these, I’ve enjoyed learning so much about miniature portraits during the Victorian era. I’ve been chatting with antique enthusiasts and dealers to learn more about these portraits, and am waiting on confirmation that these portraits are by Sir William John Newton, the most fashionable miniature portrait painter of the 1800’s.

Property of Heather Castles – not to be used without permission

So, I have more questions… who are these people? I’ve been told the family name is likely on the back of the father’s portrait (but I won’t be removing it without talking to professionals this time!) The one portrait I opened has difficult to read dipped-ink handwriting, but the bits I can read are his signature (reads : Newton), credited as being the artist (reads : pinxit) the street Newton worked and lived at in multiple locations (reads : 38 Argyll), and date (reads : 1815.) So if that date is true of the other portraits, the father who is wearing British military dress likely would have been involved in the Napoleonic wars. I’m not sure of his rank, was comparing his portrait to military dress of the time and having a hard time finding a match.

I’ve had wonderful help through Twitter & Facebook from enthusiastic antique collectors and enthusiasts… thank you! Will post any updated info here as I do more research.

September 6 : Chatting with the miniature portrait collectors over at Miniature Blogspot, I’ve learned that Newton’s portrait of Miss Charlotte, painted a similar time to my portraits, was framed in a rectangular gilded frame, which was popular during the late Georgian Era. However, the oval wood frame (like the portraits I have) was more popular during the Victorian era. So it suggests the “sitters” had their portraits reframed at some point. Not surprising, I know I get tired of the look of certain frames, switching frames can give the art a freshening up.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. rcantrell38 says:

    You may have a beautiful treasure on your hands. I’m enjoying the sharing of Newton’s work.


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