Henry Bone R.A., The poet Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823), wearing blue coat with black collar, white waistcoat and tied cravat
Lot 158
Henry Bone R.A., The poet Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823), wearing blue coat with black collar, white waistcoat and tied cravat
Sold for £9,360 (US$ 15,120) inc. premium

Lot Details
Henry Bone R.A. (British, 1755-1834)
The poet Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823), wearing blue coat with black collar, white waistcoat and tied cravat.
enamel, signed on obverse, HBone, signed and dated on the counter-enamel Henry Bone pinxt/ May 1798, gold frame with split pearl border and hanger, the reverse glazed to reveal lock of hair tied with split pearls and gold wire on opalescent glass, set in a red leather case with trade label of S. Twycross, Jeweller, No.9 Newcastle Street, Strand, London.
Oval, 59mm (2 1/4in) high

Footnotes

  • A similar portrait of Bloomfield by Bone, painted on ivory and inscribed on the reverse 'Bloomfield/ the Poet/ by Bone after/ Cosway' is in the National Portrait Gallery, London (see Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, vol.I, p.54, no.1644 and vol.II, ill.pls.114 and 115). Walker doubts that the original was the work of Richard Cosway and suggests that the inscription was made by the ivory miniature's owner Isaac Falke. This is supported by the inscription on the reverse of the present lot where Bone has not stated a prototype, suggesting that the ivory miniature was painted from life and the present enamel worked up from that original.

    Bloomfield was born in Honnington, Suffolk son of a tailor and a teacher at the village school. As a boy he went to London and worked as a shoemaker after being found too frail to undertake farm work. He improved himself by attending meetings of Dissenters, and by reading ‘the long and beautiful speeches of Burke, Fox, or North’. He is chiefly remembered as the author of 'The Farmer's Boy' (1800). When Capel Lofft, published it with wood engravings by Thomas Bewick, 26,000 copies were sold in three years, and translations appeared in French, Italian, and Latin. After this, Bloomfield was unable to repeat his success. Later works include 'Rural Tales' (1802), 'Good Tidings or News from the Farm' (1804), 'Wild Flowers' (1806) and 'The Banks of the Wye' (1811). His last years were dogged by illness and partial blindness and in 1812 he moved out of London to Shefford where he died in 1823.
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