George Engleheart (British, 1750-1829) Sir Pulteney Malcolm GCB GCMG (1768–1838), wearing Naval uniform, gold trimmed blue coat with buttons embossed with anchors, gold epaulettes, white waistcoat, frilled chemise and tied stock, his hair powdered
Lot 103Y
George Engleheart
(British, 1750-1829)
Sir Pulteney Malcolm GCB GCMG (1768–1838), wearing Naval uniform, gold trimmed blue coat with buttons embossed with anchors, gold epaulettes, white waistcoat, frilled chemise and tied stock, his hair powdered
Sold for £12,000 (US$ 19,911) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
George Engleheart (British, 1750-1829)
Sir Pulteney Malcolm GCB GCMG (1768–1838), wearing Naval uniform, gold trimmed blue coat with buttons embossed with anchors, gold epaulettes, white waistcoat, frilled chemise and tied stock, his hair powdered.
Signed on the obverse with the cursive E, signed on the reverse G Engleheart, gilt-metal.
Oval, 100mm (3 15/16in) high
Provenance: By family descent
Literature: G.C. Williamson; George Engleheart, 1902, App.I, p.107


  • Sir Pulteney Malcolm is recorded in Engleheart's fee book as having sat for his portrait in 1806.

    Malcolm entered the navy in 1778, during the American Revolutionary War. At the beginning of 1805 Malcolm took part in the pursuit of the French fleet to the West Indies. On the return of the fleet to the Channel, he was sent to reinforce Collingwood off Cadiz, and was still there when Nelson resumed command. On the 17th October, 1805, the Donegal was sent to Gibraltar for a refit. Three days later when his ship was nearly dismantled Malcolm learnt that the combined fleet was sailing out of Cadiz. He managed to set sail on the 22nd and was reunited with the fleet by the 24th, too late for the battle of Trafalgar but in time to render valuable assistance to the disabled ships and prizes. Writing to Sir Thomas Pasley, Collingwood said of Malcolm, "Everybody was sorry Malcolm was not there, because everybody knows his spirit, and his skill would have acquired him honour. He got out of the Gut when nobody else could, and was of infinite service to us after the action."

    In 1809 he married Clementina Elphinstone, eldest daughter of the Hon. William Fullerton Elphinstone, a director of the East India Company.

    He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1813, and in June 1814, he convoyed a detachment of the army from Bordeaux to North America, and served during the war with the United States as third-in-Command under Sir Alexander Cochrane and Rear-Admiral George Cockburn. On the 24th August 1814, the fleet set fire to many public buildings in Washington D.C., including the White House. Historians agree that the attack was in retaliation for the American looting of York, Upper Canada (now Toronto) in 1813, and the burning down of the Parliament Buildings there.

    The buildings housing the Senate and House of Representatives in Washington were set ablaze. The interiors of both buildings, including the Library of Congress, were destroyed, although the thick walls and a torrential rainfall preserved their exteriors. The troops then turned to the White House. First Lady, Dolley Madison remained, gathering valuables and documents including The Lansdowne Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. Mrs. Madison was finally persuaded to leave moments before invading soldiers entered the building. The smoke was reportedly visible as far away as Baltimore. The exterior walls were all that remained of The White House. With the exception of portions of the south wall, the exterior had to be torn down and reconstructed due to weakening by the fire.

    Less than a day after the attack began, a tornado swept through, killing more British than American guns and putting out fires. This forced the British to return to their ships, many of which were badly damaged by the storm, and so the actual occupation of Washington only lasted around 26 hours.

    Malcolm later commanded a squadron in the North Sea during The Hundred Days' War in co-operation with the army under the Duke of Wellington. He was promoted to Vice-Admiral in 1821, and Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean 1828-1831. He was nominated a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George, in 1829, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, in 1833.

    In the final years of his life, he became Chairman of the Oriental Club which had been founded by his brother, General Sir John Malcolm. He attained the rank of Admiral of the Blue in 1837 and died at East Lodge, Enfield on the 20th July 1838. The post-war Royal Navy frigate HMS Malcolm was named after Sir Pulteney Malcolm. Pulteney Street in Adelaide, Australia is also named after him.

    Another version of the present lot, painted by Engleheart, signed and dated 1807 on the reverse, was sold, Sotheby's 19 October 1981, lot 170. Sir Pulteney was also drawn by John Smart in 1792. See Daphne Foskett, John Smart, The Man and his Miniatures, 1964, p.34, fig.87
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