Isaac Oliver (British, 1560/5-1617) Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), before red drapery, wearing damascened armour, white lace ruff, blue ribbon of the Order of the Garter about his neck
Lot 9
Isaac Oliver
(British, 1560/5-1617)
Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), before red drapery, wearing damascened armour, white lace ruff, blue ribbon of the Order of the Garter about his neck
Sold for £9,375 (US$ 15,047) inc. premium

Lot Details
Isaac Oliver (British, 1560/5-1617)
Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), before red drapery, wearing damascened armour, white lace ruff, blue ribbon of the Order of the Garter about his neck.
Signed on the obverse with monogram IO, rectangular ebonised wood frame, inscribed on the reverse No.3/ Prince Henry, Eldest Son/ of King James the 1st./ by/ Isaac Oliver/ 26.
Oval, 50mm (1 15/16in) high
Provenance: S. Reynolds Solly, Esq (1862)
Henry Reynolds Solly, Esq
Mrs Edith Solly; Sotheby's, 27 June 1940, lot 31
Alfred Pearson, Esq
Robert H. Rockliff, Esq, Eastbourne; Sotheby's, 11 November 1947, lot 62
Broomhill House, Grantown-on-Spey
Exhibited: Special Exhibition of Works of Art of the Mediaeval, Renaissance, and more recent periods, ed. J.C. Robinson, South Kensington Museum, London, 1862, no.2605

Footnotes

  • Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales was the elder son of King James VI & I and Anne of Denmark; he showed brilliant promise as heir to his father. The Prince's ambition as a cultural patron included his employment of Isaac Oliver, who had surpassed his master Nicholas Hilliard, as the leading limner. Tragically, he died prematurely of typhoid fever, and his heirship to the Scottish and English thrones passed to his younger brother, Charles, later King Charles I.

    The present lot relates to Oliver's masterwork of Prince Henry shown against a curtained doorway with a background of soldiers and tents. Described by Van der Doort as 'done upon the right lighte the biggest lim'd Picture that was made by Prince-Henry being lim'd in a sett laced Roofe in a - gilded Armor and a Landskip by wherein some Souldiers and Tents are made, in a square frame with a shuting Gláss over it. Don by Isack Olliver', the miniature is in the Royal Collection. See Graham Reynolds, The Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1999, pp.91-93.

    Whilst in a similar vein to the aforementioned portrait, the present lot is, in fact, an example of Oliver's popular presentation portrait of the Prince, of which a number of variants are known to exist. The Royal collection holds a version, identical in format to the present lot, described by Van der Doort as 'Don upon the righte lighte the 6th beeing a Picture of Prince Henry upon an Ovall redd grounded Card in a lace Ruffe-and a gilded Armor wth a blew Scarfe about his neck under a Christall...6 Don by Isaac Olliver after the life'; and two further versions where the Prince wears a different style of ruff. See Ibid, pp.93-94, pls.55-57. Further examples can be found in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (see Graham Reynolds, Nicholas Hilliard & Isaac Oliver, 1971, pl.177). And in the Barber Institute, University of Birmingham (see Paul Spencer-Longhurst, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, 1999, p.121).

    Isaac Oliver's miniatures for Prince Henry are recorded in an account-book listing disbursements made by Sir David Murray, Keeper of the Privy Purse to the Prince. On the 26th February 1609 'Isaac the painter' was paid £5.10s for a miniature of the Prince. On the 27th June of the same year 'Mr Isaac' was paid two payments of £5.10s each for further miniatures of the Prince (Mary Edmond, Hilliard & Oliver: the lives and works of two great miniaturists, 1983, p.152).
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