Henry Collen (British, 1798-circa 1872) Victoria, Duchess of Kent (1786–1861), wearing white décolleté dress with lace trim to sleeves, her ermine trimmed crimson cloak draped around her arms, gold mounted sapphire brooch at her corsage, gold and sapphire pendant necklace, matching pendent earrings and slide in her curled and upswept hair, her broad rimmed dark blue hat dressed with white plumes
Lot 150Y
Henry Collen
(British, 1798-circa 1872)
Victoria, Duchess of Kent (1786–1861), wearing white décolleté dress with lace trim to sleeves, her ermine trimmed crimson cloak draped around her arms, gold mounted sapphire brooch at her corsage, gold and sapphire pendant necklace, matching pendent earrings and slide in her curled and upswept hair, her broad rimmed dark blue hat dressed with white plumes
Sold for £1,000 (US$ 1,596) inc. premium

Lot Details
Henry Collen (British, 1798-circa 1872)
Victoria, Duchess of Kent (1786–1861), wearing white décolleté dress with lace trim to sleeves, her ermine trimmed crimson cloak draped around her arms, gold mounted sapphire brooch at her corsage, gold and sapphire pendant necklace, matching pendent earrings and slide in her curled and upswept hair, her broad rimmed dark blue hat dressed with white plumes.
Gilt-wood frame with laurel leaf border.
Rectangular, 100mm (3 15/16in) high

Footnotes

  • Another signed and dated version of the present lot, believed to have been gifted from the Duchess of Kent to Princess Victoria, resides in the Royal Collection (See V. Remington, Victorian Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 2010, vol.I, p.123 no.202). Subtle differences can be seen between the two miniatures. Collen's characteristic trait of scratching out in the sitter's hair can however be seen in both versions and a border of unpainted ivory exists around the sides of each miniature.

    The signed version and the subsequent engravings by Woolnoth and later Cochran, pre-date Collen's 1835 appointment as Miniature Painter to the Duchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria, a position he gained through George Hayter who began tutoring him in 1819. Collen enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools a year later but remained a pupil of Hayter, who, in his capacity as 'Painter of miniatures and portraits to the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold' instructed Princess Victoria in drawing (See V. Remington, Victorian Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 2010, vol.I, p.121). It was during this period that the Royal Collection's version was painted and gifted to Princess Victoria by her mother. Two other portrait miniatures of the Duchess of Kent by Collen, dated 1831 and 1835 reside in the Royal Collection. The latter, copied after the full-length oil by Hayter was gifted to Princess Victoria by the Duchess of Kent on Christmas day. Collen was appointed Miniature Painter to Her Majesty upon Victoria's accession to the throne in 1837.

    Marie Luise Viktoria was the fourth daughter and seventh child of Franz Frederick Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1750-1806) and Countess Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf (1757-1831). On 21 December 1803, she married Emich Charles, 2nd Prince of Leiningen (1763–1814), whose first wife, Henrietta of Reuss-Ebersdorf, was her aunt. The couple had two children, Carl, 3rd Prince of Leiningen and Princess Anna Feodora. In 1818, Victoria married secondly, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (1767–1820) and they had a daughter, Princess Victoria. When the Duke died suddenly of pneumonia, the widowed Duchess would have had little reason to remain with her three children on English soil had it not been for the uncertainty of Princess Victoria's future.

    Events leading up to Victoria's accession to the throne in 1837 led the new Queen to associate her mother with the schemes of the latter's Private Secretary (John Conroy, 1786-1854) and the Duchess was relegated to separate apartments away from the monarch's. It was only when Victoria's first child, the Princess Royal was born, that her mother was welcomed back into the fold and embraced her roles as Dowager Duchess and a doting grandmother. Her nephew, Prince Albert (1819-1861) is credited with influencing the reconciliation. The Queen was later greatly affected by the death of her mother. It was the start of a fraught and painful year, which would end with the death of Prince Albert.
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