Henry Bone, R.A. (British, 1755-1834) George IV (1762–1830), King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover (1820-1830), wearing red coat with blue standing collar edged and embroidered with gold, gold braiding suspended from his gold epaulette, black stock, medals on a red sash ribbon suspended from his neck including that of the Golden Fleece, blue sash, the breast star of the Order of the Holy Spirit amongst others on his left
Lot 93
Henry Bone, R.A.
(British, 1755-1834)
George IV (1762–1830), King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover (1820-1830), wearing red coat with blue standing collar edged and embroidered with gold, gold braiding suspended from his gold epaulette, black stock, medals on a red sash ribbon suspended from his neck including that of the Golden Fleece, blue sash, the breast star of the Order of the Holy Spirit amongst others on his left
Sold for £6,250 (US$ 10,629) inc. premium
Auction Details
Henry Bone, R.A. (British, 1755-1834) George IV (1762–1830), King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover (1820-1830), wearing red coat with blue standing collar edged and embroidered with gold, gold braiding suspended from his gold epaulette, black stock, medals on a red sash ribbon suspended from his neck including that of the Golden Fleece, blue sash, the breast star of the Order of the Holy Spirit amongst others on his left
Lot Details
Henry Bone, R.A. (British, 1755-1834)
George IV (1762–1830), King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover (1820-1830), wearing red coat with blue standing collar edged and embroidered with gold, gold braiding suspended from his gold epaulette, black stock, medals on a red sash ribbon suspended from his neck including that of the Golden Fleece, blue sash, the breast star of the Order of the Holy Spirit amongst others on his left.
Enamel on gold, signed on the obverse HB, the reverse inscribed H.R.H the / Prince Regent / London augt 1814 / Painted by H Bone / R.A. Enamel painter / to the King and / Prince Regent, gold frame.
Oval, 38mm (1 1/2in) high

Footnotes

  • The inclusion of the French Order of the Holy Spirit amongst the British insignia is seemingly irregular given the ongoing deterioration in Anglo-French relations throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries. However, the wearing of foreign chivalric, civilian and military collars, badges and stars was and remains an acceptable practice in the United Kingdom and abroad and as such is not uncommon in the portraiture of the period.

    The enamel adheres to a widely repeated likeness established by Thomas Phillips in his portrait of the then Prince of Wales in civilian dress, which was exhibited at the 1806 Royal Academy exhibition (no.90). Bone utilised the head of Phillips' likeness in his representations of the monarch with several versions currently residing in the Royal Collection (R. Walker, Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 1992, no.s 753-755; V. Remington, The Victorian Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, vol.I, 2010, no. 110). Another version by Bone of 1812 and an earlier 1806 version that had previously been in the collection of the Countess of Harewood were auctioned by Christie's on the 17 March 1987 (lot 33) and the 2 April 1968 (lot 30) respectively. A version of the Prince of Wales in uniform that compares most closely with the present lot is with the Philadelphia Museum of Art (no.1953-142-5).

    Largely remembered for his indulgent lifestyle before and throughout his reign, George IV's exorbitant and wasteful spending frequently plunged him into debt and angered taxpayers, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. Saddling the monarchy with endless scandal, his lack of financial and moral responsibility remained an enduring strain on his relationships with his father and the government. Having fallen head over heels in love with Maria Fitzherbert (1756-1837) whom he married illegally in 1794, the Prince was blackmailed into marrying his cousin, Caroline of Brunswick (1768-1821) by his father the same year. He took an instant dislike to Caroline and, although the feeling was mutual, the wedding went ahead in 1795. The couple separated shortly after the birth of their only child, Princess Charlotte (1796-1817). Caroline was later put on trial for suspected adultery despite the many mistresses George had kept throughout their marriage. His attempts to divorce his wife, while in vain, were no less humiliating for Caroline who had already suffered cruel rumours following a restriction on her access to Princess Charlotte. The majority of George IV's later years were spent in isolation and bad health at Windsor. His gluttony had made him a target for the press who ridiculed him with vicious caricatures, which to this day remain as famous as the official portraits painted by Phillips and Lawrence. Amidst his notoriety, George IV is also remembered for his dedicated patronage of the arts including the commissioning of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, the founding of the National Gallery and the evolution of Regency fashion, to which he contributed greatly, owing to both his vast weight and sartorial innovation.
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