Louis Ami Ferriere (Swiss, 1792-1866) Two portrait miniatures of Charles James Beverly FRS (1786-1868) and his wife, Harriet Beverly: the former, wearing black coat, waistcoat, white chemise and stock; the latter, wearing black décolleté dress with lace trim, her dark hair elaborately upswept and curled
Lot 98Y
Louis Ami Ferriere
(Swiss, 1792-1866)
Two portrait miniatures of Charles James Beverly FRS (1786-1868) and his wife, Harriet Beverly: the former, wearing black coat, waistcoat, white chemise and stock; the latter, wearing black décolleté dress with lace trim, her dark hair elaborately upswept and curled
Sold for £875 (US$ 1,378) inc. premium

Lot Details
Louis Ami Ferriere (Swiss, 1792-1866) Two portrait miniatures of Charles James Beverly FRS (1786-1868) and his wife, Harriet Beverly: the former, wearing black coat, waistcoat, white chemise and stock; the latter, wearing black décolleté dress with lace trim, her dark hair elaborately upswept and curled
Louis Ami Ferriere (Swiss, 1792-1866)
Two portrait miniatures of Charles James Beverly FRS (1786-1868) and his wife, Harriet Beverly: the former, wearing black coat, waistcoat, white chemise and stock; the latter, wearing black décolleté dress with lace trim, her dark hair elaborately upswept and curled.
The latter signed on the obverse and dated LF/ 1827, gold fausse-montre frames, the reverse of the former engraved Charles James Beverly/ 1786-1868/ by Louis Ferrière/ (1792-1866)/ Exhibited RA. 1827; the reverse of the latter engraved Harriet/ wife of C.J. Beverly/ by Louis Ferrière/ (1727-1866)/ 1827.
Oval, 78mm (3 1/16in) high and rectangular, 60mm (2 3/8in) high, respectively (2)
Exhibited: Royal Academy, 1827, no.856.
Literature: D. Foskett, Miniatures Dictionary and Guide, 1987, p.539.

Footnotes

  • Louis Ami Ferriere came to England, where his father Francois Ferriere was already working in 1794. He was educated here and became a naturalized citizen. He traveled to St. Petersburg with his father in 1804 before returning to England in 1810. He married Cecilia (1797-1880), daughter of the miniaturist, Pierre Noel Violet (French, 1749-1819) and sitter of lot 50, on 9 January 1815. Ferriere exhibited a number of portraits at the RA between 1817-1828 including the miniatures in the present lot in 1827.

    Having been educated in Scotland, where his father's regiment was deployed, Charles entered the Royal Navy as an Assistant Surgeon in 1810; he served in the Mediterranean and the Baltic until 1814, during which time he was commended for displaying 'much bravery in these expeditions and considerable mental activity' (E. Murphy, 'A mad house transformed: the lives and work of Charles James Beverly FRS (1788-1868) and John Warburton MD FRS (1795-1847)', Notes and Records of the Royal Society, London, 2004, no.58, p.5). Having returned to the mainland for a brief convalescent period, Charles joined the crew of HMS 'Isabella' as it embarked for the Polar Regions under the captaincy of Sir John Ross (1777-1856). In addition to maintaining the physical welfare of the expedition's crew, Charles was charged with the anatomical dissection of the variant local species, mineralogical excavations and the cataloguing of indigenous botanical species. Reputedly, upon encountering a group of esquimaux for the first time, Charles alarmed the small party with a display of amateur juggling.

    Seemingly, 'snow blindness', or ophthalmia, badly affected Charles after his time in the Arctic and effectively saw the end of his career at sea. Having returned to Britain on a permanent basis, Charles, then forty years old, married Harriet who was fifteen years his junior. The union saw the birth of at least two children: Edward (b.1828) and Louisa (b.1829). The family lived at 27 The Grove, Hackney, until 1845 when they relocated to Bath.

    In 1828, Charles who had no experience with mental health, was appointed Medical Superintendent of Bethnal Green Asylum and, along with John Warburton, transformed the institution from the notoriously inhumane private 'bedlam' where patients were shackled to the walls into an utterly revitalised environment. In addition to the introduction of a library, the entire building was redecorated and standards of sanitisation were vastly improved as the two men sought to transform the hospital in its entirety: 'new water closets and baths were put in, wards were heated and furnished in a more homely way, new clothing was introduced, the diet was improved and a regime of occupation and diversion was introduced' (Murphy, p.17). Tragically, the two men gained minimal recognition for their work at Bethnal Green. In an era where mental health was still regarded very much as an armchair science, the improvement of London's 'madhouses' held little interest for the medical elite.
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