Sir William Charles Ross, RA (British, 1794-1860) A pair of miniatures portraying George Stevens Byng (1806-1886), 2nd Earl of Strafford, PC and his second wife, the Hon. Harriet Elizabeth Cavendish (d.1892), both seated: the former, wearing black coat, white waistcoat and chemise, black stock and cravat with pearl cravat pin; the latter, wearing decollete white dress with wide triple-tiered lace collar, her bodice dressed with blue ribbon bows and a coral dress pin, a gold and enamel pendant suspended from a black ribbon around her neck, her hair centrally parted and upswept
Lot 181Y
Sir William Charles Ross, RA
(British, 1794-1860)
A pair of miniatures portraying George Stevens Byng (1806-1886), 2nd Earl of Strafford, PC and his second wife, the Hon. Harriet Elizabeth Cavendish (d.1892), both seated: the former, wearing black coat, white waistcoat and chemise, black stock and cravat with pearl cravat pin; the latter, wearing decollete white dress with wide triple-tiered lace collar, her bodice dressed with blue ribbon bows and a coral dress pin, a gold and enamel pendant suspended from a black ribbon around her neck, her hair centrally parted and upswept
Sold for £6,875 (US$ 11,365) inc. premium
Auction Details
Sir William Charles Ross, RA (British, 1794-1860) A pair of miniatures portraying George Stevens Byng (1806-1886), 2nd Earl of Strafford, PC and his second wife, the Hon. Harriet Elizabeth Cavendish (d.1892), both seated: the former, wearing black coat, white waistcoat and chemise, black stock and cravat with pearl cravat pin; the latter, wearing decollete white dress with wide triple-tiered lace collar, her bodice dressed with blue ribbon bows and a coral dress pin, a gold and enamel pendant suspended from a black ribbon around her neck, her hair centrally parted and upswept
Lot Details
Sir William Charles Ross, RA (British, 1794-1860)
A pair of miniatures portraying George Stevens Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford, PC (1806-1886) and his second wife, the Hon. Harriet Elizabeth Cavendish (d.1892), both seated: the former, wearing black coat, white waistcoat and chemise, black stock and cravat with pearl cravat pin; the latter, wearing decollete white dress with wide triple-tiered lace collar, her bodice dressed with blue ribbon bows and a coral dress pin, a gold and enamel pendant suspended from a black ribbon around her neck, her hair centrally parted and upswept.
Gilt-mounted within ormulu frames, rocaille decoration to the borders; gilt-metal slip surrounding the former engraved GEORGE 2ND EARL OF STRAFFORD, paper label to the reverse signed Painted by Sir W.m C. Ross R.I./ miniature Painter to/ The Queen/ 1849.; gilt-metal slip surrounding the latter engraved HARRIET ELIZABETH DAU. OF 1ST LORD CHESHAM/ 2ND WIFE OF GEORGE 2ND EARL OF STRAFFORD.
Rectangular, 113mm (4 7/16in) and 106mm (4 3/16in) high respectively (2)

Footnotes

  • George Stevens Byng was the only child of Field Marshal John Byng (1772-1860), 1st Earl of Strafford, GCB, GCH, PC and his first wife, Mary Stevens Mackenzie (d.1806). In 1822 he graduated from the Royal Military Academy and subsequently entered the 29th Regiment of Foot as an ensign. He became a Lieutenant in 1825 after transferring to the 85th Regiment of Foot, gaining a promotion to Captain the following year.

    Byng began his political career in 1830 as MP for Milborne Port. He held this seat only briefly before taking the post of Comptroller of the Household to his then father-in-law, Lord Anglesey, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Byng was later elected MP for Chatham in 1834, MP for Poole (1836-1837) and Chatham again (1837-1852). Under Lord Melbourne, Byng was sworn of His Majesty's Privy Council in 1835 and also served under Melbourne as Comptroller of the Household (1835-1841) and Treasurer of the Household (1841). In 1846 he was appointed Joint Secretary to the Board of Control under the new Prime Minister, Lord John Russell. In 1853, Byng was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's barony of Strafford after losing his parliamentary seat the previous year. Upon his father's death in 1860, Byng inherited his Earldom.

    Lord Strafford married firstly, Lady Agnes Paget (1809-1845), daughter of Field Marshal Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey and Lady Caroline Elizabeth Villiers on 7 March 1829. Lady Agnes bore him six children, three sons and three daughters. Three years after her death in October 1845, Byng married the Hon. Harriet Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Compton Cavendish, 1st Baron Chesham (1793-1863) and Lady Catherine Susan Gordon (1792-1866). The couple had seven children: Charles Cavendish George (1849–1918), Alfred John George (1851–1887), Lionel Francis George (1858–1915), Julian Hedworth George, later 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy (1862–1935), Susan Catherine Harriet (d.1936), Elizabeth Henrietta Alice (d.1920) and Margaret Florence Lucy (d.1945).

    Lord Strafford died in October 1886, aged 80 and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son by his first wife, George Henry Charles Byng (1830-1898). Two years after Lord Strafford's death, the Countess of Strafford and five of her children moved into No.19 Curzon Street. She died four years later in June.
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