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Lot 10
John Hoskins
(British, circa 1590-1664)
Henrietta Maria of France (1609-1669), Queen Consort of England, Scotland and Ireland (1625-1649), wearing white figured dress, white lace collar and fill-in, a large teardrop pearl suspended from her pearl necklace, matching pendant earring, her hair upswept, curled and dressed with a white ribbon bow, landscape background
£ 20,000 - 30,000
US$ 28,000 - 43,000

Lot Details
John Hoskins (British, circa 1590-1664)
Henrietta Maria of France (1609-1669), Queen Consort of England, Scotland and Ireland (1625-1649), wearing white figured dress, white lace collar and fill-in, a large teardrop pearl suspended from her pearl necklace, matching pendant earring, her hair upswept, curled and dressed with a white ribbon bow, landscape background.
Watercolour on vellum, silver fausse-montre frame with foliate decoration.
Oval, 72mm (2 13/16in) high


  • The positioning of the sitter's form, hair and jewellery derive from Anthony Van Dyck's 1632 double portrait of the Queen holding an olive branch in her left hand and extending a laurel wreath in her right to her husband, Charles I (now in the collection of the Archiepiscopal Castle and Gardens, Kromeríž, Czech Republic). The painting was commissioned to sit above the fireplace in the drawing room at Somerset House, which Charles I granted to Henrietta Maria in 1626. Hoskins was subsequently commissioned to paint a number of portrait miniature copies of the Queen's bust and variants are held by the Mauritshuis at the Hague, the Marquess of Exeter at Burghley House (see D. Foskett, Samuel Cooper and his contemporaries, NPG, 1974, p.78, ill.fig.145; p.81, ill.fig.148) and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam ( Hoskins' miniature copy of Van Dyck's entire composition, dated 1636, now forms part of the Duke of Northumberland's collection at Alnwick (Foskett, op.cit., p.80, ill.fig.147). Further full-length copies of Van Dyck's entire composition and reduced versions portraying Charles I or Henrietta Maria survive in various collections and the original double portrait was engraved by Van Voerst in 1634.

    Hoskins also painted a rectangular miniature of the Queen wearing a turquoise star-spangled dress in around 1632 (C. Lloyd, V. Remington, Masterpieces in Little Portrait Miniatures from the Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, ill.p.103, no.28). The dress closely resembles one in which the Queen performed at the 1632 masque, 'Tempe Restored' and which Inigo Jones designed specifically for the event. Being an entirely new and independent portrait rather than a variant derived from a full-scale oil by Van Dyck, this miniature is an ambitious composition by Hoskins. In 1639, Abraham van der Doort overlooked the monogram verso 'S.C.' when he recorded the portrait miniature in Charles I's collection, which would suggest the signature is a later addition. The muted colour palette and quiet dignity of the sitter are certainly typical features of Hoskins' work.

    In 'The Art of Painting' (1706), De Piles refers to Hoskins as 'a very eminent limner in the reign of King Charles I, whom he drew with his Queen, and most of his court.' (D. Foskett, Samuel Cooper and his contemporaries, 1974, p.75). Hoskins bridged the gap between Hilliard and his nephew, Samuel Cooper, who's fame would eclipse his own. Samuel and his brother, Alexander were raised by Hoskins and his wife, Sarah, and both boys received their initial training from him. He was appointed limner to Charles I on 20 April 1640, with a life annuity of £200, which soon fell into arrears. He died at his home in Bedford Street, Covent Garden on 22 February 1664/5 and was survived by his wife and son.

    Henrietta Maria was the youngest daughter of the assassinated Henri IV (1553-1610) and his second wife, Marie de' Medici (1575-1642). She married the ill-fated Charles I (1600-1649) on 13 June 1625 and moved to England with a great quantity of jewels, expensive gowns and fine furnishings. Being Catholic with no prior knowledge of the English language, Henrietta Maria was very unpopular in England and she was denied an Anglican coronation. She would however become the mother of two monarchs (Charles II and James II) and the grandmother of three (Mary II, William III and Anne). After the birth of her youngest daughter, Henrietta Maria sought refuge in France, whilst the English Civil War raged. The execution of her husband in 1649 left her devastated and impoverished. Upon her son's coronation as Charles II in 1660, Henrietta Maria returned to England where she had intended to live out the remainder of her life. The cold and damp English weather however prompted a return to France in 1665, where she died at Colombes during the early hours of 10 September. Her heart was interred in a silver casket and her body lay in state at Chaillot. Charles II prevailed over her estate but he was generous and Louis XIV, whose physicians had failed her, paid for Henrietta Maria's state funeral at St Denis.

    Contemporary sources in England frequently attack Henrietta Maria as a sinister, foreign, Catholic influence on the King and these views were reinforced by the Royalist and post-Restoration need for a scapegoat. By stark contrast in France, she was praised for her piety, heroism and the courage with which she faced the tragedy of her husband's execution. The flood of correspondence exchanged between Charles I and Henrietta Maria during the final decade of the King's life reveals a strong, assertive, and politically-minded Queen. The most recent of her biographers have since balanced her reputation for being reckless and frivolous alongside her courage and tenacity.
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  1. Jennifer Tonkin
    Specialist - Portrait Miniatures
    Montpelier Street
    London, United Kingdom SW7 1HH
    Work +44 20 7393 3971
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