Charles Boit (Swedish, 1663-1727) William III, Prince of Orange (1650-1702), King of England (1689-1702), wearing gilt-studded armour beneath the blue sash and breast star of the Order of the Garter, white lace jabot, his brown wig worn long and curling over his shoulders
Lot 19
Charles Boit
(Swedish, 1663-1727)
William III, Prince of Orange (1650-1702), King of England (1689-1702), wearing gilt-studded armour beneath the blue sash and breast star of the Order of the Garter, white lace jabot, his brown wig worn long and curling over his shoulders
Sold for £2,000 (US$ 3,107) inc. premium

Lot Details
Charles Boit (Swedish, 1663-1727)
William III, Prince of Orange (1650-1702), King of England (1689-1702), wearing gilt-studded armour beneath the blue sash and breast star of the Order of the Garter, white lace jabot, his brown wig worn long and curling over his shoulders.
Enamel, gilt-metal frame with pierced spiral cresting.
Oval, 70mm (2 3/4in) high

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Christie's, London, 25 July 1967, lot 90;
    Bonhams, London, 19 November 2008, lot 3

    Charles Boit came to England in 1687 and was appointed court enameller to William III shortly after his arrival in London circa 1690. The present lot is closely comparable with two other enamels of William III by Charles Boit; one in which the sitter wears the badge of the Order of the Garter suspended from a sash ribbon (sold, Christie's, London, 10-11 July 1984, lot 46) and another reduced composition omitting the Order of the Garter, which forms part of a private collection (see D. Lavender, The Monarchy in Portrait Miniatures from Elizabeth I to Queen Victoria, 1993, ill.no.50). Very few portraits of William III portray him wearing the badge or breast star of the Order of the Garter. In addition to the aforementioned enamel that appeared at Christie's in 1984, a portrait by Thomas Forster, dated 1674, portrays the monarch wearing the sash and breast star of the Order of the Garter secured to his coat (see R. W. Goulding, The Welbeck Abbey Miniatures, 1916, ill.pl.XXI). The composition of the present lot is also comparable with a portrait miniature by an unknown artist, circa 1690, which is held in The Royal House Archives at The Hague.

    In 1677, William, Prince of Orange married his first cousin, Mary, the daughter of his uncle, James, Duke of York, who would later inherit his brother's throne as James II and VII. The birth of a male heir to James and his Italian consort, Mary of Modena, proved to be the final straw for their subjects and in the summer of 1688, a group of nobles invited Prince William to invade England with his army. Upon his arrival, James II fled to France, leaving his daughter and son-in-law to rule in his place. In an arrangement unique in English history, William and Mary ruled as joint sovereigns. Despite a string of military successes, William III never gained the adoration of his new subjects, who perceived him as cold, taciturn and unpolished. Following Mary II's premature death in 1694, he was left without an heir of his own. Upon his death in 1702, the Dutch House of Orange became extinct and the crown passed to his sister-in-law, Anne (see the preceding lot).
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