Peter Cross (British, circa 1650-1724) Louis of France (1661-1711), 'Le Grand Dauphin', eldest son and heir of Louis XIV (1638-1715), wearing suit of armour with red lining to his gardbrace, blue sash, white lace cravat tied over red ribbon, his natural wig falling in curls over his shoulders
Lot 25
Peter Cross
(British, circa 1650-1724)
Louis of France (1661-1711), 'Le Grand Dauphin', eldest son and heir of Louis XIV (1638-1715), wearing suit of armour with red lining to his gardbrace, blue sash, white lace cravat tied over red ribbon, his natural wig falling in curls over his shoulders
Sold for £7,500 (US$ 10,076) inc. premium

Lot Details
Peter Cross (British, circa 1650-1724)
Louis of France (1661-1711), 'Le Grand Dauphin', eldest son and heir of Louis XIV (1638-1715), wearing suit of armour with red lining to his gardbrace, blue sash, white lace cravat tied over red ribbon, his natural wig falling in curls over his shoulders.
Watercolour on vellum, signed with the artist's gilt-monogram (now partially faded), PC, silver frame with pierced spiral cresting.
Oval, 83mm (3 1/4in) high

Footnotes

  • The present lot derives from an engraving by Robert Nanteuil of 1677. Jean Petitot and his studio executed many versions in enamel (see G. Reynolds, The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 1999, p.239, ill.nos.303-304). A comparable miniature on vellum by Jacques-Antoine Arlaud sold Bonhams, London, 18 November 2003 (lot 21).

    Louis of France was the eldest son and heir of Louis XIV of France and Maria Theresa of Spain. With his first wife, Maria Anna Victoria, Duchess of Bavaria, Louis had three sons: Louis 'Le Petit Dauphin', Philippe and Charles. Maria died in 1680 and in 1695, Louis secretly married his lover, Marie Émilie de Joly de Choin. The couple had a son who died in infancy hidden away in the French countryside.

    During the War of the Grand Alliance in 1688, Louis demonstrated great courage and leadership in taking one of the bridgeheads across the Rhine at Philippsburg, which prevented the expanding Imperial army from invading Alsace. In order to improve the chances of a Bourbon succession to the Spanish throne, Louis relinquished his claim in favour of his second son and by 1 November 1700, Philippe's accession as Philip V of Spain was secured. On 11 April 1711 at the age of forty-nine, Louis predeceased his father and thus a prophecy told at his birth, "son of a king, father of a king, but never a king", was fulfilled.
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