The Richard Allen Collection of Fine Portrait Miniatures

The Richard Allen Collection of Fine Portrait Miniatures

The Richard Allen Collection of Fine Portrait Miniatures

Bonhams is delighted to announce the sale of a single-owner collection of fine portrait miniatures once belonging to the late expert, Richard Allen of Sotheby's and Halls Fine Art Auctioneers.

Formed over several decades, the collection consists of 73 lots and features the work of some of the most sought after masters of the art form, including, Jean Baptiste Jacques Augustin, Richard Cosway and John Smart. The 17th – 20th centuries are all represented but the collection predominantly concentrates on the period between 1780 – 1820, named by the collector and author, Daphne Foskett, as 'The Heyday of Miniature Painting'. Highlights include an octagonal portrait miniature of Louis XVIII by Augustin valued at £15,000-20,000, an enchanting double portrait of two brothers by William Wood and an oval miniature portraying Isabella Perceval, Countess of Egmont by John Smart, each expected to realise £10,000-15,000.

Richard Allen was an admired and respected figure in the auction world. He developed his expertise and passion for portrait miniatures during a distinguished career that spanned over a quarter of a century. He celebrated 25 years in the business while at Sotheby's, 18 of which were invested in his role as a Board Director in addition to his work with the Portrait Miniatures department. Richard later returned to his native Shrophire where, in 1992, he was offered directorship at Halls Fine Art Auctioneers. He went on to develop and expand the fine art department at Halls where he also continued to specialise in portrait miniatures. Richard later advised the collector, Charles Fleischmann III, whose extensive collection of portrait miniatures now resides in the Cincinnati Art Museum.

The Richard Allen Collection of Fine Portrait Miniatures will take place at Bonhams Knightsbridge on 21st May at 1pm.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

Related auctions