William Bone Senior (British, active 1815-1843) Emma, Lady Hamilton (1765–1815), wearing ochre dress, dark green cloak and leaves in her hair, she holds a mask in her right hand

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Lot 142*
William Bone Senior
(British, active 1815-1843)
Emma, Lady Hamilton (1765–1815), wearing ochre dress, dark green cloak and leaves in her hair, she holds a mask in her right hand

Sold for £ 4,560 (US$ 6,297) inc. premium
William Bone Senior (British, active 1815-1843)
Emma, Lady Hamilton (1765–1815), wearing ochre dress, dark green cloak and leaves in her hair, she holds a mask in her right hand.
Enamel, signed on obverse with initials and inscribed W.B./ from Sir J.R 1783, gilt-metal frame.
Rectangular, 75mm (2 15/16in) high
Provenance: Sotheby's, 11 November 1993

Footnotes

  • Born into poverty in Cheshire in 1765, Emma Hamilton was one of the most legendary beauties of her day. As first the mistress, and subsequently the wife, of Sir William Hamilton, British Envoy to Naples, she became an intimate of Queen Maria Carolina and attained considerable influence at the Neopolitan Court. However, it was her passionate love-affair with naval hero Horatio Nelson which secured her lasting fame - and notoriety. Ostracised by polite society following Nelson's death at Trafalgar in 1805, Emma slid into debt and alcoholism and died, alone, at Calais in 1815.

    During her time in Italy, Lady Hamilton gave regular performances of her so-called 'Attitudes' which saw her pose as Medea, Circe and other figures from classical mythology. In an age when antique art and sculpture was all the rage, the 'Attitudes' caused a sensation and were immortalised by artists across Europe - most famously, by George Romney who was captivated by her charms. In the present work, Emma is represented in the guise of Thalia, Muse of Comedy and Idyllic Poetry.
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