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Attributed to Sebastian Eckardt (1782-1846)

Ernest, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, (1818-93), later Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819-61) c. 1831-2

Watercolour on ivory; gold | 18.5 x 4.0 x 1.3 cm (whole object) | RCIN 4795

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  • Sebastian Eckhardt was from Amorbach, Bavaria. Many years after his death, Queen Victoria related to Sir Theodore Martin that: 'Old Mr. Eckart was a Coburg artist much employed by the Dss of Kent the late D. of Coburg & the late Pce Leiningen'. He started life as a theatrical scene-painter, but from 1803 was working for the Prince of Leiningen and in 1814 became his Principal Painter, responsible for decorative schemes within the Palace. In 1819 he came to England with Princess Victoria, Duchess of Kent, formerly Princess of Leiningen. On 11 August 1819, the Duke of Kent made a request for access to the gardens at Kew for 'Mr Eckardt, Professor of Painting, attached to the Duchess … in order to take a few sketches for us … he speaks no English'. He was much employed by the Duchess in the capacity of drawing master and also in painting watercolours of interiors and landscapes until his return to Coburg in 1825. There he became Principal Painter to the Dukes of Coburg and Supervisor of the Collections, travelling frequently between Coburg and Langenburg in the service of both princely families. He eventually returned to his home town of Amorbach in 1837 and died in 1846.

    This miniature relates to the double-portrait pencil and watercolour sketch of the two princes by Eckhardt given to Queen Victoria by the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Altenburg, their grandmother, in 1840 (450011). A signed version of the drawing, dated 1831, is in the Kunstsammlungen, Coburg (Z 4142).

    Left to Queen Victoria by Frau Feiluer and after her death sent by her husband to Her Majesty, 1883. (Had been given to Frau Feiluer, formerly nurse to the two Princes, by their father, the late Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha).

  • Creator(s)
  • Medium and techniques

    Watercolour on ivory; gold


    18.5 x 4.0 x 1.3 cm (whole object)

    3.8 x 3.3 cm (sight)