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The first major study of portrait miniatures from the Victorian era

Henry Bone (1755-1834)

Henry IV (1367-1413) Signed and dated 1815

Enamel on copper | 15.0 x 11.8 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 422372

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Henry Bone made a notable success during his career of producing historical sequences of portrait enamels for exhibition and sale. This enamel is from the series of English Sovereigns and Queens from Edward III to Queen Victoria which was completed by Henry Pierce Bone after his father’s death in 1834, building on a group of 11 historical copies by Henry Bone dating from as far apart as 1815 and 1831. To this were added 22 of his own enamels, all but one being completed in 1835 – 7. These were then united and presented for sale as a group of 33 with a

Catalogue of a Series of Portraits of the Sovereigns of England from the Earliest Period … to the Present Time; together with several of the Queens Consort Painted in Enamel by the late Henry Bone R.A. … and Henry Pierce Bone Enamel Painter to Her Majesty The Queen Dowager & H.R.H. The Duchess of Kent

City of Westminster Archives, D86/fol. 16

Prince Albert purchased the series in 1843, paying two instalments each of £200 in July and October for Henry Bone’s ‘Enamels of the Kings & Queens’.

This enamel by Henry Bone is based on the portrait type of Henry IV created posthumously to complete historical portrait sets at the close of the sixteenth century. Many versions of the type are known, including examples in the Royal Collection (402737) and the National Portrait Gallery, London (no. 310). The version formerly at Cassiobury Park from which Bone derived his enamel is now at Anglesey Abbey (National Trust). Bone’s squared drawing dated March 1814 is in the National Portrait Gallery London (Bone, Drawings, I/46a).

Signed, dated and inscribed on the counter-enamel in black paint: Born to reign Sepr. 30 1399 / Died at Westminster in his 46 th year of age & […] of his reign / Henry the 4th King of England who / laid the first stone of this House* / & left this Picture in it when he / gave it to Lentall, who sold it to Corn / wall of Burford, who sold it to the / Ancestors of the Lord Coningsby in / the Reign of Henry 6 th. / London / May 1815 / Painted by Henry Bone R.A. Esq., Enamel / painter in Ordinary to His Majesty / and painter in Ordinary to H.R.H. the Prince / Regent after the Original in the / Possession of the Earl of Essex / at Cassiobury Park, Herts. *Hampton Court / Herefordshire and inscribed in ink on a label on the reverse: Henry 4th / From the Original in the / possession of the Earl of Essex / in Cassiobury Park / Herts. / Enamel H. Bone R.A.