Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait enamel of William IV, King of England (1765-1837), when Duke of Clarence, wearing a black coat and waistcoat over a white stock with the sash and star of the Order of the Garter, 1836 

Joseph Lee (1780-1859) after Charles Jagger (c.1770-1827)

Portrait enamel of William IV, King of England (1765-1837), when Duke of Clarence, wearing a black coat and waistcoat over a white stock with the sash and star of the Order of the Garter, 1836, Joseph Lee
Zoom
Enamel on gold
19th Century
Circular, 1 1/8 in (27mm) diam
 
Provenance:
Private Collection
Literature:
S. Bury, Jewellery 1789-1910 – The Internation Era, Woodbridge, 1991, Vol. I, illustrated col.pl.41, p.212
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Set into original gold and enamel presentation bangle, the detachable central panel formed as a Tudor rose, the matted side panels decorated with raised ‘forget-me-not’ enamel flowers and leaves (minor restoration to the blue enamel).


The enamel is an adaptation from Charles Jagger’s portrait miniature of the Duke of Clarence dating from circa 1827 (Royal Collection). The original portrait was completed just prior to Jagger’s death but subsequently engraved and circulated in 1830 on William’s accession to the throne.

Joseph Lee was a self-taught artist, who studied the works of the eighteenth century enamellist Christian Friedrich Zincke in order to learn his craft. He began his association with the royal family in 1818, when he styled himself ‘enamel painter’ to Princess Charlotte of Wales. He exhibited enamels of her at the Royal Academy.

When working as enamel painter to the Duke of Sussex, he was commissioned to paint a small enamel brooch for presentation to Queen Victoria. Her admiration of his work earned him further commissions from the Queen and he produced many copies of oil paintings for her.

This portrait of William IV would have been presented as a gift at court. There is no portrait of William IV in the Royal Collection, however there is a enamel of his wife, Queen Adelaide. Painted in the same year, 1836, and of identical dimensions this may originally have been intended as a companion piece. The portrait of Queen Adelaide entered the Royal Collection as a gift to Queen Mary from Lady Mount Stephen, who purchased the enamel at auction in 1911.
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