Daniel Burr first joined the Honourable East India Company in 1767 as a cadet in Madras. As a Captain, Burr was appointed to various commands in Genjam, Vellore and Guntoor Circar. He was presented the honour of His Majesty's commission and advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on 1 March 1794. Burr was promoted to rank of full Colonel in 1797 and given command of the 10th Madras Native Infantry. In another known miniature of the sitter by Smart in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Oh., Burr is depicted in the uniform of the 10th Madras Native Infantry (see, Portrait Miniatures, The Edward B. Greene Collection, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, 1951, p. 30, no. 37, illustrated pl. IX). The signature and date of 'J S 1799' suggest that Burr sat to Smart while on furlough in England between 30 July 1798 and 2 April 1799. In 1801, the facings of the 10th Madras Native Infantry's uniform were changed to red and the device of rank-badges on soldiers' epaulettes was introduced. The present miniature of Daniel Burr depicts the Colonel in 1803, wearing his updated red-faced uniform, with a Colonel's two stars and the East India's coat-of-arms on his shoulder. Burr's military career continued to be a successful one and he was made Major General on 1 January 1805. He advanced to the rank of Lieutenant General on 22 April 1815. A sketch by R. Greaves, after John Smart, depicts Burr in his Lieutenant General's uniform, as does a three-quarters length portrait by Sir Martin Archer Shee, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1825.
We would like to thank John Robson, Hamilton, New Zealand, for his help in ruling out the possibility that the present miniature could be of Daniel's brother, John Davall Burr, who sailed with Captain Cook. We are indebted to Philip Haythornthwaite, Lancashire, for his explanation of changes in The Honorable East India's uniform between 1799 and 1803.
For a pair of plumbagos by R. Haskins depicting Daniel Burr's parents, Daniel and Elizabeth, née Davall, see lot 226. For a miniature by John Smart of his first wife, Lucy, née Parry, see lot 268.