Queen Anne (1665-1714), seated, in purple dress with red ermine trimmed robe, interior background
signed and dated 'C: Boit pinx; / 1712.' (lower left)
enamel on copper
rectangular, 5 in. x 3.7/8 in. (127 mm. x 98 mm.), gilt-metal frame with spiral cresting
With D. S. Lavender (Antiques) Ltd., in 1993.
C. Lloyd and V. Remington, exhibition catalogue Masterpieces in Little. Portrait Miniatures from the Collection of Queen Elizabeth II, London, 1996, p. 134.
London, D. S. Lavender (Antiques) Ltd., The Monarchy in Portrait Miniatures from Elizabeth I to Queen Victoria, 1993, no. 63 (lent by D. S. Lavender (Antiques) Ltd.).

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Katharine Cooke
Katharine Cooke

Lot Essay

Charles Boit was born in Sweden and was apprenticed to a goldsmith in Stockholm from 1677 to 1682. In 1688 he became court enameller to William III and was retained in royal employment by Queen Anne. In 1703 the queen commissioned a large enamel double-portrait with her consort, Prince George of Denmark in ceremonial robes. The three-quarters length, seated image of the queen in the present work is similar to the composition of the 1703 portrait (see G. Reynolds, The Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Century Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, London, 1999, no. 393). In the same year of the commission of the double-portrait, Prince George instructed Boit to produce an even larger enamel, measuring 16 x 24 inches, commemorating the Battle of Blenheim. For this ambitious piece, which would have been the largest enamel plaque of its kind, Boit received an advance of £1,000 and he took up residence in Mayfair where he built a kiln to carry out the work. The funding of the enamel dried up when Prince George, who had visited the studio to examine the execution of the enamel, died in 1708. Boit received a further £700 from the Queen to complete the commission, providing sketches of the proposed final design. By 1714 Boit still had not completed the work and the royal commissions had ceased. He fled to France, in debt and having had his assets seized, where he gained the patronage of the Regent Duke of Orleans. For more information about this artist see S. Coffin and B. Hofstetter, The Gilbert Collection. Portrait Miniatures in Enamel, London, 2000, p. 50.
For a biographical note on the sitter, see lot 53.

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