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An Important Large Enamel of King Henry VIII (1491-1547), full-length in a heavily embroidered taupe silk tunic and codpiece, the body and sleeves set with gold-mounted rubies and slashed to reveal a white silk shirt, gold-embroidered red silk cloak with fur border, wearing below his left knee the blue garter of the Order of the Garter with embroidered gold motto, silk stockings, slashed leather shoes, wearing across his shoulders a heavily jewelled collar set with large rubies and black foiled diamonds interspersed with rows of pearls, and around his neck a circular gold pendant centred with a black foiled diamond suspended from a gold chain of alternating columns and initial Hs, three gem-set gold rings on each hand, clasping a leather glove in his right, his left thumb holding a gold chain set with a gold-mounted scabbard suspended from one of two white ribbons tied around his waist, wearing a pearl and diamond-encrusted black velvet cap with white plume; standing on an intricately designed Turkish carpet beside an upholstered x-frame chair, in front of an olive wall hanging with strapwork, cartouche and trelliswork pattern, fringed with gold tassels
signed and dated 'HBone 1823.' on the obverse (lower left) and signed, dated and inscribed in full on the counter-enamel 'Henry VIII.- London June-1823. Painted by Henry Bone R.A. Enamel=Painter to His Majesty, and Enamel=painter to His R.H. the Duke of York, &c &c after the Original by Holbien [sic] in the possession of Lord Viscount Dillon _ Ditchley - Oxfordshire _' and further signed and inscribed on the backing board 'Enamel Henry VIII. Price 400 Guineas Painted by Henry Bone R.A._ Enamel=painter to His Majesty and Enamel=painter to His R.H. the Duke of York &c &c after the original by Holbien [sic], in the possessio[n] of Lord Viscount Dillon _ Ditchley - Oxfordshire N[o]. 15 Berners Street London'
rectangular, 13 5/8 x 9 1/16 in. (344 x 228 mm.), carved gilt-wood frame with scrolling surround
A paper label on the backing board is inscribed in ink 'Portrait of Henry the 8th. from the original by Holbein at Viscount Dillon's Ditchley Oxon' and, in another hand, 'No. 17. Sir John Neeld Bart Grittleton Hous[e] Ch[ippenham]'
Another, smaller, paper label is inscribed in crayon '136 17'
Probably Joseph Neeld (1789-1856), of Grittleton House, Chippenham, Wiltshire.
By inheritance to his brother Sir John Neeld, 1st Bt (1805-1891).
By descent to his son Sir Algernon William Neeld, 2nd Bt (d. 1900).
By inheritance to his brother Sir Audley Dallas Neeld, 3rd Bt (d. 1941).
By inheritance to Lionel William Neeld; Christie's, London 13 July 1945, lot 109 (168 gns to Frost & Reed).
With Frost and Reed, London, no. 2644.
Christie's, London, 18 March 1987, lot 46.
J. Jope Rogers, Notice of Henry Bone, R.A., and his works, together with those of his son, Henry Pierce Bone and other members of the family, Truro, 1880, p. 24.
D. Foskett, 'Market Trends in portrait miniatures', Antique Collecting, 23, no. 2, July - August 1988, pp. 5-6.
R. Walker, 'Henry Bone's Pencil Drawings', The Walpole Society, LXI, 1999, p. 330, no. 261.
V. Remington, Victorian Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, London, 2010, I, p. 70, no. 98 (erroneously as sold Christie's, London, 22 April 1836, lot 47).

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Lot Essay

This iconic image of King Henry VIII by Henry Bone derives from Hans Holbein the Younger's mural at Whitehall Palace. Commissioned by King Henry VIII and completed in 1537, the mural portrayed the powerful king, standing full-length, alongside his queen, Jane Seymour, and his parents Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Destroyed by fire in January 1698, the mural is known through the oil on canvas painting by Remigius van Leemput, painted circa 1667, now in the British Royal Collection at Hampton Court Palace, and through the surviving left-hand section of the cartoon, now in the National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG4207). The original design for the mural, as seen in the cartoon, shows the king facing towards the right, whereas the van Leemput copy suggests he was depicted in the mural looking full-face towards the spectator, creating a significantly more powerful impact and leaving the viewer in no doubt about the authority of the king and the strength of the Tudor reign. 'It was noted in 1604 that viewers of the painting were left feeling frightened in its majestical presence' (J. Scott, The Royal Portrait. Image and Impact, London, 2010, p. 53). The king's patronage of Holbein led to the use of portraiture in propaganda and created a widely recognizable image; 'The bulky figure of the King, legs astride, feet firmly planted on the ground, a fantastic amalgam of the static and the swaggering, is accepted as Holbein's most definitive portrait creation. No one ever thinks of Henry VIII in any other way than as this gouty, pig-eyed, pile of flesh, whose astounding girth is only emphasized by the layers of slashed velvets and furs that encase him.' (R. Strong, Holbein and Henry VIII, London, 1967, p. 39).
Contemporary and later copies of Holbein's portrait of the king were produced by artists who worked alongside Holbein on the mural, or who had access to the artist's studio and designs, and slightly later copies have been attributed to Hans Eworth (X. Brooke, Henry VIII Revealed, Holbein's Portrait and its Legacy, London, 2003, pp. 46, 52, 74-75). The painting from which the present miniature derives was formerly in the collection of Sir Henry Lee, K. G. (1531-1611), a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen's Champion and Master of the Armoury and Master of the Leash. It was later in the collection of Viscount Dillon at Ditchley, and subsequently sold Sotheby's, London, 24 May 1933, lot 53 as 'School of Holbein' (300 gns to Leggatt). It was sold again Sotheby's, London, 16 July 1952, lot 45 as 'Holbein' (228 gns to Barrett), from the collection of Lord Brockett. Its current whereabouts are unknown.

Henry Bone was a Cornishman, born in Truro, and in 1770 went to Plymouth to paint on hard paste china for the Cookworthy factory. In 1772 he continued his apprenticeship with Richard Champion in Bristol and from 1779 was in London producing miniatures and working in jewellery design. By 1807 he was working exclusively in enamel painting and became known as a historical copyist and was appointed enamel painter to the Prince of Wales in 1801 and thereafter to King George III, King George IV and King William IV. A series of royal and historical sitters after artists such as Beechey, Hoppner, Lawrence, Lely, Opie, Reynolds and copies after Old Masters were commissioned and acquired by his royal patrons (V. Remington, Victorian Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, London, 2010, I, pp. 69-82 and R. Walker, The Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, Cambridge, 1992, pp. 269-315). Bone enjoyed huge popularity in his day and several thousand people visited his Berners Street studio to admire the copy of Bacchus and Ariadne after Titian which was bought by George Bowles for 2,200 gns (R. Walker 'Henry Bone's Pencil Drawings', The Walpole Society, 1999, vol. LXI, p. 306) and later sold Christie's, London, 20 February 1973, lot 123. The largest of Bone's enamels, Bacchus and Ariadne measured approximately 416 x 445 mm.

Bone's success as an artist led him to establish a dynasty of miniaturists including his sons Henry Pierce, Robert, Peter and William, and his grandchildren William, Charles, and Louisa Frances. The Bone technique of creating an enamel portrait was to produce a preliminary drawing in pencil, transfer it to tracing paper in ink, and finally to a primed copper or brass plate to be painted and fired into the finished enamel (R. Walker, 1999, op. cit., p. 305). The Bone family compiled three volumes of the preparatory drawings by Henry Bone which were acquired by the National Portrait Gallery, London towards the end of the 19th century. The full-length drawing of Henry VIII measuring 360 x 217 mm., after which the present miniature is taken, inscribed and dated 'Henry the 8th. after Holbein in the possession of Viscount Dillon. (at Ditchley) London augst. 10. 1822 - 18 Hours - .' is in volume two, no. 85 (NPGD17515), illustrated opposite.

A smaller, head and shoulders sketch measuring 148 x 117 mm. of the same sitter, inscribed 'Henry 8th - after Holbien [sic] The original at Dichley [sic] in Oxfordshire Lord Dillon.' is in volume one, no. 47a (NPG D17182). This sketch corresponds with a finished rectangular enamel by Henry Bone, dated 1826, in the Royal Collection (see V. Remington, op. cit. p. 70, no. 98). The smaller sketch was also most likely the source for a circular, head and shoulders version dated 1824 in the National Gallery of Ireland (see A. Le Harivel H. Potterton, National Gallery of Ireland. Illustrated Summary Catalogue of Drawings, Watercolours and Miniatures, Dublin, 1983, p. 15, no. 3572), and another similar (undated) sold Bonhams, London, 21 March 1995, lot 83. An enamel portrait miniature by Henry Bone of 'Henry VIII (after Holbein)' lent by the artist was exhibited at The British Institution, 1825, no. 7. The Henry Pierce Bone Estate Sale at Christie's, London, 13-14 March 1856 includes as lot 10 'HENRY VIII., AFTER HOLBEIN. In the Collection of Viscount Dillon', and a version by William Bone dated 1833 was exhibited in the same year at the Royal Academy, London, no. 509.

This impressively large enamel serves as a good example to demonstrate the relationship between artists, patrons and the taste of their day. Joseph Neeld was the eldest son of Joseph Neeld and he married, in 1831, Caroline Mary, eldest daughter of the 6th Earl of Shaftesbury. He was Deputy-Lieutenant of Wiltshire and High Steward of Malmesbury and as a conservative sat for Chippenham from 1830 to 1856. Neeld was also a great nephew and heir to the royal goldsmith, Philip Rundell and inherited £900,000 in 1827 on his death. With the proceeds he purchased and enlarged an estate at Grittleton, Chippenham, Wiltshire. He indulged in his passion for Old Master paintings and contemporary sculpture and commissioned numerous pieces from Edward Hodges Baily, who had served as a silver designer for his uncle's firm. Henry Bone and his family had a very close relationship with Joseph Neeld and his brother Sir John Neeld and it is likely that the present miniature was acquired directly by Joseph Neeld from Henry Bone. Bone was a regular buyer on Neeld's behalf and purchased, among other pictures, a Philips Wouwerman landscape from the collection of the late Lord Gwydir, Christie's, London, 9 May 1829, lot 40 (65 gns to Bone). This painting was later sold Christie's, London, 10 July 1998, lot 21.

The relationship was further strengthened by Henry Bone's son, Henry Pierce Bone (1779-1855) who painted Joseph Neeld on several occasions. One of these examples, along with a portrait by the same artist of Neeld's mother, Mary, were offered Christie's, London, 25 July 1987, lot 323. The counter-enamel of the portrait of Joseph Neeld was inscribed '[...] presented to Mr. Neeld a Memorial of Esteem and Regard March 1854'. Henry Pierce Bone also produced copies of large-scale paintings in Joseph Neeld's collection including a portrait of Lord Byron after W. E. West (sold Christie's, London, 28 May 2002, lot 9) and an unidentified gentleman after Parmegiano (sold Christie's, London, 2 June 2009, lot 289).

The legacy of Henry Bone as the leading British enamellist, the ongoing fascination with Henry VIII and the powerful imagery that surrounds him is brought into the 21st century with a 2007 full-length enamel of the king after the Whitehall mural by Gillie Hoyte Byrom. The miniature, now in the collection of Richard Campbell, is illustrated and discussed in F. Loyen 'The Painted enamels of Gillie Hoyte Byrom', Goldsmiths Review, 2010/2011, pp. 28-31.

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