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HENRY PIERCE BONE (BRITISH, 1779-1855)

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Please note Payments and Collections will be unavailable on Monday 12th July 2010 due to a major update to the Client Accounting IT system. For further details please call +44 (0) 20 7839 9060 or e-mail info@christies.com
HENRY PIERCE BONE (BRITISH, 1779-1855)

John Charles Spencer, Viscount Althorp, 3rd Earl Spencer (1782-1845), as Chancellor of the Exchequer, full length in Chancellor's robes over black mourning suit, standing beside a George II giltwood console table from Spencer House draped with green cloth, his right hand resting on a document entitled 'Amendment of the Poor Laws', large leather-bound books and folio propped against table leg, inkwell, salt cellar and quill on silver stand on table, red curtain, pillar and curtain interior; landscape background

Details
HENRY PIERCE BONE (BRITISH, 1779-1855) John Charles Spencer, Viscount Althorp, 3rd Earl Spencer (1782-1845), as Chancellor of the Exchequer, full length in Chancellor's robes over black mourning suit, standing beside a George II giltwood console table from Spencer House draped with green cloth, his right hand resting on a document entitled 'Amendment of the Poor Laws', large leather-bound books and folio propped against table leg, inkwell, salt cellar and quill on silver stand on table, red curtain, pillar and curtain interior; landscape background signed and dated on the spine of the largest leather-bound book '1835. HPBone' (lower left), and signed, dated and fully inscribed on the counter-enamel 'John Charles Earl Spencer Viscount Althorp, later Chancellor of the Exchequer London Feby. 1835 Painted from Life by Henry Pierce Bone Enamel Painter to Her Majesty and their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Kent & Princess Victoria' enamel on copper rectangular, 14 x 10 in. (350 x 257 mm.), frosted ormolu mount engraved on lower edge 'ENAMEL. H.P. BONE.', in modern gilt-wood frame
Provenance
Commissioned by John Charles, Viscount Althorp, later 3rd Earl Spencer (1782-1845) and thence by descent.
Exhibited
London, Royal Academy, 1835, no. 436, as 'Viscount Althorp (now Earl Spencer) Chancellor of the Exchequer, - enamel, from the life H.P. Bone'
London, South Kensington Museum, Special Exhibition of Portrait Miniatures, June 1865, no. 1336 (lent by the Earl Spencer).
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Please note Payments and Collections will be unavailable on Monday 12th July 2010 due to a major update to the Client Accounting IT system. For further details please call +44 (0) 20 7839 9060 or e-mail info@christies.com

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Lot Essay

Portraits painted from life by Henry Pierce Bone are rare. Like his father, Henry Bone, R.A., Henry Pierce Bone's works generally derive from large-scale portraits on canvas, the details of which are included in the long inscriptions on the counter-enamels, characteristic of works by both father and son. The Bone technique was to copy the original drawing on paper, trace on to tracing paper in ink, and finally transfer onto a copper or glass plate to be painted and fired to produce the final enamel version (R. Walker, 'Henry Bone's Pencil Drawings in the National Portrait Gallery', The Walpole Society, LXI, 1999, p. 305). In this instance, the drawing was taken from life, probably at Spencer House, London with a view of Green Park in the background.
A year before the present miniature was executed, John Charles, Viscount Spencer sat for Henry Pierce Bone in a plain black coat and without his robes of office. This smaller, head and shoulders, octagonal enamel dated August 1834 was sold anonymously at Sotheby's London, 6 November 1997, lot 267 (erroneously identified as having been exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1835, no. 436) and is now in the Spencer Collection at Althorp.

The George II gilt-wood console table next to which Viscount Althorp stands was designed by James 'Athenian' Stuart for the Great Room at Spencer House, St James's and is now at Althorp. The document on the table entitled 'Amendment of the Poor Laws' refers to the New Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 which followed the Reform Act of 1832. Under the premiership of Lord Grey, Viscount Althorp was instrumental in bringing about these constitutional reforms, 'the great aim and object of his political life' (D. Le Marchant, Memoir of John Charles, Viscount Althorp, third Earl Spencer, ed. H. D. Le Marchant, 1876).

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