A historically important Christian Friedrich Zincke portrait miniature of Edward Walpole. The painting, done in enamel on copper, depicts Walpole in a powdered wig, and wearing a blue velvet jacket with a white shirt and lace jabot. As to be expected from Zincke, the painting is superbly done. It also displays some of the classic hallmarks of Zincke's works - the lips being painted different colors, the eyes rimmed with black daubs to represent eyelashes, and the sitter in a blue or brown velvet jacket with covered buttons.
The case the miniature is presented in is gold, and on the reverse the sitter name and the date of 1730 are scratched in. (Several photos of the back are shown in this listing so that the writing is visible.) Further identification of the sitter was done by comparison of the image with known portraits of Edward that are in various museums. Also, Zincke is known to have done paintings of several members of the Walpole family, including the father, Robert.
The condition of the miniature is excellent, with deep and bright colors, and no chips, cracks, or restoration. The roughness at the extreme edge is much magnified in the photo and is not on the image portion of the painting. The size is 1 7/8" by 1 1/2".
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES: 1. Christian Friedrich Zincke (1684? - 1767) was born in Dresden to a family of goldsmiths. After training in his home town, he travelled to London at the invitation of Charles Boit, then the leading practitioner of enamelling in Europe. For some time he worked alongside Boit but soon began his own studio.
Boit left England in 1714 to escape his creditors, at which point Zincke became England’s finest and most sought after enamellist. His work was promoted by Godfrey Kneller. He was made enamel painter to George II in 1732, and cabinet painter to Frederick, Prince of Wales, which increased his patronage further. He would at times, upon request of the sitter, somewhat change the portrayal in a flattering way. Zincke retired in 1746 and died in Lambeth (London) about 21 years later.
His enamels can be found in most significant public and private collections, including The Royal Collection, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, the Cleveland Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, and others.
2. Sir Edward Walpole KB PC (1706 – 1784) was a British politician, and the second son of Sir Robert Walpole, regarded as the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1721 to 1742, making him the longest serving British prime minister in history.