A striking miniature portrait, done in watercolor on natural material, by George Place. The subject, set against a clouded and blue background, is a handsome gray haired officer of light dragoons, dressed in uniform.
The miniature is in superb condition, with no cracks, chips, warping, paint loss, or restoration. The case is also in excellent condition, with a fully glazed back over fabric. On the back glass, at the edge at 10:30 there is a small chip in the underside. The case size is 3" by 2 3/8".
NOTE: This type blue jacket, with silver cord horizontally across the front, was worn by both light dragoons (light cavalry) and hussars. The difference is in the wing style epaulettes, worn only by light dragoons, and the absence of the extra jacket worn slung over the wearer’s left shoulder by hussars.
Identification of the uniform was possible because of the generous help of Christopher Bryant, independent scholar specializing in portraiture and uniforms.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Although his date of birth is not known, George Place was born, the son of a linen draper, in Dublin, where he began his formal training at the Dublin Society Schools in 1775. After starting his independent practice as a miniature painter in Dublin he moved to London, where he exhibited at the R.A. 1791-97. He then moved with his wife to Lucknow, India. He received many important commissions in India from the Nawab, painting the Nawab and his court. Few of his paintings and drawings survived the Indian (Sepoy) Mutiny, against the British East India Company. Placee died in Lucknow, India in 1805. Examples of his work are in the V & A Museum and in the British Museum.