A fine portrait miniature attributed to John Downman, although Charles Hayter is a secondary possibility. Simply attired in a white gown, and with powdered hair, the sitter is shown with a pensive and somewhat downcast expression. Presented in a gold frame, the glazed reverse having a plaited hair border and a hairwork wheat-sheaf with seed pearls on opalescent glass. The condition is excellent, and the overall size is 3" by 2 3/8".
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: John Downman (1750 - 1824), born in Wales, was first educated in Chester, then Liverpool, and finally at the Royal Academy where he studied under Benjamin West, the president. He exhibited at the Academy between 1769 and 1819, and was elected an associate in 1795. Downman gained a reputation as one of the most fashionable portraitists of the day. He was patronized by the royal family, as well as such figures as the Duchess of Devonshire and the Duchess of Richmond. His works are represented in various museums, including the V & A and the British Museum.