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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamel on copper, silver-gilt frame

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.278:1, 2-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The sitter for this portrait is wearing the blue sash and star of the Order of the Garter, a chivalric order bestowed by the British sovereign.

Continental artists first introduced enamel painting to England in the 17th century. But it was in the early 18th century that it became fashionable. The young German Christian Friedrich Zincke dominated the market in London. It was Zincke who trained a number of English artists, including William Prewett. Most artists working in enamel were taught by an experienced enameller. It is not known who trained Gervase Spencer this difficult art, but he later taught Henry Spicer, who in turn taught William Birch. In 1794 Birch successfully established himself in America as an enamel painter.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

Oval miniature portrait of a gentleman wearing a powdered wig, a brown velvet jacket with gold lace and the blue sash and star of the Order of the Garter. The miniature is enamel on copper and the frame is silver-gilt.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1750 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Enamel on copper, silver-gilt frame

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed 'HICKSON'
On paper label on back of frame


Height: 7.68 cm, Width: 5.2 cm, Depth: 1 cm

Object history note

Provenance: S.H.V. Hickson Collection, Sotheby's, March 29, 1965. Sale, Sotheby's, lot 5, 30/06/1980.

Descriptive line

Enamel miniature on copper, in a silver-gilt frame, England, ca.1750.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Coffin, Sarah and Bodo Hofstetter. Portrait Miniatures in Enamel. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd. in association with the Gilbert Collection, 2000. 168 p., ill. Cat. no. 44, pp. 93-94. ISBN 0856675334.

Labels and date

Man with blue sash
About 1750

The sitter is wearing the blue sash and star of the
Order of the Garter, a chivalric order bestowed by
the British sovereign.

England; manner of William Prewett (active 1730–50)
Enamel on copper in gilded silver pendant
Inscribed on paper label on back of frame ‘HICKSON’
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.278:1, 2-2008 [2009]

Production Note

English school, manner of William Prewett


Enamel paint; Copper; Silver-gilt


Painting (image-making); Gilding; Framing

Subjects depicted



Enamels; Metalwork; Portraits


Metalwork Collection

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