An early 19th century portrait min of a lady believed to Henrietta Crewe, painted on ivory

Artist/Maker ANDREW PLIMER (1763-1837)
Dimensions 9.00cm high   
Description wearing low cut white dress with frilled lace border her short fashionable hair set in tight curls
in the original gold frame, the reverse with gold monogram JHC, seed pearls tied with locks of hair on opalescent glass

Andrew was the younger son of Nathaniel Plimer, a clockmaker. He and his older brother Nathaniel trained as clockmakers but both ran away from home and travelled for over two years in Wales and the west of England with a troupe of Gypsies. About 1781 they settled in London where Andrew took up work as a manservant to Richard Cosway, who later trained him in portrait painting, whilst Nathaniel worked for Henry Bone.

From 1785, Plimer was able to set up an independent studio and exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts between 1786 and 1819. In 1801 he married Joanna Louisa Knight and had five children. The family travelled through Devon and Cornwall until 1815, when Plimer worked in Exeter, and after returning to London, they travelled to Scotland in search of new patrons. Plimer retired to Brighton in 1835 and died there.

After 1790 Plimer ceased to sign his work. This is a fine example of Plimer's later style when his tones became subdued and brown in colour.

Based on the monogram found on the reverse of the miniature,JHC, it is possible that the sitter in this portrait is Henrietta Maria Ann Hungerford, painted in the year of her marriage to John Crewe, later 2nd Baron Crewe on 5th May 1807. Plimer had painted a pair of portraits of Henrietta and John, circa 1790 to mark their betrothal. Here she is shown in a fashionable low cut wedding attire and supporting the new fashion of hair style. Gone are the powdered wigs of the 1790's, now replaced with natural hair, neatly piled up, so typical of circa 1805 onwards.

Henrietta Maria Ann Hungerford was born in 1772, the only daughter of George Walker Hungerford of Calne, Wiltshire and his wife Henrietta Maria Hungerford Keate, and was the heiress to a large fortune originally from sugar plantations in Barbados.
Exhibitions Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009
Literature The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures, (Dublin, privately published, 2009) pp. 11, 58 (#255)
Medium watercolour on ivory
Condition Good
Ref No. 4981
Price Sold
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