Victorian portrait miniatures of Mrs. R.J. Maxwell and Miss R.T. Maxwell, watercolour painted on ivory

Artist/Maker REGINALD EASTON (1807-1893)
Dimensions 8.00cm high   
Description Mrs. Maxwell portrait set in the original ormolu frame with pierced scrolling border, the reverse stamped M 165 and a further stamp F/E.. Miss Maxwell portrait set in a chased foliate frame surmounted with floral suspension ring, the reverse with oval aperture to reveal locks of plaited hair.

The portrait of Mrs. Maxwell is reputed to have been painted close to her wedding day in 1830. The portrait of her daughter was painted some 12/14 years later. It is interesting to compare and contrast the backgrounds in the two portraits which show Easton moving from an almost single toned palette, to one for which he was so praised, being full of colour and brightness.


Reginald Easton began his career as an engraver but later took up painting portraits in miniature and watercolour. The fact that he was self-taught is remarkable when one considers the skill of his work. A sign of a great artist of his era was that He became particularly well known among aristocratic circles for his miniature portraits of children and was first recommended to Queen Victoria by her daughter, Princess Helena, in 1869.

Amongst his royal sitters were King William IV (1765-1837, uncle and predecessor of Queen Victoria), Princess Alexandra of Wales (1844-1925, later Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII), Prince George of Wales (1865-1936, grandson of Queen Victoria, and later King George V), Princess Louise of Wales (1867-1931, granddaughter of Queen Victoria), Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (1863-1950, granddaughter of Queen Victoria), Princess Elizabeth of Hesse and by Rhine (1864-1918, granddaughter of Queen Victoria), Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine (1866-1953, granddaughter of Queen Victoria), Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein (1867-1900, grandson of Queen Victoria), and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein (1869-1931, grandson of Queen Victoria).

Despite his elite clientele Easton failed to gain financially from his career, and ended up petitioning Queen Victoria for funds and again in 1891 he fell on hard times and wrote to the Prince of Wales to ask him to intercede with the Queen on his behalf.
Provenance By family descent
Medium watercolour on ivory
Condition Good
Ref No. 5105
Price £7000.00
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