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Zoomable Image of A portrait miniature of Lt. Col. Otto William Offeney (d.1812), (Quartermaster General to the British Army) of the Second Light Battalion of the Kings German Legion, wearing scarlet coat with dark blue facings, silver epaulettes and buttons, 1807

A portrait miniature of Lt. Col. Otto William Offeney (d.1812), (Quartermaster General to the British Army) of the Second Light Battalion of the Kings German Legion, wearing scarlet coat with dark blue facings, silver epaulettes and buttons, 1807

George Engleheart (1749-1824)

A portrait miniature of Lt. Col. Otto William Offeney (d.1812), (Quartermaster General to the British Army) of the Second Light Battalion of the Kings German Legion, wearing scarlet coat with dark blue facings, silver epaulettes and buttons, 1807

George Engleheart (1749-1824)

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Price:

£9,750

Materials:

Watercolour on ivory

Dimensions:

Oval, 3 3.7 in (95 mm) high

Provenance:

Sotheby’s, London, 9 November, 1999, lot 101

Literature:

G. C. Williamson, H.L.D. Engleheart, George Engleheart, 1750-1829, miniature painter to George III, London, 1902, p. 108

Frame:

Gold frame, the reverse glazed to reveal plaited hair

This portrait of Offeney, which must have been taken during his brief stint home after Copenhagen, shows Engleheart working in his final and most dramatic period, using larger pieces of ivory as support for more vibrant gouache and well-delineated features, the background made up from a series of meticulous linear brush strokes...

Depicted here in full dress military uniform, Lieutenant Colonel Otto William Offeney was a highly celebrated officer. He started his career in India in 1781 and on his return to England was assigned to the British and Hanoverian service during the French Revolution from 1789 to 1799. He was then appointed as Lieutenant Colonel of the second battalion of light infantry in the King’s German Legion in 1805. He later served in Copenhagen in 1807, Sweden and Portugal in 1808 and the Netherlands in 1809, then going on to serve in Spain and Portugal as Quartermaster General to the British Army...

Offeney died in service at Belem near Lisbon in 1812 of a chronic illness (the national Archives hold a copy of his will dated 1813). He was described as a “truly meritorious officer” in the Gentleman’s Magazine and London Chronicle, both of which reported his death after stoically dealing with ‘fatigue’ and ill health during his last campaign.

This portrait of Offeney, which must have been taken during his brief stint home after Copenhagen, shows Engleheart working in his final and most dramatic period, using larger pieces of ivory as support for more vibrant gouache and well-delineated features, the background made up from a series of meticulous linear brush strokes.

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