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Zoomable Image of Portrait miniature Col. Sir Philip Ainslie (1728-1802), wearing blue coat with lace ‘Van Dyck’ style collar, c. 1772

Portrait miniature Col. Sir Philip Ainslie (1728-1802), wearing blue coat with lace ‘Van Dyck’ style collar, c. 1772

Jeremiah Meyer R.A. (1621-1678)

Portrait miniature Col. Sir Philip Ainslie (1728-1802), wearing blue coat with lace ‘Van Dyck’ style collar, c. 1772

Jeremiah Meyer R.A. (1621-1678)

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Price:

Reserved

Materials:

Watercolour on ivory

Dimensions:

Oval, 1 3/8 in (37 mm) high

Provenance:

J. C. Pedley; Christie’s, London, 27 November 1985, lot 82

Frame:

Original gold bracelet clasp frame with later border of diamonds and brooch clasp attachment

This portrait by Jeremiah Meyer would probably have been worn by Ainslie’s wife on her wrist, held with strings of pearls or beads.

Sir Philip Ainslie was the son of the Scottish-born, Bordeaux-based merchant George Ainslie (d.1773). Philip purchased his commission in March 1754 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1755 and captain in 1759. He went on to serve as a colonel in the 7th Dragoons where he became aide-de-camp to Prince Charles of Mecklenberg, knighted for his military achievements in 1778. He retired in 1786. He lived at the Pilton Estate (in Midlothian, inherited 1773) and also at St Andrews Square Edinburgh after his retirement (his son, Philip Barrington Ainslie, giving his name to nearby Ainslie Place). This portrait was probably painted in 1772 to celebrate his forthcoming marriage to Elizabeth(1755-1787), daughter of the 12th Lord Gray...

This portrait by Jeremiah Meyer would probably have been worn by Ainslie’s wife on her wrist, held with strings of pearls or beads. Meyer was the oldest of a group of artists, including Richard Cosway, John Smart and Richard Crosse, all born around the same date, who took lessons at William Shipley 's new drawing school, the first such school in London. After his expensive apprenticeship with Zincke, it seems that he also spent time at the informal St. Martin's Lane 'Academy' run by William Hogarth. As one of the founder members of the Royal Academy, which opened in 1769, Meyer was one of a new generation of miniaturists who would present their art form in direct competition with oil painters. In 1764, Meyer was appointed miniature painter to Queen Charlotte and painter in enamel to King George III and a decade later, in 1774, one critic noted ‘[His] miniatures excell all others in pleasing Expression, Variety of Tints and Freedom of Execution’.[1]


[1] J. Murdoch, J. Murrell, P.J. Noon and Roy Strong, The English Miniature, London, 1981, p.180 (originally quoted by Basil Long, in British Miniaturists, 1929)

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