19th-Century English School, Portrait Of A Man With A Pinky Ring

19th-Century English School, Portrait Of A Man With A Pinky Ring

This charming Victorian portrait depicts a dapper young gentleman wearing a black coat, white shirt with an upstanding collar, black necktie and pinky ring. He carries the air of a confident chap and clearly a man of means.

The pinky ring is a conspicuous addition and it’s intriguing to consider its significance. Over the decades, pinky rings have conveyed a variety of meanings, for instance, the Victorians wore one on their left hand to signify their reluctance to marry. Whereas, in the US, it was sometimes linked to organised crime.

Queen Victoria’s sons also wore them, which began a tradition still followed today by Prince Charles.

What do you make of this young gent? Does he have a story?

The portrait is housed within a period gilt frame and inscribed on the reverse.

Medium: Oil on canvas laid on board
Overall size: 19” x 21½” / 48cm x 54cm
Year of creation: 1855
Condition: Some abrasions. Board is a little curved. Areas of uneven varnish. Frame with some age-related wear.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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