Early 19th-Century English School

Portrait Of A Lady

Early 19th-Century English School

Portrait Of A Lady

This exquisite early 19th-century drawing depicts a demure young lady wearing a dress with voluminous ‘gigot’ sleeves, necklace and elaborate bonnet. It’s signed ‘Collins’.

Styled akin to a Parisian fashion plate, this remarkably detailed work carries an aristocratic air. The sitter is unknown but she’s a lady of means.

Intriguing, the Royal Collection holds two small portraits by the same artist, which were completed when Princess Victoria was 13 years old. Both of these depict characters from novels by Sir Walter Scott, one of Her Majesty’s favourite authors. The first is Isabelle de Croye from ‘Quentin Durward’ and the second Rose Bradwardine from 'Waverley'.


Victoria, herself, was a keen watercolourist and drawing was a popular endeavour for young ladies. Could ‘Collins’ be a close acquaintance? Or could it somehow relate to the family of Richard Collins (1755-1831) who famously produced a portrait of Sir Walter Scott as a boy?

We may never know… but they certainly moved in illustrious circles.

Signed/dated lower left and held within a gilt frame.

Medium: Pencil on paper
Overall size: 10” x 14” / 25cm x 31cm
Year of creation: 1830
Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light 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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