Rare portrait miniature on ivory, depicting Prince Charles Edward Stuart (1720 - Rome -1788), the young pretender to the throne of Great Britain, as a young boy, standing , wearing red velvet coat with silver embroidery and silver turned back cuffs, bluesash and medal of the Order of the Garter and the green ribbon, his gloved right hand on his hip, sword at his side beside a table with gold crown adorned with the Prince of Wales feathers and inscribed ICH DIEN, the background with pillar and urn, wooded landscape in the distance.
Prince Charles Edward Louis Philip Casimir Stuart (1720 – 1788) commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie or The Young Pretender was the second Jacobite claimaint to the thrones of England, Scotland and Irland. This claim was as the eldest son of James Francis edward Stuart, and grandson of James II and VII. Charles is perhaps best known as the instigator of the unsuccessful Jacobite uprising of 1745, where he led an insurrection which ended in defeat at the Buttle of Culloden that effectively ended the Jacobite cause. Charles´s flight from Scotland after the uprising has rendered him a romantic figure of heroic failure in later representations. Full story about Prince Charles Ed.Stuart incl.images see in wikipedia under following link:
The miniature painted circa 1728, this portrait shows remarkable similarities with other recorded portrait of the prince by Sperling (see addtional photo No.1, the miniature was sold in Bonhams on 22.04.2004 for 17,925 British pounds). The physical depiction of the prince, with bead-like eyes and disproportionately tiny hands, and the overall composition , make the two miniatures almost inseparable on stylistic grounds. Very little is known about the author Catharina Sperling , born Heckel (1699 - Augsburg - 1741). But it is known, that she was trained in painting by her father Michael Sperling and in the art of etching by J. U. Kraus. She worked as a miniaturist, easel paintress und printmaker. it is probable that she was with the Stuart court at Bologna in 1726, when she painted a portrait of the six year old prince wearing Polish costume (, Tansey miniature Collection, sold by Christie`s London, 28.october 1970, lot 104, see aditional photo No.2). This costume is a clear reference to Charles` Polish mother Clementina Sobieski. At this time mother and son were separated after a longstanding row over his schooling. Relations between the prince`s parents were strained after a disagreement over the schooling of the young prince in 1725, Maria Clementina had retired to a convent and in 1726, James moved the Stuart court away from Rome to Bologna. Charles did not see his mother again until 1728.
Literature: D.Nicholas "Portraits of Bonnie Prince Charlie" , 1973, p.10, illustrated.p.11; "The Tansey Collection of Miniatures" (in on-line); E. Benezit " Dictionary of painters, sculptors, decorators and etchers"(in French), Paris, 1999; "General Artist´s Lexicon " by Thieme/Becker; auction cataloques by Christies and Bonhams.
Inscription: unsigned .
Technique: painted in oval, gouache on ivory. Original period gilt-metall frame with spiral decor.
Measurements: unframed w 2 3/4" x h 3 9/16" (7 x 9 cm), framed w 4 " x h 4 3/4 " (10 x 12cm)
Condition: in quite good condition, no cracks or restorations; a few stain marks , on the left edge - 2 mm. paintloss.