Highland Dress

Signed Frith 1845


This young boy, looking splendid in traditional Scottish dress, is Montolieu Fox Oliphant Murray. He is wearing a tunic with a plaid belt with argyle socks and an eye-catching Glengarry cap with a feather and a trailing ribbon. He is holding a toy whip and tucked into his left sock is a traditional sgian dubh or small knife. The fact that it is in his left sock would suggest that Montolieu was left-handed.

Born in 1840, Montolieu was the eldest son of the 9th Lord Elibank of Peebleshire. He went on to join the Royal Navy in 1854 serving during the Second Opium War rising in time to the rank of Commander. He succeeded to the title of 10th Lord Elibank in 1871 and served as Lord Lieutenant of Peebleshire. The National Portrait Gallery in London have in their collection three photographs of Lord Elibank taken in 1911 as well as some photographs of his stylish wife, Blanche Alice Murray, taken in 1930.

The silhouette is cut and gilded with an interesting sepia watercolour wash background featuring an aqueduct. It is signed and dated bottom right ‘Frith / 1845’. It resides in a handsome rosewood frame with a gilt slip.

Brothers Henry Albert and Frederick Frith ran the Royal Victoria Gallery with help from their father, John Frith. The Gallery advertised as ‘PAPRYOTOMISTS to His Late as well as to her present Most Gracious Majesty’.

Item Ref. 5652

Size: framed, 308 x 262mm (12 x 10¼")