Love Birds with Gold Rings
Henry Edridge ARA
Pre-dating the introduction by William Pitt’s government of the Hair Powder tax in 1795, this gentleman is wearing a wig that has been so heavily powdered that the grey powder has fallen on to the collar of his blue coat, a feature caught by the artist. His coat has deep revers and is worn over a stripped waistcoat and white cravat.
The portrait is set in the original gold frame with a particularly attractive display of hairwork within a blue glass surround on the reverse. A pair of love birds composed of seed pearls have tiny gold rings and are positioned between two decorative locks of hair that suggest this is a love token commissioned to mark a marriage. There are a few inevitable loose pearls but otherwise the piece is in fine condition.
The eldest son of a London tradesman, Henry Edridge ARA (1769-1821) was apprenticed to an engraver and, at the age of fifteen, entered the Royal Academy Schools. He exhibited miniatures and watercolour portraits between 1786 and 1821. His London studio attracted aristocratic sitters as well as artists and poets and he was regularly invited to stay at country houses where he would often draw portraits of his host’s family.
Item Ref. 6515
Size: framed, 72 x 57mm