Charles James Speed

Aged 3


Looking rather serious, Charles James Speed was just three years old when this watercolour was painted. Too young to have been breeched, he is wearing a white dress with a lace bodice and short sleeves trimmed with blue ribbon bows and a matching blue sash, his tiny feet in dainty black shoes with ankle-straps. Charles is shown holding a pink rose by a rose-entwined column in a garden landscape.

Born in Fulham in 1846, Charles James was the eldest of the four children born to James Speed, a butcher, and his wife Fanny Chasemore. Having helped out in his father’s shop from an early age, it was inevitable that Charles James would also become a butcher. In 1878 he married Emily Jane Crute; the couple had a son who later trained as an electrician and two daughters. In the 1901 Census, Charles James is listed as a Cab Driver and ten years later, now a widower, as an Out of Work Butcher.

The portrait resides in a handsome maple veneer frame with a typed label attached to the backing board outlining what appears to be the portrait’s descent within the family.

Item Ref. 5177

Size: framed, 309 x 270mm (12 x 10½")