A Pearl Clip

David Gibson, 1801


Writing in the Manchester Mercury in April 1796, the miniaturist David Gibson flattered himself that ‘his abilities … as an Artist sufficiently justifies a claim … that his merit is of that kind that seldom requires the medium of a public newspaper to usher it into notice’.

And indeed he has in this miniature created an expressive and neatly painted portrait of a young lady named Patricia Beecham, possibly on the threshold of marriage. Wearing a white empire-line dress, she has added a gold clasp at her waist and gold earrings and has secured her hair with a pearl clip. The portrait is signed bottom left – Gibson / 1801 – and is set in a gilt metal frame that is enclosed on the reverse.

David Gibson was most likely of Scottish descent. He worked in Edinburgh, London and Manchester from the 1790s onwards.

Item Ref. 7072

Size: 74 x 62mm + frame

Provenance: Bonhams, November 2010