Not only is Ann proudly showing off her personal assets in this portrait but she is also displaying her wonderful amber beads and matching earrings! Wearing a white décolleté dress with a frill-edged neckline, her hair is arranged in loose curls tied with a blue ribbon band and falling over her shoulder.
Ann Hamilton was born in 1761. She married William Hugh Kittoe (1761-1820) of Portsmouth, a Lieutenant (later a Commander) in the Royal Navy. The couple had at least two children. Ann died in Exeter in 1848 aged 87.
Painted by Freese during the late 1780s, most likely to mark her marriage, the portrait is in fine condition. It is set in the original gold frame with a lock of hair in the form of a feather with seed pearls laid on foiled opalescent glass with her married initials – AK – laid on a tiny blue glass plaque.
Recent research has confirmed that Nicholas Freese was born around 1761 in Birmingham to a German father and an English mother but it was to London that he moved in order to practise as an artist. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1794 and 1814.
An interesting snippet published in John Bull in December 1825 records how Freese, who was living at Stamford Street in Blackfriars, was burgled one night losing portrait miniatures and spoons worth over £40. Fortunately the thief was apprehended two miles away and the goods recovered, though the sentence that was handed down was a harsh one.
Item Ref. 6801
Size: framed, 80 x 66mm + bail
Provenance: Kittoe Family descent