Bedecked in Pearls

William Thicke


This lady has been painted by the lesser known artist William Thicke whose work generally shows close attention to costume detailing. In this example the spotted lace collar on the lady’s dress has been delicately described as is the rope of pearls in her hair and the pearls that are tied with a blue ribbon bow at the back of her neck.

The portrait is in fine condition and is presented in the original gold frame with a plaited hair border on the obverse, the reverse also glazed to reveal the initials RHC and R laid on three colours of neatly plaited hair.

Little is known about William Thicke who exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1787 and 1814 from an address at Portland Place. A diary entry by the 18th century architect William Porden, dated 21 August 1795, records how he shared a coach from London to Lincoln with the miniaturist William Thicke who was en route to Hull. He is colourfully described as “a little fat jolly facetious man, as illiterate as an artist could be desired and seemingly taking small interest in the Arts or in subjects relative to them. His mis-pronunciation wd rival Mrs Slipslops.  He abounded in jests and smutty stories which he told tolerably well, though sometimes, as it must happen, with men who are always telling stories, lost the spirit of the story and seemed not always to know where the joke lay.”

Item Ref. 6661

Size: framed, 88 x 72mm