Bertie, Prince of Wales
Royal Victoria Gallery
This highly finished silhouette profile depicts Prince Edward ‘Bertie’, the future King Edward VII, as a young man wearing traditional Highland dress: tartan kilt, silver-mounted fur sporran, plaid, argyle hose and Scottish dirk. He also holds a Glengarry cap.
The profile is cut out and set on a sepia watercolour background, the costume details heightened in gilt and Chinese white. It is signed and dated ‘Frith / 1859’ and is housed in what appears to be the original narrow ebonised frame with an inner gilt slip and a small brass plaque engraved ‘Prince of Wales’. The background card has some age-spotting but this does not detract from this handsome work.
Born at Buckingham Palace in 1841, Edward was the second child and eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In 1859, the year of this silhouette, he went up to Oxford University. He married Princess Alexandra in 1863 and with her had five children. Edward ascended the throne in 1901 following the death of his mother, reigning until his own death in 1910.
The Royal Victoria Gallery was run by brothers Frederick and Henry Frith together with their father. Advertising as ‘PAPRYOTOMISTS to His Late as well as to her present Most Gracious Majesty’, they toured extensively and produced highly finished work. When the introduction of photography threatened their livelihood, the brothers embraced the new technology and opened a Photography Studio before emigrating to Australia.
Item Ref. TS9031
Size: framed, 290 x 227mm (11½ x 9")