East Norfolk Foot Soldier

Richard Crosse


This officer has a sunburned face suggesting he has recently seen action abroad, perhaps on the Spanish Peninsula where the 9th East Norfolk Regiment of Foot was sent during the Napoleonic Wars. Wearing a red coat with yellow facings and with silver epaulettes, Britannia can be seen on his regimental badge. This was officially adopted by them in 1799. The 9th Regiment were also known as the ‘Fighting Ninth’ or the ‘Bible Boys’, the latter nickname coming about as each soldier had been gifted a Bible by the Commanding Officer.

In fine condition, the miniature resides in the original gold frame, the reverse with foiled blue glass surrounding a glazed aperture filled with plaited brown hair. There are two spots of dust on the surface of the hair but it is otherwise fine. It also comes with a silk-lined travelling case that is not quite the perfect fit and shows wear especially to the silk.

A native of Devonshire, Richard Crosse (1742-1810) was born deaf and dumb, as was one of his sisters. He began painting miniatures as a hobby and in 1758 won a prize at the Society of Arts that inspired him to study art. He became a successful artist and built up a distinguished clientele that included royalty. He fell in love with his cousin, Miss Cobley, but she did not reciprocate and married elsewhere, the disappointment reportedly turning him into a misanthrope.

Ivory Registration: D7Z2QHJU

Item Ref. 9121

Size: framed, 77 x 62mm