Favel Peeke

Enamel by Zincke


This smartly dressed sitter was only in his twenties when this portrait was painted around 1730. Named Favell (or Favel) Peeke, he has a luxuriant curled wig covering his shaved head and wears a richly coloured coat and a fine lace jabot, all demonstrating his wealth and status.

Research shows that Favell Peeke was born in Jamaica in 1705. He was schooled in England going up to Merton College, Oxford in 1721 at the age of sixteen. Peeke owned at least two plantations in Jamaica – Parnassus in Clarendon and Favells in Vere – as well as a house in central London. He was unmarried when he died at his Westminster home in 1733, aged just 28, of ‘a lingering disposition’. He bequeathed his estates to his nephew and niece and left life annuities of £60 each to be charged against his Jamaican estates to Kezzia Allen (his housekeeper perhaps?) and her daughter, also named Kezzia. In the event these bequests were never paid and were later revoked following a legal challenge. Thereby hangs a well-hidden tale!

Enamel on copper set in a gold frame engraved reverse with the sitter’s name, albeit incorrectly spelled. Later brooch fitting.

German-born Christian Friedrich Zincke (1683-1767) came to England in 1706 to work alongside and to learn from the Royal enamellist Charles Boit. He later set up his own studio finding success and favour with a distinguished clientele that included King George II and his family. Alas, Zincke’s career was cut short by poor and worsening eyesight. His work is well represented in art galleries worldwide.

Item Ref. 7558

Size: 48 x 40mm + bail

Provenance: Christie's March 1993 ; Private UK Collection