Early 19th Century
Before the mid 1800s facial hair was unusual in the British Army. This changed, however, once soldiers were stationed in India where the local culture at that time associated facial hair with wisdom and power. This led to an increasing prevalence of moustaches and side whiskers on British soldiers stationed in Asia. So this young officer with his bushy side whiskers may well have been stationed in India where he could have commissioned this portrait to send home as a keepsake for his mother or sweetheart.
The portrait retains its bright colours and is set in the original gold-plated frame that is glazed on the reverse to show a lock of hair tied with gold wire laid on two shades of plaited hair. The glass to the front has a small chip to the edge at 9 o’clock.
Item Ref. 6695
Size: framed, 60 x 50mm