Maria & Lucy Coldham

Royal Victoria Gallery


Maria and Lucy Coldham grew up at Amner Hall in Norfolk. Built by their ancestor in the 17th century, the house remained in the Coldham family until 1862 when it was sold to Queen Victoria. Now part of the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, Amner Hall is currently home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their young family.

The girls were the daughters of Henry Walter Coldham and his wife Maria (née Platt). Shown wearing matching dresses and pantaloons with dainty square-toed shoes, Maria Elizabeth, was born in October 1835 whilst Lucy Harriet was born in November 1836 so they would have been 4¾ and 3½ years old respectively when this silhouette was created in May 1839. Maria went on to marry James Mason of the 94th Regiment of Foot whilst Lucy married the Rev. Charles Halford Lucas.

The silhouette is cut out and finely bronzed with a watercolour base. It is signed Frith. Born in 1819, Frederick Frith worked alongside his brother, Henry Albert, and his father John as part of The Royal Victoria Gallery. The Gallery advertised themselves as ‘PAPRYOTOMISTS to His Late as well as to her present Most Gracious Majesty’. They toured England and Ireland during the 1830s and 1840s producing highly finished work. When photography threatened their livelihood, the brothers embraced the new technology and opened a Photographics Studio.

The silhouette is housed in the original ebonised frame with a gilt slip and old bubbled glass. The sitters are named in an old inscription on the backing board alongside the date, May 1839.

Item Ref. 6319

Size: framed, 265 x 273mm (10½ x 10¾")