Mary and Emma Penrhyn

Anthony Stewart, 1829


Looking the very picture of innocence with their natural curls and rosy cheeks, Mary Charlotte and Emma Catherine Leycester Penrhyn are shown in matching dresses trimmed with blue silk ribbon and teamed with blue beads. They were the daughters of Edward Penrhyn and his wife Charlotte (née Stanley) and the granddaughters of Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby. Painted in 1829, the girls would have been five and three years old respectively.

In 1850, aged 26, Mary Charlotte married Morgan Yeatman, a wine merchant in Dorchester who subsequently became a partner in what had hitherto been Taylor & Fladgate, one of the largest port wine houses. The couple had two sons who in due course took over the running of the business from their father. Morgan died in 1889; Mary Charlotte outlived him by twenty-six years, dying in 1915 at the age of 91. Emma Catherine did not marry; she lived most of her life with her younger brother Oswald, a vicar, and died in 1909.

The portraits are set in a hinged gold locket glazed to reveal plaited brown hair on both outsides. (Please note that the locket does not close tightly so will a slight tweak if to be worn as a pendant.)

The portraits are painted by Scottish artist Anthony Stewart (1773-1846). Born in Crieff and educated in Edinburgh, Stewart trained under Alexander Nasmyth and initially devoted himself to landscapes before turning to miniature portraiture working in Edinburgh before moving to London where he attracted a distinguished clientele that included royalty. He is best acclaimed for his portraits of children of which there are several examples in the Royal Collection.

Item Ref. 6450

Size: closed locket, 55 x 47mm

Provenance: Christie's, November 1994