Mrs Hay & Daughter

William Egley (1798-1870)


This beguiling double portrait shows Mrs Hay as a young mother with her little daughter at her side. She is wearing a black off-the-shoulder satin dress trimmed with Honiton lace, a crimson shawl decorated with a border of flowers drawn around her. She has a ruby and gold brooch and a gold chain bracelet. Her fair-haired daughter is wearing a pretty white dress trimmed with blue and white ribbon to match her blue shoes.

The portrait is signed on the reverse of the frame – Mrs Hay and her daughter / Painted by / William Egley / 75 Connaught Terrace / Hyde Park / London / March 16th 1850. It is set in a Regency period deep giltwood frame with a shell motif. The portrait is in fine condition; the frame has small losses to the gilding and some old restoration to the corners.

William Egley was born in Doncaster. He first worked in publishing before taking up painting and exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1824 and 1869. His obituary described him as “a thorough gentleman of the last century” and reported that “Mr Egley’s conversation was interesting and agreeable, and shortened the time pleasantly to those that sat to him for their likenesses. It was the wit of a Voltaire, united to the bonhomie of a Lafontaine.”

Item Ref. 6366

Size: framed, 245 x 223 x 53mm (9½ x 8¾ x 2⅛")