Plumbago Portrait

Thomas Worlidge (1700-1766)


This enchanting little portrait dates to an era when girls were dressed in exactly the same manner as their mothers though fortunately they were excused some of the extreme hairdressing fashions of the eighteenth century. This young lady is probably in her early teens but is fashionably attired, her dress with a stomacher and loosely gathered sleeves. Her curled hair hangs loose and is covered with a cap trimmed with lace and flowers.

The portrait is delicately drawn with graphite on vellum and is housed in a gold frame that is enclosed on the reverse. It is in fine condition though as often seen on plumbago portraits there is slight wrinkling of the vellum in one area.

The son of a Peterborough lawyer, Thomas Worlidge embarked on his career as a miniaturist in Bath before moving to London to try his hand first at larger scale portraiture and then at etching, the latter venture being more successful for him. His output of miniatures was therefore small.

Item Ref. TS4

Size: framed, 43 x 34mm (1⅝ x 1¼")