Profile of a Georgian Wife

James Sharples


This stylishly dressed couple were drawn in pastel in 1780, or thereabouts, by James Sharples. The lady is wearing a cream dress with a diaphanous handkerchief fill-in secured on her corsage with a blue ribbon bow. Her hair is worn in a fashionable ‘banging chignon’ loop with stiff curls and is topped with a frilly confection of a hat.

Her husband meanwhile has a physical wig with rolled side curls and is wearing a blue coat, possibly an early frock coat, with a matching waistcoat, a frilled chemise and a white stock (a piece of linen folded to form a high neckband).

The profiles are housed in the original oval gilt wood frames with pie crust borders.

Born in Lancashire, James Sharples (circa 1751-1811) was initially pupil to Romney. He exhibited in Liverpool in 1774 and later at the Royal Academy. Between 1796 and 1801 he worked in New York where the popularity of his style of portraiture guaranteed him constant business. He typically took just two hours to complete a pastel portrait charging $15 for a profile and $20 for a full face.

Item Ref. 5277

Size: framed oval, 298 x 247mm (11¾ x 9¾")