William Sherlock


Poised and lost in thought this young lady is wearing a sky blue dress beautifully figured with small gold flowers and with a pink rosebud romantically positioned on her corsage. Her unpowdered hair has been swept up over pads to create a fashionably tall hair-do with loose curls falling over one shoulder.

Dating to the 1760s, the portrait is signed Sherlock / 17?? bottom right and is housed in the original gold fausse-montre frame reeded to the sides and glazed reverse to show thickly plaited auburn hair.

Born in Dublin around 1738, William Sherlock was the son of a fencing master. He came to London to study at St Martin’s Lane Academy winning recognition for his figure drawing. He subsequently studied under an engraver in Paris, a skill he was to put to good use when he engraved a series of portraits to illustrate Smollett’s History of England. In addition to painting miniatures, he was a successful watercolourist and even found time to be a picture dealer.

APHA registered

Item Ref. 7460

Size: framed, 62 x 54mm + watch-top

Provenance: Sotheby's, June 1995