The Colonel’s Horse

Circa 1799


Who would have thought that this enchanting little lad in his ankle-length dress with ribbon bows, lacy cap and darling little red shoes would one day be leading his troops on a battlefield. Painted in profile, the child is shown standing on a patterned carpet brandishing his toy whip to gee along his horse on wheels. An old label on the back of the frame names the child as Col. A. H. Kirwan.

Born in Cheshire in 1797, Andrew Hyacinth was the youngest of three children born to Hyacinth Kirwan and his wife Elizabeth Frances (née Blake). His father died when he was just two years old, just around the time this portrait was painted.

Andrew Hyacinth enlisted with the 7th Royal Fusiliers rising through the ranks to become a Lieutenant-Colonel. His mother died just before Christmas in 1827 and within a few days Andrew married Charlotte Eld (1806-1891) of Seighford Hall in Staffordshire. The couple went on to have three daughters and lived in Cheltenham. Andrew died in August 1872 at the age of 74.

The portrait is painted in watercolour on card and is very nicely detailed. It is in fine condition retaining its original fresh colours. The portrait is set in the original lemon giltwood frame. The frame has slight gapping on a couple of the joints, corner bumps and some wear to the gilding, all consistent with age.

Item Ref. 6816

Size: framed, 195 x 172 x 42mm (7⅝ x 7 x 1⅝")