The Coral Necklace

W. W. Major


Small oil portraits with period charm and character can be difficult to find but this one was love at first sight! The style of the young lady’s dress with its voluminous demi-gigot sleeves and narrow belted waistline dates the portrait to the 1820s. Her beaded necklace adds a pop of colour as do her rosy cheeks. Her frill-edged bonnet and dark rolled curls frame her face.

Painted on canvas with a mostly detached old card backing, the portrait is signed on the reverse “Major W.W. / Artist / Hotel St. / Leicester. Whether the artist was indeed a Major or a Mr Major is unclear but he would almost certainly have been an itinerant artist.

The paint surface has craquelure with small spots of paint loss around the outside edge that are concealed by the frame. The portrait is set behind glass in what may well be the original bird’s eye maple veneer frame with a gilt slip.

Item Ref. 6579

Size: framed, 204 x 189mm (8 x 7½")