The Red Shoe

Edward Nash


A note, understood to be concealed within this miniature along with a lock of hair, names this child as Charles Pavin. Wearing a simple white muslin dress with a matching lace cap, Charles is shown in a garden landscape and is mischievously holding one of his shoes.

Dating to around 1805, the portrait is traditionally attributed to Edward Nash and so was most likely painted in India. The sitter may be the Lieutenant Charles Pavin of the East India Company who died in Ahmedabad in December 1824.

Edward Nash (1778-1821) was born into a wealthy Midlands family and was said to have been a hunchback. He worked with his good friend Samuel Shelley in London before travelling to India in 1801 where he worked for over nine years. There was at this time great demand from the British communities in India for miniature portraits that were easy to send home to relatives. From the 1770s onwards, several British miniature artists set sail for India seeking success and fortune.

The portrait is not a regular oval so there are straight edges visible on each side. It is otherwise fine and is housed in a 9ct gold frame with a seed pearl border and bail. Enclosed on the reverse, the brooch fitting lacks the original pin.

Item Ref. 7138

Size: framed, 78 x 65mm + bail

Provenance: Phillips - February 1985 ; Sotheby's - January 1990 ; Christie's - December 2004