An Early 19thC Irish School Oil on Board of a Young Boy c.1810-25

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Object Description

The Irish school depiction of a smart young boy in oils on board, of around eight to ten of years of age, shown in bust length, presented in its original deep moulded gilded frame, the sitter with green eyes, rosy cheeks and a sweet smile, wearing dress very much of the period, with a prominent set of brass buttons to his jacket over a buttoned shirt and crevatte, the work apparently unsigned and surviving from the first quarter of nineteenth century Ireland.

Object History

Unknown.

Object Literature

As with the ‘selfie’ today, portraits were also a chance for more self-conscious sitters to be depicted in the latest fashions. This boy would have had a very wealthy family and if you were a child in early nineteenth century Ireland you were not able to go to a national school paid for by the government because they did not exist until the 1830’s; though large numbers of children still went to school in the 1800’s but in most cases they had to pay to attend, which this chap certainly would have. By the middle 1820s, parents of approximately three to four hundred thousand children paid fees to hedge school masters, for an education that usually included little more than the ‘three Rs’. Thankfully he would have been older when the famine of the 1840s.

A very charming and evocative portrait very much of the Regency taste and one in beautiful country house condition.

Object Condition

In entirely untouched and original condition, the painting has not been cleaned, restored or re-lined. There is craquelure to the surface and very small areas of loss though nothing significant; please refer to the photographs for a full visual reference. The gilded frame is original though has large losses with three of the four corner acanthus leaf mouldings lacking.

Object Details

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The Onion Barn
Shoe Cottage
15 High Street
Blunham
Bedfordshire
MK44 3NL