A rare miniature portrait of Nelson surfaces and sells at auction for 14,000

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The small portrait of Lord Nelson sold for £14,000 at Charles Miller.

Described by auctioneers as “a significant find”, the likeness is not recorded in any format in the seminal 1998 volume by the late Richard Walker. Nelson’s portraits.

Delivered from a British private collection on sale at 25 Blythe Road, the 1¾ in (4.5 cm) pencil drawing is said to have been drawn from life on a silk napkin or handkerchief by Albin Burt (1783-1842 ) around 1802.

Family Connection

The artist was closely related to Nelson: his brother, Henry Frederick Burt was the Admiral’s secretary, his mother was a close friend of Emma Hamilton and he himself knew her husband, Sir William Hamilton well.

Burt began life as an engraver, trained by Robert Threw and Benjamin Smith, but finding himself unable to excel in this field, he branched out into portrait painting.

In a contemporary gilt brass and wood frame, the portrait was purchased by the British trade on behalf of a private collector, against an estimate of £8,000-12,000.

The sale took place on November 8 and the buyer’s commission was 20%.

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