Portrait miniatures set for maximum success

Portraits miniatures on sale at Bellmans Auctioneers SUS-150825-160624001
Portraits miniatures on sale at Bellmans Auctioneers SUS-150825-160624001

Bellmans are proud to offer for sale The Trevelyan Collection of portrait miniatures from the Leslie family of Ballibay, County Monaghan.

This unique collection will go under the hammer on Friday, September 11 from 1pm at Bellmans’ Wisborough Green saleroom, and predominantly features lots from the personal collection of the late esteemed writer Walter Raleigh Trevelyan.

Research has shown that the collection descended directly through the family to Trevelyan – his great-grandfather Walter Raleigh Trevelyan married Marion Adelaide Leslie, the great grand-daughter of Reverend Henry Leslie (lot 2434) in September 1863.

The miniatures largely relate to the Irish family of Leslie of Ballibay as detailed in Burke’s Irish Peerage 1912 page 407. Ballibay House, County Monaghan, was a fine Classical house of 1830 by J.B. Keane, for Charles Albert Leslie. Sadly Ballibay House was burnt and the contents sold in 1920 and nothing remains except this fascinating collection, which illustrates characters from seven generations of the family. The names of the sitters have largely been drawn from a family list on headed Ballibay paper.

With estimates ranging from £60 to £2,500, the collection includes English, Irish and Continental examples, and invites all budgets to take home a piece of history.

Especially exciting buyers is lot 2412, a British portrait miniature on ivory which has been attributed to John Smart (1742-1811).

Depicting a gentleman said to be Sam Barry dressed in a light blue coat and floral embroidered waistcoat, the image stands at 3.4cm high, and is expected to realise £1,500-2,500. Also of note is lot 2450, an Irish portrait miniature on ivory of Thomas Lemon, by George Place, which is signed and dated 1797, and valued between £600-800. Bellmans miniatures specialist Silas Currie comments “it exceptionally rare and very exciting to see a collection of this calibre, which includes seven or eight generations of one family”.

The entire auction is on view from midday on Friday, September 4, and will be fully illustrated online from Thursday, September 3. Online bidding is available via the-saleroom.com. For more information and to register your interest, please contact Bellmans Auctioneers directly on 01403 700858, or email enquiries@bellmans.co.uk.

Report and pictures contributed by Bellmans Auctioneers.