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A portrait miniature of an unknown Gentleman

£ 550

Wearing a black coat, and white stock, his powdered hair en queue
set in the original gold frame

Hobday was an English portrait painter and miniaturist whose clientele included royalty and the Rothschild family. He was born in Birmingham, the eldest of 4 sons of Samuel Hobday (1746-1816), a rich Birmingham spoon manufacturer. Showing a capacity for drawing, he was sent to London when still a boy, and articled to an engraver named William Barney, with whom he remained for six years, studying at the same time in the Royal Academy schools. He then established himself in Charles Street, near the Middlesex Hospital, as a painter of miniatures and watercolour portraits, and commenced to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1794. He was fortunate in soon securing a fashionable clientele.

In 1804 he left London for Bristol, where for some years he was largely employed in painting the portraits of officers embarking for the Peninsular War. Though Hobday earned large sums, he continued to be extravagant and in financial difficulties. In 1817, after the war ended, he returned to the capital, and took a large house in Broad Street, hoping to renew his earlier artistic and social connections. In this he was disappointed even though patronised by N. M. Rothschild.
More Information
Year                 Circa 1790
Medium                 Watercolour on ivory
Literature                 The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures, (Dublin, privately published, 2009) pp 11, 55 (#237).
Exhibition                 Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009
Condition                 Light dust under glass
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