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set in the original gold frame, the reverse with aperture to reveal brown plaited hair
The portrait was taken when the vogue for exchanging miniatures to celebrate betrothal and marriage was at its height. After marriage, portrait miniatures, often decorated with locks of hair on the reverse, served as a surrogate for the absent loved one during long separations when husbands -- statesmen, merchants, salesmen, soldiers, and artists -- travelled to earn a living, leaving their families behind.
Hobday 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.
n 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, Hobday 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, for whom he painted a family group at the price of a thousand guineas. a
|Height||7.00 cm||(2.76 inches)|