Samuel Cotes c1770
Samuel Cotes c1770
Samuel Cotes c1770
Samuel Cotes c1770

SAMUEL COTES (1734-1818)

Samuel Cotes c1770

c. 1770 England

Offered by Cynthia Walmsley


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Portrait miniature of Lady Elizabeth Nugent, she is fashionably dressed in a lemon coloured dress with a V neckline edged in white lace and tied with a red ribbon. Her hat is made up of feathers, ribbons and flowers and sits on top of her fashionably styled and powdered hair "a la conseilleur".

Watercolour on ivory in an oval gold frame, the reverse with blue glass and the initial C surrounded by a circle of acanthus leaves in gold.

Samuel Cotes 1734-1818

Born in London 1734; younger son of an ex-mayor of Galway who had become an apothecary in Cork Street, London. He was trained in this trade but was taught art by his brother, F. Cotes and took up miniature painting on ivory and enamel, and executed pastel portraits.

He exhibited at the Society of Artists 1760-1768, and at the R.A. 1769-1789. At this time he was living in Cork Street, 1763 and is said to have worked in Bath. He was married twice and his only child died in infancy, his second wife Sarah Shepherd (died 1814) was an amateur painter.

Cotes ceased painting before 1807, and he died in Paradise Row, Chelsea, 7th March 1818.

As the size of ivories increased Cotes seems to have striven after greater boldness of effect. He used opaque colour in broken touches on the hair, as well as on the lace edging of costume and cravat. Recent research suggests that his signature S.C. was often made up of several strokes.

Examples of his work are at the V. & A., one of them being signed ‘S. Cotes/1766’.

Height 5.50 cm (2.17 inches)
Width 4.50 cm (1.77 inches)
Stock Code
Watercolour on ivory
Cynthia Walmsley

Cynthia Walmsley
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