Unknown - portrait of Fanny Goschen

Unfortunately, this miniature is unsigned, but the sitter is clearly identified on the reverse as "Fanny Goschen - sister of Charles Hermann Goschen".

The Goschen family was a very wealthy British family in the late 19C and early 20C. They were prominent in banking, politics, and diplomacy,

Two ladies named Fanny Goschen have been located. Fanny Eliza Goschen (26 Aug 1843 - JFM 1869) at Saint John, Eltham, Kent, England. She was the daughter of William Henry Goschen (3 Jul Jan 1793 - 28 Jul 1866) and Henrietta Ohmann (c1805 - 14 Mar 1895).

The second Fanny was her niece, Fanny Evelyn Goschen born in 1875 at Hawkhurst, Kent. It seems that Fanny junior was therefore named for her aunt who had died seven years earlier.

The choice between the two is not as clear cut as might be expected, as there were two men named Charles Hermann Goschen. The first born in 1839 and brother to Fanny Eliza.

The second Charles Hermann Goschen was born in June 1867, but seems to have been a cousin of Fanny Evelyn.

Women's hair styles were also sometimes similar in the 1860's and around 1900, so that is not a clear guide either.

After considering the various clues, Fanny Eliza seems more likely and if so her apparent age in the miniature means it dates from around her death in 1869.

But then again, given the colour palette, which is later than 1869, and more from the 20C, it seems likely that the family must have arranged for a miniature portrait to be painted around 1910, as a copy from a photograph. Quite likely from a photograph which was deteriorating in condition.

The reference to Charles Hermann Goschen, rather than his more famous brother, Viscount George Goschen (1831-1907) was puzzling at first. After considering this for a while, a possible reason emerged. Viscount Goschen died in 1907 and Charles in 1915. Thus, if the supposition that the miniature was painted in the 20C, and were painted, say in 1912, it would be logical to refer to a surviving brother, rather than a deceased brother.

Another complication in being certain as to which Fanny is the sitter, is that some branches of the Goschen family lived outside Britain for various periods and so are difficult to trace through BMD and census records.

Although unsigned, the miniature is by one of the best British artists of the Edwardian era as the artistic quality is so high, as can be seen in the close up images.

Fanny was one of a large family of five girls and five boys, including Charles Hermann Goschen (21 Jan 1839 - 22 Mar 1915), the third boy who became a Director of the Bank of England. The eldest boy George Joachim Goschen (10 Aug 1831 - 7 Feb 1907) became 1st Viscount Goschen and was a well known politician, as Member of Parliament, Vice-President of the Board of Trade, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, President of the Poor Law Board, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and First Lord of the Admiralty.

The youngest son, William Edward Goschen (18 July 1847 - 20 May 1924) was also created a Baronet.

He held various political posts and was the British Ambassador to Germany at the outbreak of World War I. He noted in his diary playing violin duets with the Crown Prince of Germany in 1910.

(Coincidentally, a miniature of the Crown Prince has just been added to this collection, seen here, but also seen with more detail at Artist "J T A" - portrait of Crown Prince Willhelm of Germany

Thus Fanny had three famous brothers.

Being such a well known politician, the eldest, Viscount George Joachim Goschen featured in the news and cartoons of the day. Here is a selection of them.

Charles Hermann Goschen, the brother mentioned on the reverse of the miniature was also prominent. In 1872, Charles Hermann Goschen, then Lord Lieutenant of the City of London, purchased the Ballards estate near Coombe, Croydon and built a new mansion, demolishing the old building. In the 1920s, the estate was donated to the trustees of the Warehousemen, Drapers, and Haberdashers Company, as a school.

The new school, built to the side of the mansion, was designed by Sir Aston Webb, architect of Imperial College. The school is now known as Royal Russell School.

Heathfield House was also bought by Goschen in 1872, who rebuilt the former farmhouse and leased it to his brother Henry, one of the last serving members of the East India Company. In 1927 Raymond Riesco bought the property, creating banks of rhododendrons and a walled garden. Riesco arranged for the house, gardens and farmland to be bought by Croydon Council upon his death and donated his collection of oriental ceramics. The house is now the Council's training centre, with the gardens open to the public. The farm is still cultivated, with part used as horse pasture and the Monks Hill estate built on the eastern end. 1362

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