Engleheart, John Cox Dillman - portraits of Honora and Charles Drake Garrard

This pair of miniature portraits give an indication of how condition can affect collector interest. The previous owner was gifted them by a descendant of the Drake-Garrard family and offered them for sale via Bonhams on November 19, 2008, as Lot 154A. ENGLEHEART John Cox Dillman, 1782-1862 (United Kingdom) Title : A Lady, wearing white dress, pink shawl over her left shoulder, pink rose at her corsage, pearl necklace, drop pearl earring, her hair in ringlets; and a Gentleman, wearing black coat, waistcoat, white chemise and black cravat (cracked) Estimate : 700 GBP - 900 GBP  Bonhams : (n/a) John Cox Dillman Engleheart (British, 1782-1862) A ... However they did not sell and in late 2013 were offered on Ebay at a much lower price and thence acquired for this collection.

The miniature of the man is signed inside "J Dillman Engleheart Pinxit 1827 London" and inscribed on the reverse in a more recent hand "Charles Benet Drake Garrard I Billman Engleheart Pinxit 1827 London ". The lady is unsigned inside, but inscribed on the reverse "Charlotte Drake-Garrard I Billman Engleheart Pinxit 1827 London". As the previous owner was gifted the portraits by a member of the family there seems no reason to doubt the Drake-Garrard connection, although some more explanation and detective work seemed necessary. They appear to have been reframed c1960-1970, presumably as the earlier cases were damaged beyond repair, with the names added at that time from family knowledge and an assumption made there were both painted in 1827. As Bonhams offered the pair as by JCD Engleheart, that attribution seems unquestioned. Bonhams probably did not mention the sitter's names in their description, as they were added by a later hand. Apart from being cracked, it appears an unsuccessful attempt was made to remove a spot on the left of the man. The lady is in good condition.

Charles Benet Drake Garrard was born in 1806 and died on 13 June 1884 ‎(Age 78)‎. His parents were Charles Garrard ‎[formerly Drake]‎ (23 December 1755-17 July 1817)‎ and Anne Barne. Charles Drake changed his surname when he inherited part of the property of the Garrard family at Lamer Park, near Wheathamstead. CBDG married Honora Henrietta Pauncefort-Duncombe ‎(1814-1 August 1892) on 1 December 1835 and they had no children. Charles did have a sister named Charlotte and another named Emily Charlotte. However, they both married and had families. It is likely the miniature was believed to be one of these sisters, in the expectation the lady was also painted in 1827, whereas he was not married until 1835. However, it seems more likely the miniature is of his wife Honora, and was painted around the time of their engagement or subsequent marriage.

In 1851 CBDG lived as a landed proprietor at Lamar Park with Honora, no children, but with many servants; eight female and five male. In 1871 there were ten female servants and five male servants, but also living with them was a widowed sister-in-law, Sophia Wingfield (sister of Honora) 44 and two unmarried nieces Honora and Mary Wingfield 18 and 15.

Another CBDG sister, Anne, was the archtypical maiden aunt to several generations of her family, and commonplace book she left includes contributions from many cousins and more distant relatives, including genealogical nuggets for her relatives. Among these was a four generation family tree from Montague Drake (1698-1728) to Thomas D Tyrwhitt Drake (1749-1810). CBDG is believed to have had a number of other sisters. One of them, Charlotte married George Henry Cherry.  

CBDG died without issue and left his wife Honora an estate valued at £130,750 which devolved on George Henry Cherry, with the proviso he kept the Garrard name and arms. He therefore dropped the Drake and by Royal Assent on 30 September the name Cheery-Garrard was adopted. This in turn leads to the author of a famous book and a biography of his life; Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Gerrard by Sara Wheeler which contains much Drake Garrard history. The famous book is The Worst Journey in the World The Worst Journey in the World is a memoir of the 1910–1913 British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott. It was written and published in 1922 by Apsley Cherry-Garrard who went on the Scott Expedition.

To give an idea of how fashion, framing, and condition can affect the value of a miniature, another JCD Engleheart miniature, as showing here, was sold a year later in 2009 by Bonhams and described as John Cox Dillman Engleheart (British, 1782-1862) A Lady, wearing buff-coloured dress trimmed with white lace, a rose-pink shawl around her shoulders, her brown hair braided, curled and upswept. Signed on the obverse and dated J. D. Engleheart/ Pinx/ 88 Newman Street/ London/ 1813, gold frame, the reverse glazed to reveal plaited hair. Oval, 72mm (2 13/16in) high. It had an estimate of £1,800-2,200 and sold for £2,880 inc. premium. The different auction value reflects a number of factors. November 2008 was at the depths of the Global Financial Crisis, whereas in August 2009 there were signs of stability. The 2009 miniature was fully signed, in an original case, and unaccompanied by a cracked male miniature! Thus was more attractive to wealthy collectors, even though to this collector, the 2008 miniature is more appealing, especially with her likely identity known.1484A and 1484B.

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