Enamel, rectangular, in a gilt-wood and gesso frame, 21.5cm, signed and dated: HP Bone/1835 on the reverse.
Baron St. Helens was a seasoned diplomat of vast experience. He was close to George III and on retirement from the diplomatic service, was created a lord of the bedchamber.
He is shown seated in a red armchair, before a table covered with books and manuscripts, of which he had a great collection.
Tragically, in 1797 a fire completely destroyed his London house and everything in it: books, fine paintings, prints, drawings, etc; his entire collection, a calamity which he was fortunate to survive.
The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Blue Drawing room…3 enamel portraits, viz. Lady Mary Cecil, Miss Scott, The Right Honourable Lord St Helens, H. P. Bone, F. M. Arthur Duke of Wellington, H. P. Bone.’
Henry Pierce Bone trained with his father, the noted enamel painter Henry Bone (1755-1834). He later worked for some years in oils, but reverted to enamels and became enamel painter to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.