Enamel, rectangular, in a gilt-wood and gesso frame, 21.5cm, signed and dated: HP Bone/1835 on the reverse.
The first Baron St. Helens (1753-1839), was a diplomat, ambassador and courtier, known to have been close to George III. 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 had 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 (1779-1855) 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.