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S E Marshall's Watercolour Portrait of or from the Miniature

Sam_E_Marshall_watercolour.jpg - 745Kb

You can imagine my astonishment when I found this on the Royal Museums Greenwich web site when I searched for the motto of "INVICTA BELLO DEXTRA", heightened by the handwritten comment at its foot of "Original Miniature given to Lady Barrington in 1826".

Lady Barrington was, of course to us, born Edith Mary Marshall and was the sister of Capt Samuel E Marshall. She was born about four years after her brother and would have been twenty when he died and just married to Fitzwilliam Barrington who became Sir Fitzwilliam bart on the death of his elder brother, unmarried, in 1818. Sir Fitzwilliam was the tenth and last Barrington baronet as all male lines from the first had by then expired.

This watercolour contains almost exactly the same words as those engraved on the reverse of the miniature and a better definition portrait to that on the face of the miniature. So what came first?

The use of 'Original Miniature' in the note on this watercolour indicates that the minature was first and the watercolour second. Corroborating this the watercolour has the more modern spelling of 'Colours' while the miniature has the older spelling of 'Colors'. But the superior detail on this watercolour makes it more likely that it was the original. In 2003 a valuer referred to the miniature as 'unfinished':

"Naval Captain called Marshall, unfinished portrait, possibly by Henry Edridge"
I have got in touch with Royal Museums Greenwich and hope to exchange information about our respective pictures of Captain Samuel Marshall.

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