Friday, March 19, 2010

Ethol Court ARMS Miniaturist

The image of this miniature by Ethol Court c.1955 of Master Stephen G. F. Aubury is reproduced by kind permission of the owner.

The background colours and style of the two miniatures by this artist are very similar, but clearly she has taken more care over her portrayal of this adorable looking little boy.
We are indebted to Mr. Aubury for allowing us to use this miniature to demonstrate the superb skills of Ethol Court. If anyone else has a miniature by this artist we would like to hear from you.

This Miniature by Ethol Court of Mrs. Galburge 1956 is in the collection

Mrs. Ethol Court (1898-1965) became well known as a miniature painter in the area where she lived.  Originally from Preston, Lancashire, her family relocated to Ealing, where she met and married her husband, George.  She started painting in her early 20's.  In October 1956, her local newspaper ran an article about her, mentioning that she exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, the Royal Miniature Society and the Paris Salon.  At the time, she ran an art club from her home at 67 Tentelow Lane, Norwood Green and members attended classes on Saturday afternoons.  It is thought that the following year, the classes were held in Norwood Hall.  Perhaps you posed for her club members, attended one of her classes or even commissioned one of her distinctive miniatures?  If so, we would love to hear from you.

 Ethol was one of five children.
Her father was a foreman fitter.  Her husband, George,
was originally from Kent, where his father was a Builders Clerk and
then a Boarding House Keeper and his family too relocated to the
Ealing area.   Before the first world war, George was a photographer
for Percy Peacock, who had photographic shops in New Bond Street,
London and Folkestone, Kent.  During the war, he served in the Royal Engineers. It is not known where Ethol trained as an artist, but after more than 30 years of painting miniatures,  surprisingly, she felt that her work was not good enough!  She
only started exhibiting her work in 1953 and over the next decade or so, right up until the year she died.  A member of the West Middlesex Art Club, she taught others how to paint miniatures.
 Amongst some of her sitters in the 1950's were Allan
Holt, Mrs. Galburge, Gillian Caroll and Mr. J. E. Sobee.  We are
always interested in hearing from anyone who knew Ethol Court or who
was painted by her.

A young member of the Newman Family painted by Ethol Court. Apparently painted from a professional photograph taken by Marcus Taylor of Southall. This miniature was exhibited in the Royal Academy.

An amazingly accomplished miniature of the Newman's twin daughters, painted by their grandmother, who was a pupil of Ethol Court.  It is possibly an overpainted photograph, but the resolution is not sufficient to see for sure.  However, it still shows an incredible talent.  Note the background colours and techniques, which echo that of Ethol's.

We are indebted to the Newman Family, who were kind enough to send us these images and give their permission for them to be reproduced here.


  1. Oh my! This miniature of Master Stephen is absolutely precious :) Thanks so much to the owner for allowing us to enjoy this image!

  2. Ethol Court was my great aunt. I have one portrait she did of my mother. The portrait is stored away at the moment as we are in the process of moving home. I have often searched online for more information and other examples of Ethol's work so I was delighted to find this blog.

    1. she was my great aunt too my nanny's sister would like to no who JOP is as we are obviously related

    2. Dear Anonymous, We are gathering more and more information about Ethol. Unfortunately some of this information has come to light after our book has gone to print. We do,however,have two pages about her. With regard to your message please 'click on 'jop' above and you will link to their blog. From there you will be able to make contact. We respect people's privacy and do not publish their details without permission

      kind regards
      portrait miniature club

  3. Dear JOP, thank you for getting in touch. We have a little more information now about this artist and we would love to see your miniature. Do please email us when you have time - Best wishes. Roger and Carmela

  4. Hello, jop. Do you know of any connection between your great aunt, Ethol Court, and the artist Walter Herbert Wheeler? According to WH Wheeler's death certificate she was present at his death (in 1960 of natural causes when he was 81) and the informant. It's a fascinating thought that these two artists knew each other.
    Best regards, J Graham.

  5. A possible link between Walter Herbert Wheeler and Ethol Court could have been the Norwood Hall Painting Club, which Ethol started, probably in the late 1950's. Other artists also taught there. If anyone had relatives who attended or perhaps even acted as life models, we would love to hear from them. Best wishes. Roger and Carmela

  6. Hi
    I am afraid I don't know of a link between Ethol and Walter (although coincidently my maiden name is Wheeler). I have a few details of her family history and I know she made quite a good living from her work. I am hoping to get access to the storage box soon which has some photos of her and the miniature portrait of my mother.

  7. Dear Jop, thank you for coming back to us. We would love to see the photographs of Ethol Court and also the portrait of your mother. So many people have expressed an interest in Ethol. We have heard from another ex neighbour of hers and we hope to be able to add some more information soon. Best wishes. Roger and Carmela

  8. Indeed, my grandfather was W.H. Wheeler, and I own a small portrait of him painting by E. Court. I don't recall meeting her but she was a friend of both my grandparents. This portrait was exhibited in Brussels in 1962 and at the Royal Academy in 1061 and 1963,

  9. Thank you, Lawrence, for this wonderful information. J. Graham will be so pleased that you have answered his query as to how Mr. Wheeler knew Ethol Court. We would love to see Ethol's portrait of your grandfather.

  10. Dear Lawrence, another close member of the Wheeler family would love to contact you. If you would like to email us at, we'll put you in touch. Best wishes. Roger and Carmela

  11. Hello, Lawrence. I have a photograph of Walter in the RFC that it would be good to share. It would be fascinating to discuss Walter with you. Thanks again, Roger and Carmela. Regards, J Graham

    1. You probably supposed I was indifferent to your emails re Ethel Court and my grandfather, Walter Herbert Wheeler (who incidentally, for a reason I have forgotten, was always called "Dick"), but I had wanted to send a copy of Ethol's portrait of my grandfather. My computer skills are basic, and time just slipped away. One of my sons is visiting and we got around to talking of family. Today he took a photo of the miniature and said he could send it to you if he had your email address.
      I expect you know that W.H. Wheeler's father and grandfather were fairly well-known artists, and I own several of their paintings. They did mainly animals, as did my grandfather. My apologies to you. Lawrence

  12. Hello, Lawrence. I haven't checked this site for a long time but I'm glad I got back to it. I would love to see the painting you have, thank you. There are a couple of Walter's paintings still in his son's (Cyril) family I'd happily share, and a photo of him in the RFC. It's marvellous to find someone who knew Walter; it would be incredible to chat with you and swap some information, although I'm sure you know more than I do. Roger and Carmela (who run this site) have my email address so please forward through them (I am a little wary of posting my email address in such a public forum. Thank you again for getting in touch.

  13. I was most interested in your website. I have two Ethel Court miniatures, one of my daughter Suzzane as little girl which was exhibited in the Royal Academy and one of Master Tom Perry which I purchased because I knew her, and was a student of hers but had to give up my painting.