Friday, January 21, 2011


In 1801, Andrew Plimer married the dark haired, exotic Joanna Louisa
Knight (1774-1861).  The couple had five children, four daughters and
a son, Andrew.  However, Andrew Junior died when just a child.
Images of Plimer's family portraits can be seen in
 Dr. George Williamson's book 'Andrew and Nathaniel Plimer', published in 1903. Many of these would
certainly be considered to be some of his finest work, particularly
the memorable drawings and paintings of his four beautiful daughters.

We recently purchased this large portrait on ivory of Charlotte, his
third daughter, measuring appox.  8.5 x 12 cms (3.1/2" x 4.3/4").  It is an
unusually colourful miniature and a great deal of work has gone into
it.  It shows Charlotte as a young teenager.  Around the time Andrew
Plimer painted it, his career was at an end, and he had stopped
exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1819. The miniature, although no
image appears in Williamson's book, is described in detail on page
109, and its sale referred to at Christies on 12th June 1901, Lot 115,
when it was purchased by Mr. Phillpot for £54.12.  In 1901, this
represented more than a year's wages for an agricultural labourer, or
four months' work for a teacher.  Inquiries to Christies Archives
elicited the information that the miniature, described as a portrait
of Charlotte by Andrew Plimer, had been sold unframed.  The beautiful
rose gold frame with split pearl surround had, therefore, been purpose
made for the painting after 1901.     

A close-up of Charlotte, showing the amount of work the artist had put into it.

 The engraving on the back of the frame with the erroneous
attribution to Plimer's brother, Nathaniel, must have also been
carried out during the last century.  Nathaniel did not have a
daughter called Charlotte.

Andrew Plimer died in 1837 in Brighton, and one by
one, his beloved daughters died young.  Selina, his youngest,
(1909-1841) was only 32. Charlotte (1804-1845) was 41.  Joanna
(1803-1846) was 43.

Image of similar sized miniature by Andrew Plimer of his eldest daughter, Louisa

Only one of Plimer's daughters married,  the eldest,
Louisa (1802-1864) and she was the only child to outlive her
mother.  Louisa died aged 62, three years after her mother, Joanna
Louisa, who died aged 87.

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