Regency gold brooch containing a watercolour portrait of Lord Byron, facing sinister in meditative pose, after a portrait by Richard Westall R.A., painted in 1813. The ‘cult’ of Byron, the handsome and seductive libertine, is said to have begun with the publication of his epic Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage in 1812. Fashionable London was enamoured with the controversial young poet and ladies reputedly swooned in his presence. His scandalous affair with Lady Caroline Lamb, and his even more scandalous divorce from Annabella Milbanke, added to his notoriety and allure. While there are numerous contemporary records of miniatures of Byron, no mention has been found of one of this particularly small size. It measures 1 and 1/8 inches by 3/4 of an inch. Provenance – Rowland Edmund Prothero [1851 -1937], Baron Emle, editor of Byron’s Works, 1898 -1901.
Byron by Richard Westall 1813