Family drawings by Queen Victoria to go under hammer
A group of three rare and personal family drawings by Queen Victoria are expected to fetch up to £10,000 when they go under the hammer.
Victoria was a prolific artist from an early age and regularly drew and painted.
The majority of her drawings are in albums in the possession of the Royal Collection, and family drawings such as these rarely come up for sale.
The first is a watercolour, circa 1850, of Edward, Prince of Wales, and his brother Prince Alfred at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Both are smartly dressed and holding butterfly nets.
The second pencil drawing with colourwash, of similar date, shows Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria, the Princess Royal, as a water nymph, and is inscribed “For Tilla from Vicky”.
The third picture is another watercolour, of Victoria’s grandson Prince Friedrich – who later became Wilhelm II or “Kaiser Bill” – as a baby holding a rattle.
The three pictures will be sold by Dominic Winter Auctioneers in South Cerney, Gloucestershire, on July 25.
Auctioneer Chris Albury said: “Queen Victoria was a very accomplished artist and these family drawings of three of her children and a grandchild are all exquisite and enchanting.
“We have had some fantastic etchings of the royal children and their dogs by Queen Victoria, but never watercolours, and it is these subjects that best capture her lighter, joyous character, rather than the severe one with which history now associates her.
“Victoria’s natural artistic skill was encouraged by her husband Prince Albert, and though she did have the benefit of tutoring from some of the finest Victorian artists, her innate talent is ever present and these drawings would grace any collection.”
The two watercolours and pencil drawing were given by Victoria to Sarah Tillyard, governess to the royal children, along with a fourth watercolour of theatrical costume by her younger daughter Princess Alice.
Miss Tillyard, who was known as Tilla, was one of Victoria’s most devoted and beloved servants, working as a governess in the royal household from 1849 until her retirement from ill health in 1867.
The four drawings were sold by her descendants at Sotheby’s in 1968 when they were purchased by the current owner.