The two miniatures sold at Amersham Auction Rooms for a hammer price of £2900.

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Mr Ferder is quite correct in noting that only the male sitter is by the miniaturist William Wood. Wood often signed the backing card and as that was then covered by the backing paper, he signed that too. In fact, there has been an ongoing project to ‘decode’ the strange amalgamation of letters that he often included along with his signature (this can be seen on the backing paper of this miniature as DJLE).

The lady is indeed later – her costume dating to the early 1840s – and is not painted in Wood’s distinctive, widely hatched technique.

I hope this clears up the mystery!

Emma Rutherford

Consultant, portrait miniatures