Allan Ramsay’s pair of half-length profile portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte, £62,000 at Lyon & Turnbull.

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Samuel Johnson reflected that there was no man “in whose conversation there is more instruction, more information, and more elegance, than in Ramsay’s”.

Ramsay had befriended a young Prince of Wales in 1757 with a portrait deemed so life-like and accurate that a life-long association developed.

After George’s 1761 Coronation he engaged Ramsay’s services as ‘One of his Majesty’s Painters in Ordinary’.

This pair of 3ft x 2ft 1in (91 x 64cm) pendant portraits was commissioned in c.1761 for use in designing coinage for the British Empire. Only three versions are known.

George is presented in dignified regal splendor wearing the star and ribbon of the Garter, his hand placed inside his gold-embroidered jacket. Queen Charlotte is equally refined in scarlet, draped in lace and pearls. Newly arrived from Germany, she rests her arm on the second volume of David Hume’s 1757 History of Britain, assuring her subjects of her preparedness for the British crown.

Among the earlier, more traditional pictures included in Lyon & Turnbull’s Scottish art sale on December 7, the pair sold some distance above hopes at £62,000 (estimate £25,000-35,000).