Corden, William - portrait of Thomas Tatlow

This miniature portrait is painted on a porcelain plaque by William Corden (1797-1867). As such it is a rare example of this type of miniature, as most British miniature portraits were painted on ivory, with a few painted on other materials including on paper, card, or enamel on copper. In America they were also painted on milk glass, but I have not yet seen a British miniature on glass.

Even rarer are British miniatures painted on marble or on porcelain. There are two on marble in the collection, painted by Thomas Heathfield Carrick (1802-1875) and one on porcelain by Michael Kean (1761-1823).

Portraits by Corden do come on the market from time to time; one of Harriet Boutflower dated 1822 sold for £700 in March 2010 and a lovely 1823 pair was advertised for sale for $9000 in April 2010. The technique involves painting the image, glazing it, and then firing in a kiln.

William Corden the Elder (21 January 1795 - 18 June 1867) was an English portrait painter and miniaturist known for his commissions from the Royal Family in the mid nineteenth century. William Corden was born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire on the 21 January 1795, the son of Robert Corden and his wife Sarah. He was apprenticed at the Royal Crown Derby pottery under Robert Bloor and is reputed to have been among the painters decorating the famous Rockingham Pottery dessert service made for William IV, which was first used at Queen Victoria's coronation celebrations. He married Esther Simpson in Derby on the 25 September 1816; he rented an artist's studio at 51 Oxford Street, London and exhibited at the Royal Academy. By 1831, William had moved his family to Windsor living first at 17, Brunswick Terrace, New Windsor and then Vine Cottage in Old Windsor. William and Esther had nine children, eight born in Derby and the last in Windsor including William (1819–1900) known as William Corden the Younger who followed in his father's footsteps as a portrait painter. William Corden the Elder painted an oil portrait in 1829 of Sir Edmund Nagle (1757–1830) for George IV and a watercolour of Queen Victoria on the East Terrace at Windsor Castle in 1838, one of the earliest paintings of Queen Victoria; both of these paintings are in the Royal Collection. In 1844 William accepted a commission from Prince Albert to travel to Coburg to paint full size reproductions of family portraits there and took his son William with him to assist. There are over 50 paintings by William Corden listed in the Royal Collection, but it is not always evident which were painted by the father and which by the son. Esther died in Windsor in 1855 and William moved back to the midlands. He married Betsy Wood Mannin at Radford, Nottingham in 1859 and they lived at Arkwright Street, Nottingham. William died in Nottingham on the 18th June 1867 age 72.

The sitter is also interesting as he is Thomas Tatlow (24 Sept 1783->1825). Thomas Tatlow is thought to have married Amy Sherwin on 15 June 1795 at Longford, Derby. His parents were probably Thomas Tatlow and Alice Hitchcock who were married on 22 October 1778.

The Old Seven Stars, a pub by St Mary's Bridge on the Nottingham Road, also described as at 21 Mansfield road was run for some 20 years, until 1835, by Thomas Tatlow, also a Derby china painter specialising in flowers and fish. Tatlow was succeeded at the pub by his colleague, William Hill, another painter, although not known to have been related to the more celebrated "Jockey" Hill. Tatlow's brother Joseph Tatlow was also a Derby porcelain painter.

An example of a plate painted by Thomas Tatlow is; "A Derby plate, the centre painted, by Thomas Tatlow, with a named fish laid on a bed of grasses, ferns and reeds, the broad gilt Regency border with anthemia and classical leaf scrolls, 8[3/4]in (22.5cm) diam, crown, crossed batons, dots, D and title 'Crujin' in red, c1815".

Tatlow was a keen fisherman, especially for pike, it being reported; "These fish afford good diversion to the angler being bold biters. For trolling the rod should be from twelve to fourteen feet long. The best baits are gudgeons or dace of a middling size, the bait should never be thrown too far. Pike are to be allured by a large bait, but a small one is more certain to take them. Mr Thomas Tatlow, landlord of the Old Seven Stars Inn Derby has a particular method of trolling for pike and he has caught several upwards of 20lbs each, and we are told they have been taken in the Derwent and Trent 36lbs. Length two to three feet, and upwards."

Another example painted by Tatlow is; "A Derby 'named fish' tureen, cover and stand, of compressed circular two-handled form, on spreading foot, the domed cover with foliate loop handle, painted against a white ground, by Thomas Tatlow, with 'A Russ', 'A Roach', 'A Loach' and 'A Dace Or Dare', each on a bed of ferns, grasses and reeds on a river bank, vignetted on a ground of gilt Regency scrollwork, gilt line borders, stand 8in (20.75cm) diam, tureen and cover 6in (15cm) high, 7in (17.75cm) over handles, crown, crossed batons, dots and D in red, titles in red, gilder's numeral 4 in puce, also gilder's numeral 36 in red, c.1815." 1381

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