Wax portrait miniatures made of coloured wax, are far less common than those painted on ivory. This one is by Alfred Joseph Stothard (27 August 1793-1864), the son of a painter, who mainly produced medals and portrait medallions from wax portraits, then cast them in bronze, and which were widely admired. He became medal engraver to Queen Victoria in 1839, but in his final years produced little. He also designed a small number of monuments, some with portraits in the form of medallions. Many examples of his medals can be seen on the internet. However, this being a wax portrait is quite a rare example of his work, especially in having his trade label still on the reverse. His signature is carved into the wax below the bust, the usual place for artists to sign wax miniatures.
He married Sophia Pinheiro on 19 October, 1820 at Old Church, St Pancras, London. Alfred Joseph Stothard was the sixth son of Thomas Stothard the portrait painter and his wife nee Rebecca Watkins. Sophia Pinheiro was born in 1796, the daughter of Joseph and Susanna Pinheiro, and baptised on 18 September 1796 at St. Mary Whitechapel at Stepney in London. She died at Islington in London in 1850. He died on 6 October 1864 in London aged 76 years.
Their children were: Susanna Stothard. She was born in 1821. Rebecca Jane Stothard, born on 13 February 1823, and baptised at St. Pancras Old Church on 15 April 1823. Sophia Sarah Stothard, born on 15 April 1826 at Somers Town in London, and baptised at St. Pancras Old Church on 17 November 1829. Having trained at the Home and Colonial School in London, she became a noted teacher and educationalist. She died in 1901 at Auckland in New Zealand. Maria C. Stothard. She was born in 1832. She was possibly the Mary Stothard recorded in the 1861 Census Return as single, born in London , and working as a schoolmistress at the Central London District School at Hanwell in Middlesex. Phoebe Stothard. She was born in 1834, and died in 1853 aged nineteen years at Ratcliffe Row in London. She was buried on 25 January 1853, the service being held at St. Luke's church, Old Street in London. Arthur Stothard was born in 1836 at Islington in London. He married Emma Sarah Comley (or Comely) in January 1858 at St. John the Evangelist church,Islington. She was born on 16 November 1823, the daughter of George William Comley and his wife nee Priscilla Abree, and baptised on 5 February 1824 at the church of St. Botolph without Aldgate in London. In 1861 Arthur Stothard was employed as a time keeper in an optician's factory. Thomas Stothard was born in 1839 at Islington in London. He entered the teaching profession, and taught in elementary schools at a variety of locations in England until his eyesight failed in the 1890s. He died in Wiltshire in 1909 aged 70 years.
Alfred Joseph Stothard was a sculptor but pre-eminently an engraver. He became medal engraver to King George IV and notably to Queen Victoria. In 1841 and 1851 the family were living at 34 Upper Park Street, Islington in London. For the 1841 census he and Sophia had seven children at home, the eldest three all given as aged 15, Sussannaa, Rebecca, and Sophia, but that means they were all over 15, rather than triplets. In the 1851 census he was living with Sophia in London at 34 Upper Park Street, Islington, with their last two daughters, Maria, 19 and Phoebe, 17, both employed as fancy workers. Also two sons Arthur, 15 and Thomas 12, a scholar. His neighbours each seem to have had a servant, but he and Sophia did not, so presumably were not well off. For the next 1861 census he was s he was living alone in Sheffield as a lodger. Thus it appears his family had scattered. 1488