Portrait Elizabeth I reigns over Bonhams sale

London: A portrait miniature of Elizabeth I sold for double of its pre-sale estimate while a painting by artist John Smart during his time in India in 1794 realised 24,000 pounds at a Bonhams sale here.

The Fine Portrait Miniatures sale held realised a total of 371,000 pounds.

Elizabeth`s portrait was painted by one of the queen`s favourite miniaturists, Nicholas Hilliard, who chose to specifically concentrate on her costume and jewellery, whilst always painting her face simply and youthfully. It had a pre-sale estimate of 15,000-20,000 and sold for 40,800 pounds.

Smart`s painting was of an officer wearing a red coat.

Further highlights included a portrait miniature by Horace Hone of Sarah Siddons (1755-1825), a British actress who found fame on Drury Lane for her portrayal of Lady Macbeth and became the best known tragedienne of the 18th century. The portrait sold for 12,000 pounds against a pre-sale estimate of 6,000-8,000 pounds.

Other portrait miniatures of historical celebrities included Charles Dickens, painted in 1868 by Walter Saunders Barnard (1851-1930) two years before Dickens died and sold for 1800 pounds.

Considered to be the first English-language author to have a truly international career during his lifetime, a portrait of novelist Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) by William Bishop Ford (1832-1922) sold for 1200 pounds.