I've developed quite a weakness for 19th. c. miniature portraits, but it's rare in my experience to come across one depicting a whole family, as I believe is the case here--the parents at right and their three daughters at right. It immediately makes me think of early 19th c. novels a la Jane Austen, which swirl around the complex rituals of finding appropriate matches for eligible young women--an so I immediately empathize with these three, imagining them being much in the midst of trying to reconcile themselves and their own desires with those of their parents and society! And of course I love how the dark-haired sister at far left looks out to meet our gaze...as if to announce very clearly she has plans of her own!
The watercolor portrait is signed along the right edge "Wil Bone," I believe identifying the painter as William Bone, a highly regarded British portraitist active from 1815 to the mid 1840s. The fourth son of Henry Bone (1755 – 1834), enamel painter, William Bone was taught enamel painting by his father. He exhibited at the Royal Academy 1815 – 43 and from 1842 styled himself Miniature Painter to the King of Hanover. Several portraits of his are held in the Royal Collection of England. This painting is dated 184_, with the final year a bit difficult to read.
8 3/8" x 6 5/8" framed (as found); sight: 5 11/16" x 4". Both painting and frame are in very good condition. I purchased this piece from a Maine-based dealer, who held it in their personal collection for many years.