This miniature portrait of an unknown sitter is clearly signed "Hy D Thielcke 1834" for Henry Daniel Thielcke (Henry Thielke, Henry Thielche) (16 Nov 1788-1874).
He was born in England and is believed to have moved to Canada around 1830, as his daughter Mary Elizabeth Thielcke was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 12 Jan 1827 and his son Henry Richard Thielcke was born in Canada in 1832.
Henry Thielcke was born in Westminster, London, England on 16 November, 1788 the son of Johann Daniel Frederick Thielcke and Anna Elizabeth. Johann Thielcke of Queen's House was a member of the United Company of Merchants of England, who were trading to the East Indies in 1815.
Anna Elizabeth is believed to be the Anna Elizabeth Eleanora von Hertzberg from a very old German family recorded as marrying a man named Thielcke. See http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=DESC&db=jrdus&id=I4158
His elder brother
Henry had an elder brother, Frederick Thielcke who was christened at Westminster in London on 16 Feb 1783 and was married in London on 7 Mar 1812 to Mary Esther Smith. He was also a merchant and his company was named Fred Thielcke and Co. In 1818 there is a reference to Fred Thielcke & Co of London, supplying an anchor to a Captain Swann.
Frederick and Mary Thielcke had a daughter Elizabeth Thielcke who was born in Southwark, London on 25 Feb 1813 and died in 1879. They lived in Ryan House Twickenham, see The Twickenham Museum : Ryan House Their daughter Elizabeth married Wadsworth Dawson Busk (c1804-1873) on 11 Oct 1834 at the British Chaplaincy, Saint Petersburg, Russia. They had a son Wadsworth Busk born in Russia on 19 Dec 1835.
Wadsworth and Elizabeth Thielcke Busk also had a daughter Mary Martha Busk, who married a William Lidderdale who had joined the Russia merchants Heath and Co, headed by one of his guardians, although nothing is known of his time with them. Lidderdale eventually joined Rathbone Bros, the long established Liverpool merchant house, in whose New York agency he worked from 1857 to 1863. In 1864 he became a partner in Rathbones and was responsible for establishing their London House.
In 1870 William Lidderdale became a director at the Bank of England, of which he was made Deputy Governor in 1887 and was Governor from 1889 to 1892 (being the first Governor to have his period at office extended to a third year). The crowning event of his life was his bold and effective handling of the Baring Crisis in 1890, following which (after refusing a baronetcy) he was appointed to Her Majesty's Privy Council and given the freedom of the City of London on May 6, 1891. A good account of this crisis is given by Sir John Clapham in his Official History of the Bank of England, Volume II beginning on page 326. Accounts of his career are to be found in the D.N.B. and, more informatively, in the Dictionary of Business Biography, published by the London School of Economics in 1985. In the last ten years of his life, William Lidderdale suffered severe financial losses, possibly connected with the affairs of Rathbones, of whom he remained a partner until 1897.
Thus the Thielcke family was well connected.
Works by Henry Daniel Thielcke
However, back to Henry Thielcke who entered the Royal Academy Schools on 4 Jan 1806 aged 17 and obtained a silver medal in 1807. He exhibited at the RA and BI 1805-1816, painted historical subjects, portraits, miniatures, and executed engravings.
A miniature of HRH Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (1796-1817) signed and dated 1818 by H D Thielcke was lent to the exhibition at the South Kensington Museum in 1865 by HRH the Duke of Cambridge. This must either have been taken from an earlier portrait or finished after the Princess's death.
As of July 2008, this miniature as showing here, is offered for sale for GBP7,800 by Claudia Hill, along with the following details;
Signed: Dated signed and dated 1818
Medium: Watercolour on ivory
Dimensions: 4.50inch high (11.43 cm)
Description: H.R.H Charlotte Augusta Princess of Wales (1796-1817) seated before a red curtain and landscape background, in a blue dress and white underslip, lace bonnet tied under her chin
Exhibition History: London, South Kensington Museum, Special Exhibition of Portrait Miniatures, 1865, no. 2658 (lent by the Duke of Cambridge)
Provenance: Collection of George William Frederick Charles, 2nd Duke of Cambridge (1819-1904) in 1865. Christie’s, London 10 June 1904, lot 308
Literature: L.R. Schidlof, The Miniature in Europe, Graz, 1964, II, p. 813
- D. Foskett, A Dictionary of British Miniature Painters, London, 1972, I, p. 546
- D. Foskett, Miniatures: Dictionary and Guide, Woodbridge, 1987, p. 662
- Richard Walker, National Portrait Gallery, Regency Portraits, Vol I text, London, 1985, p. 110
Thielcke's address from 1805-1813 was Queen's House and from 1814-1816, 21 King Street, Covent Gardens. His sitters included Rev Mr Kuper, Chaplain to his Majesty; exhibited in 1807.
The fact that he painted members of the Royal Household at such an early age is perhaps explained by a reference in the diary of Lady Charlotte Bury (1775-1861) who made mention of the name Thielche in connection with a woman of the bed-chamber to Queen Charlotte and a groom of the bed-chamber to George III, having a son who painted miniatures.
It therefore seems likely his parents had emigrated to England from Germany. Variations on the name Thielcke being quite common in Prussia.
About 2 Feb 1820 Henry Daniel Thielcke married Rebecca Piercy (1801->1880) at Hitcham, Bucks, England. His place of residence after that is not clear, but is likely to have been in Edinburgh, as his daughter Mary was born in Scotland and the reference below shows he was employed there.
He possibly went to Edinburgh after his marriage, hoping to break into the market there, which included such miniature painters as William John Thomson and William Douglas.
It appears Thielcke's painting was insufficient to support him, as there is an 1828 reference to him in Edinburgh as "Clerk of the Securities" for the Board of Excise, see The Edinburgh Almanack, Or Universal Scots and Imperial Register, ... - Google Books Result
However, at present no dated miniatures by Thielcke are known from the 1820's period while he was in Edinburgh. Thus, perhaps he found the Edinburgh market more difficult than he had expected and decided to emigrate to Canada around 1830.
The British NPG has only one item by him, the engraving shown here.
It is an engraving of Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz by Henry D. Thielcke, published by Colnaghi, after Henry Edridge stipple engraving, published 2 December 1818 - 10 1/8 in. x 8 1/4 in. (258 mm x 210 mm) plate size; 13 1/8 in. x 11 1/8 in. (333 mm x 284 mm) paper size - Bequeathed by Frederick Leverton Harris, 1927.
The miniature portrait above was painted after he moved to Canada and seems to be the earliest known painting by him from his time in Canada, although another 1834 example has recently emerged in May 2008, see below.
For the 1851 census Henry Thielcke lived in Quebec City, where he was the French, German, and drawing master at Quebec High School.
Thielcke then seems to have moved from Canada to the United States, probably on his retirement around 1860, as he can be found living in Chicago in the 1870 census with his wife, Rebecca, son Henry R (born in Canada in 1832), and daughter Mary E (born in Scotland in 1827). He is then aged 82, gives his occupation as retired printer, and states assets of $12,000.
By the 1880 census he had died, but with his wife still living in Chicago with her son and daughter, and at this time, the younger Henry Thielcke gave his occupation as "real estate". However the census records seem to have the wrong place of birth for Rebecca and Mary, as they refer to Canada.
For more about Henry Thielcke, see Annual Bulletin 8, Henry D. Thielcke: A Recently Found Portrait ...
It is known Henry Thielcke painted at least one portraits while living in the United States.
See note 19: "A rare Chicago portrait by Thielcke, signed and dated 1855, was auctioned by Sotheby's, London, 27 September 1978 (lot 53)" at Annual Bulletin 8, Henry D. Thielcke: A Recently Found Portrait ...
More recently still, this large oil portrait by Thielcke was sold on eBay in May 2008 for USD 1800.
The painting measured 24.50" X 29.50" and was in a heavily ornate frame measuring approximately 33" X 38".
It is signed and dated 1834, the same year as the miniature, but is additionally inscribed "Quebec".
The same 1834 date is further proof, the miniature was also painted in Quebec, Canada.
The sitter in the miniature shown at the top is unknown.
She may be related to the lady in the oil, as the two sitters look fairly similar to one another, they both date to 1834, and are both wearing quite similar drop earrings. Possibly sisters, or mother and daughter?
However, that both sitters are wearing similar drop earrings may just be because they were fashionable at the time. 347