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Sarah Biffin Sold at Auction Prices

Miniature painter, Water color painter

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    • Sarah W. Biffin (1784 - 1850), half-length oval portrait of a lady with flowers in her hair and wearing a large gold necklace, unsigned, watercolour, sealed in the frame but believed to be labelled verso 'Original Works of Miss S. Biffin. Born...
      Sep. 28, 2023

      Sarah W. Biffin (1784 - 1850), half-length oval portrait of a lady with flowers in her hair and wearing a large gold necklace, unsigned, watercolour, sealed in the frame but believed to be labelled verso 'Original Works of Miss S. Biffin. Born...

      Est: £2,000 - £3,000

      Sarah W. Biffin (1784 - 1850), half-length oval portrait of a lady with flowers in her hair and wearing a large gold necklace, unsigned, watercolour, sealed in the frame but believed to be labelled verso 'Original Works of Miss S. Biffin. Born without hands or arms, 18.5 x 15 cm, frame 37 x 30.5 cm

      Dawsons Auctioneers
    • Portrait of a young lady 'La Soeur de Didon'
      Jul. 06, 2023

      Portrait of a young lady 'La Soeur de Didon'

      Est: £3,000 - £5,000

      Sarah Biffin Quantoxhead 1784 - Liverpool 1850 Portrait of a young lady 'La Soeur de Didon' Watercolour over pencil; signed, inscribed and dated lower centre: Drawn by Miss Biffin 1844 / without hands / La Soeur de Didon 217 by 180 mm

      Sotheby's
    • Self-portrait
      Jul. 05, 2023

      Self-portrait

      Est: £12,000 - £18,000

      Sarah Biffin Quantoxhead 1784 - Liverpool 1850 Self-portrait  Watercolour and bodycolour, heightened with gum arabic on card  175 by 135 mm

      Sotheby's
    • BEFFIN, Sarah (1784 – 1850). Three Portraits of Armless Art...
      Feb. 25, 2023

      BEFFIN, Sarah (1784 – 1850). Three Portraits of Armless Art...

      Est: $2,000 - $4,000

      BEFFIN, Sarah (1784 – 1850). THREE PORTRAITS OF ARMLESS ARTIST SARAH BEFFIN. London: Darton and Clarke, ca. 1820 [et al]. A triptych of three consecutive states of the well-known lithographed portrait of Biffen, the limb-deficient British artist, being a half-length front facing pose bedecked in a robe and fancy hat with feather adornment. The largest (sight) 12 x 8 ½”. Framed and matted to an overall size of 19 x 34 ½”. See Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women, pp. 66-67. Not examined out of frame. “Born without hands, feet, or legs, Miss Beffin supported herself by her artistic talent. She painted landscapes, portraits, and miniatures, some done on fine china. … [This display is of] three states (proof with pencil corrections, proof without letters, and final copy) of a lithograph by R.J. Stothard, taken from the original gouache self-portrait done by Miss Beffin … It is interesting that the states are progressively less flattering but more realistic. One imagines Miss Beffin requesting a more honest interpretation.” (Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women, pp. 64 - 67.)

      Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
    • Sarah Biffin (1784-1850)
      Dec. 15, 2021

      Sarah Biffin (1784-1850)

      Est: £3,000 - £5,000

      Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) Study of feathers inscribed in pen 'Drawn by Miss Biffin, 6th August 1812', watercolour 10.3 x 12cm; together with a handbill advertising her as an attraction 'During The Races', describing her as 'born deficient of arms and legs, she is of comely appearance, twenty-eight years of age, and is only thirty-seven inches high'. Provenance: The Peter and Pat Crofts Collection. Sarah Biffin was born in Somerset with no arms and only vestigial legs. She was apprenticed to a man called Dukes who exhibited her as an attraction throughout England. The Society of Arts awarded her a medal in 1821 and the Royal Academy accepted her work. She is thought to have had the condition phocomelia, but taught herself to write and paint, holding the pen or brush between her teeth. She has come to greater prominence in recent years, although the majority of her paintings that have emerged at auction have been portraits. The Earl of Marton died in 1827 leaving her without a noble sponsor, which caused her financial difficulties. Queen Victoria later awarded her a Civil List pension whereupon she retired to Liverpool and later married. Three similar works sold at Sotheby's this year: one also dated 1812 - 7 July 2021, lot 11, and two further smaller examples - 27 October 2021, lots 65 and 66.

      Sworders
    • Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850)
      Dec. 09, 2020

      Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850)

      Est: £500 - £800

      Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) Portrait miniature of a lady, in a puce dress inscribed to the reverse 'Painted by Miss Biffin / Born without hands / Liverpool / 1846' watercolour on ivory 9.5 x 7cm Footnote: Sarah Biffin was born without arms or vestigial legs and was only 94 cm high. At a young age she was contracted under the service of a showman named Emmanuel Dukes, who presented her at fairs and sideshows as an attraction. Mr Dukes taught Miss Biffin how to paint, holding the paintbrush in her mouth, originally in order to increase her appeal for the public who came to watch her. However, she soon became a talented artist, and a demand grew for her work, which initially consisted of mainly landscapes and portrait miniatures. During her appearance at St. Bartholomew’s Fair in 1808, the Earl of Morton paid Miss Biffin a visit. He was so impressed with her skill at draughtsmanship that he sponsored Sarah and arranged private lessons for her by the Royal Academy painter, William Craig. Her popularity grew and she was accepted into the Royal Academy and awarded a medal by The Society of Artists in 1821. She was commissioned by the Royal Family to produce their portraits in miniature, including Queen Victoria. She was even mentioned by Charles Dickens in Nicholas Nickleby and Martin Chuzzlewit. After her patron the Earl of Morton passed away, Queen Victoria awarded her a civil pension, and she retired to Liverpool.

      Cheffins
    • SELF PAINTED PORTRAIT BY SARAH BIFFIN
      Oct. 13, 2020

      SELF PAINTED PORTRAIT BY SARAH BIFFIN

      Est: $4,000 - $6,000

      Self Painted Portrait by Sarah Biffin, (English, 1784-1850). Miss Sarah Wright Biffin is a well known miniature portrait artist born without arms or legs. She was originally instructed by an artist named Duke, and then further instructed byWolf Craig. She was commissioned by the Royal Family and Nobility, including Kings George III, George IV, William IV, Queen Victoria, and the King of Holland. Information on artist on verso, along with partial newspaper articles on Biffin,and a gallery label R. Jackson & Sons Print Sellers, Liverpool. Size: Frame: 15.5" H x 13.5" W. (NHJ NN)

      Ashcroft and Moore
    • SARAH WRIGHT BIFFIN (ENGLISH, 1784-1850) ORNITHOLOGICAL PAINTING
      Jun. 26, 2020

      SARAH WRIGHT BIFFIN (ENGLISH, 1784-1850) ORNITHOLOGICAL PAINTING

      Est: $100 - $200

      SARAH WRIGHT BIFFIN (ENGLISH, 1784-1850) ORNITHOLOGICAL PAINTING, watercolor and ink on paper, depicting a bird of prey overtop of its kill, inscribed "Drawn and written by Miss Biffin 1844 / without hands". Housed in a period frame.

      Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
    • Sarah Biffen (British, 1784-1850) Portrait of Miss Ada Lovelace, three-quarter length signed lower centre "by Sarah Biffen without ....
      Mar. 10, 2016

      Sarah Biffen (British, 1784-1850) Portrait of Miss Ada Lovelace, three-quarter length signed lower centre "by Sarah Biffen without ....

      Est: £500 - £800

      Sarah Biffen (British, 1784-1850) Portrait of Miss Ada Lovelace, three-quarter length signed lower centre "by Sarah Biffen without ... 1842" sepia watercolour on buff paper, oval h:22 w:17 cm Other Notes: Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was a British mathematician and writer who is considered to be the first computer programmer, due to her work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. She was the daughter of poet Lord Byron - the only child he had with his wife Anne Isabella Milbanke, Baroness Wentworth. She was raised by her mother after her parents separated and Lord Byron left England, dying when his daughter was eight years old. She married Lord William King in 1835; King was made Earl of Lovelace in 1838, and Ada thus became Lady Lovelace. Due to her heritage, she became somewhat famous in society and often appeared at Court and high society events, but she had a brilliant mind and was interested in the sciences and mathematics from an early age. She became close acquaintances with Mary Somerville, a Scottish science writer and polymath (at a time when females were discouraged from working in scientific fields), and it was Mary who introduced her to Charles Babbage. Babbage dubbed her "The Enchantress of Numbers". She met him in 1833 when he had been building his Analytical Engine - a machine designed to make automatic calculations. Using her own ideas, Ada created a punch card system to make the Engine function and their partnership is generally regarded as the foundation of the computation systems of the future.

      Cheffins
    • Sarah Biffen (British, 1784-1850) Portrait of a dark haired gentleman, pointing to the right signed and dated lower left "S Biffin 1...
      Mar. 10, 2016

      Sarah Biffen (British, 1784-1850) Portrait of a dark haired gentleman, pointing to the right signed and dated lower left "S Biffin 1...

      Est: £400 - £600

      Sarah Biffen (British, 1784-1850) Portrait of a dark haired gentleman, pointing to the right signed and dated lower left "S Biffin 1822" and inscribed to the reverse "Miss Biffen without hands 1822" watercolour, in a red leather case h:9 w:8 cm Other Notes: Sarah Biffen was born without arms or vestigial legs and was only 94cm high. At a young age she was contracted under the service of a showman named Emmanuel Dukes, who presented her at fairs and sideshows as an attraction. Mr Dukes taught Miss Biffen how to paint, holding the paintbrush in her mouth, originally in order to increase her appeal for the public who came to watch her. However, she soon became a talented artist, and a demand grew for her work, which initially consisted of mainly landscapes and portrait miniatures. During her appearance at St. Bartholomew's Fair in 1808, the Earl of Morton paid Miss Biffen a visit. He was so impressed with her skill at draughtsmanship that he sponsored Sarah and arranged private lessons for her by the Royal Academy painter, William Craig. Her popularity grew and she was accepted into the Royal Academy and awarded a medal by The Society of Artists in 1821. She was comissioned by the Royal Family to produce their portraits in miniature, including Queen Victoria. She was even mentioned by Charles Dickens in Nicholas Nickleby and Martin Chuzzlewit. After her patron the Earl of Morton passed away, Queen Victoria awarded her a civil pension, and she retired to Liverpool.

      Cheffins
    • Sarah Biffen (British, 1784-1850), PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN, 1815-1819, sight 15.5" x 13" - 39.4 x 33 cm.
      Apr. 29, 2014

      Sarah Biffen (British, 1784-1850), PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN, 1815-1819, sight 15.5" x 13" - 39.4 x 33 cm.

      Est: $800 - $1,200

      SARAH BIFFEN (BRITISH, 1784-1850)PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN, 1815-1819gouache on paper in modern frame, sight 15.5" x 13" - 39.4 x 33 cm.Note:'Miss. Biffen' (Beffin, Biffin) was born with no arms and only vestigial legs. In spite of her handicap she learned to write, do needlework and eventually paint which she did on display as a curiosity.

      Waddington's
    • Attributed to Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850)
      May. 30, 2013

      Attributed to Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850)

      Est: -

      A pair of miniatures portraying Evelyn Boscawen (1819-1889), 6th Viscount Falmouth and his wife, Mary Frances Elizabeth Stapleton (d.1891), Baroness le Despenser: the former, wearing black coat and waistcoat, white chemise and black tied stock; the latter, wearing dress over white chemise with lace collar, forget-me-nots at her bodice, her centrally parted hair upswept, the back plaited into a knot and interwoven with a strand of pearls (the latter cracked). Gilt-metal frames with pierced foliate borders and monogram crestings AA and MLAD (respectively) beneath the Viscount's coronet of six pearls, the reverse of each engraved ASPREY. 166 BOND ST & 22 ALBEMARLE ST. Rectangular, 108mm (4 1/4in) high (2)

      Bonhams
    • Mrs. Wright (a.k.a. Sarah Biffin) (British,
      Jan. 26, 2012

      Mrs. Wright (a.k.a. Sarah Biffin) (British,

      Est: £80 - £120

      Mrs. Wright (a.k.a. Sarah Biffin) (British, 1784-1850) Still life of fruit with a butterfly Watercolour Inscribed 'Drawn by Mrs Wright without hands 1831' lower centre 21cm x 15.5cm

      Dreweatts 1759
    • Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) A Lady, wearing dress with lace trim, gold, ruby, emerald and pearl jewels at her waist, corsage and sleeves, a bracelet on her left wrist, rings on the middle fingers of both hands, she holds a closed fan in
      Nov. 24, 2010

      Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) A Lady, wearing dress with lace trim, gold, ruby, emerald and pearl jewels at her waist, corsage and sleeves, a bracelet on her left wrist, rings on the middle fingers of both hands, she holds a closed fan in

      Est: £500 - £700

      A Lady, wearing dress with lace trim, gold, ruby, emerald and pearl jewels at her waist, corsage and sleeves, a bracelet on her left wrist, rings on the middle fingers of both hands, she holds a closed fan in her right hand, her hair in loose ringlets. Watercolour on paper, signed on the obverse and dated by Miss Biffin without/ 1842, brass frame. Oval, 224mm (8 13/16in) high

      Bonhams
    • Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) A Lady, seated in a red upholstered chair, wearing grey dress with gold belt buckle, elaborate white lace veil about her head and tied beneath her chin with a wide white ribbon, mauve mantle and handkerchief in
      Nov. 25, 2009

      Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) A Lady, seated in a red upholstered chair, wearing grey dress with gold belt buckle, elaborate white lace veil about her head and tied beneath her chin with a wide white ribbon, mauve mantle and handkerchief in

      Est: £1,500 - £2,500

      A Lady, seated in a red upholstered chair, wearing grey dress with gold belt buckle, elaborate white lace veil about her head and tied beneath her chin with a wide white ribbon, mauve mantle and handkerchief in her left hand. Signed on the reverse and dated Liverpool 1847/ Painted by Miss Biffin/ Artist without hands, gilt-metal frame with ormolu slip. Rectangular, 154mm (6 1/16in) high Provenance: Christie's, 6 July 1975, lot 47 Exhibited: Portrait Miniatures from the Merchiston Collection, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 23 September – 11 December 2005, no.75 Literature: Daphne Foskett, 'Rediscovering 19th Century Portrait Miniatures' Antique Dealer and Collector's Guide, May 1984 Stephen Lloyd, Exhibition Catalogue, 2005, p.81

      Bonhams
    • Miss Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) 'MISS ELLISON NEE
      Sep. 22, 2009

      Miss Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) 'MISS ELLISON NEE

      Est: £700 - £1,000

      Miss Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) 'MISS ELLISON NEE JUNE PRIESTLY DIED AT ASHTON-U-LYNE SEPT 30 1849 AGED 56', watercolour, inscribed verso, with sitter's name and 'Painted by Miss Biffin without hands, 1819', 7.4cm x 5.8cm Sarah Biffin was born in Quantoxhead nr. Bridgwater, without hands, arms or feet. She stood only 37 inches tall. She showed an early aptitude for art and taught herself to paint using her mouth to hold the brush. She entered into a written agreement with a Mr Dukes to tour the country, exhibited as a freak and genius. For this she was paid £5 per year and her keep. The public paid 1/- or 6d to see her and she painted miniatures at three guineas each, although she received no extra payment for this. After her tuition she received patronage from George III, George IV, William IV, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In 1824 she married a Mr Wright, who deserted her taking what money she had. By 1846 she was in failing health and very reduced circumstances. A number of notable figures, including the Queen Dowager and the Duchess of Kent, raised a subscription for her, allowing her to live in reasonable comfort. She died in Liverpool on 2nd October, 1850

      Sworders
    • Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) A Lady, seated in a crimson upholstered chair, wearing white dress with lace collar, pendent pearls at her shoulder, rose at her corsage, pearl bracelet and gauze veil in her dark hair, worn in ringlets and
      May. 20, 2009

      Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) A Lady, seated in a crimson upholstered chair, wearing white dress with lace collar, pendent pearls at her shoulder, rose at her corsage, pearl bracelet and gauze veil in her dark hair, worn in ringlets and

      Est: £1,000 - £1,500

      A Lady, seated in a crimson upholstered chair, wearing white dress with lace collar, pendent pearls at her shoulder, rose at her corsage, pearl bracelet and gauze veil in her dark hair, worn in ringlets and plaited bun, she rests her right elbow on a musical manuscript, green curtain and open window background. Signed on the reverse and dated Painted by Miss Biffin/ Miniature Painter,/ Born without hands/ Liverpool 1848, black wood frame with gilded borders. Rectangular, 110mm (4 5/16in) high

      Bonhams
    • Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of Great Britain (1837-1901), wearing white dress with lace trim and large cuffs, blue sash of the Order of the Garter, black lace shawl, diamond diadem, matching pendent earrings and
      Nov. 19, 2008

      Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of Great Britain (1837-1901), wearing white dress with lace trim and large cuffs, blue sash of the Order of the Garter, black lace shawl, diamond diadem, matching pendent earrings and

      Est: £800 - £1,200

      Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of Great Britain (1837-1901), wearing white dress with lace trim and large cuffs, blue sash of the Order of the Garter, black lace shawl, diamond diadem, matching pendent earrings and white gloves, she holds in her hand a handkerchief and posy of flowers, an open book, closed fan and ermine robe on the front of the Royal Box, an upholstered chair bearing initials VR behind. Watercolour on paper, laid down on card on which inscribed and dated Drawn and written by Miss Biffin without hands 1848, framed. Rectangular, 326mm (12 13/16in) high

      Bonhams
    • Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) A Lady, wearing crimson dress with gold ribbon waistband and white lace collar, lace-trimmed white shawl, ruff, turban dressed with pearls, drop pearl earring and jewelled pendant
      Sep. 20, 2008

      Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850) A Lady, wearing crimson dress with gold ribbon waistband and white lace collar, lace-trimmed white shawl, ruff, turban dressed with pearls, drop pearl earring and jewelled pendant

      Est: £200 - £300

      A Lady, wearing crimson dress with gold ribbon waistband and white lace collar, lace-trimmed white shawl, ruff, turban dressed with pearls, drop pearl earring and jewelled pendant. Papier-mâché frame, labelled on reverse with sitter's name and dated 1833. Rectangular, 87mm (3 7/16in) high

      Bonhams
    • Sarah Wright Biffin (1784-1850) Portraits of Miss Geraldine Steinforth and Anne Francis Foothead
      Oct. 25, 2007

      Sarah Wright Biffin (1784-1850) Portraits of Miss Geraldine Steinforth and Anne Francis Foothead

      Est: £400 - £600

      Sarah Wright Biffin (1784-1850) two watercolours Portraits of Miss Geraldine Steinforth and Anne Francis Foothead both signed and inscribed

      Gorringes
    • Sarah Biffen (1784-1850) Portraits of Anne Frances Foothead & Miss Mary Steinforth 9 x 7in.
      Jun. 14, 2007

      Sarah Biffen (1784-1850) Portraits of Anne Frances Foothead & Miss Mary Steinforth 9 x 7in.

      Est: £300 - £500

      Sarah Biffen (1784-1850) pair of watercolours Portraits of Anne Frances Foothead & Miss Mary Steinforth signed and dated 1841/1848 9 x 7in.

      Gorringes
    • Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850)
      Jun. 28, 2005

      Miss Sarah Biffin (British, 1784-1850)

      Est: -

      A young Girl, standing, wearing white dress and pantaloons, black shoes and a coral necklace, a basket of flowers in her hand, her bonnet on the ground, she points to a stream, mountainous landscape beyond signed in pencil on reverse, Biffin, veneered wood frame Rectangular, 130mm. (5 1/8ins.) high

      Bonhams
    • Mrs. Wright (née Sarah Biffin) (British, 1784-1850)
      Feb. 03, 2004

      Mrs. Wright (née Sarah Biffin) (British, 1784-1850)

      Est: €300 - €500

      A Lady, wearing white dress adorned with gold and green stone trim, matching earring and tiara watercolour on paper, signed on obverse by Mrs. Wright without arms, gilded composition frame Oval, 182mm. (7 1/4ins.) high

      Bonhams
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