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Lot 581Sunday 10 Apr, 2022 - 10.00am
Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) - Miniature - Portrait of "Aunt Ames, Music Teacher", inscribed "Painted by Miss Biffin without hands. 1844", 9ins x 7ins, in early rosewood frame, with gilt slip and glazed
Provenance: By family descent to the current vendor. The sitter, Aunt Ames, was probably a sister of Lady Codrington.
Note: Sarah Biffin was born without arms, hands or feet, but despite this severe disability, taught herself to paint by holding a brush between her teeth. As a young girl she toured the country with a travelling showman who exhibited her as a freak and genius. At the age of around 30 years she was released from her contract to him, and, sponsored by the Earl of Morton, was able to become an independent painter of miniature portraits.