Lot 2
  • 2

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S.

10,000 - 15,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S.
  • Study of Anne Pollen for King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid
  • signed with initials, inscribed and dated l.r.: From EBJ 1880
  • pencil
  • 27 by 22cm., 10½ by 8½in.


By descent from the sitter’s brother, Arthur Hungerford Pollen

Catalogue Note

In 1880 Burne-Jones made at least two drawings of Anne Gertrude Mary Pollen (15 November 1856-27 November 1934), daughter of his friends Minnie and John Hungerford Pollen (see previous lot). One was a profile portrait (a print of which is sold with the present drawing) whilst the other was made as a study for one of Burne-Jones’ most famous pictures, King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid (Tate). In a diary entry of 14 June 1880, Anne wrote; ‘to Fulham to the Burne-Jones’. Mrs B.J. just gone out. He was very nice. Wanted us to stay and dine with them… Mr B.J. wants me to sit to him for a head in a Florentine picture, whereat I am honoured’ and four days later ‘I to Mr Burne-Jones to sit to him; he made a profile drawing – says I shall be a ‘useful’ face to him if I will condescend to sit. I am to be the beggarmaid in a King Cophetua picture. Mrs Burne-Jones read us some funny Indian Fairy Tales, then went away, and I and Mr B.J. had some talk about “the world and its influences”’. The present drawing is referred to on 22 June ‘I was dropped at ‘The Grange’, where I sat to Mr B.J. for a full-face drawing, before and after lunch. I am to come again and be painted into the big picture.’

Coincidentally, in 1925 Walter Hungerford Pollen (nephew of Anne) married Rosalind Benson, whose family owned a watercolour version of King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid (Birmingham City Art Gallery).  The Arts and Crafts designer William Arthur Smith Benson had made the crown featured in the painting and was the model for the king.