Annapolis Heritage Society | Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

The Painted Room Interpretive Tour

Portrait of an Officer

The most mysterious image in the painted room is the portrait of the officer. His uniform seems to be a combination of many types found during the 18th and 19th centuries. The plot thickens when we realize that the battalions located in Annapolis Royal were Foot Regiments; this officer’s uniform suggests a strong similarity to that of a cavalry soldier in the 5th Princess Charlotte of Wales Dragoon Guards from 1799. Some people speculate that the officer is an early image of Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria, but he never sported this hair style known as the ‘Beau Brummell.’ { Brummell (1778 – 1840) was an important figure of fashion in Regency England.} Also, the moustache and the ‘soul patch’ under our officer’s lower lip would have been more popular in 19th century continental Europe than in England.

Frame only – Sir Peter Lely

The frame around our image is unusual because the right and left sides are not the same. This difference leads one to question whether there may be another image underneath the officer.

The style of the frame is similar to English ‘Sunderland frames’, very popular from the 17th century onwards. They were shallow and flat frames with many curves to compliment the flock wallpaper, hair styles, and drapery of the period. The blond gold leaf on the frames accentuated the skin tones of the figures in the paintings.