St Agnes Museum is deeply honoured to have been lent this beautiful miniature of Mary Bunn, first wife of John Opie, “The Cornish Wonder”, painted in 1794, by Truro born Henry Bone RA (1755-1834). Arguably the greatest enamel painter of all time, he became the official royal enamelist to George III, George IV and William IV. It is believed that, for this miniature, he copied a painting of Mary by John Opie which has since been lost. Mary and John later divorced.
The miniature is displayed in the Museum’s Opie cabinet alongside a superb John Opie self-portrait, his palette and paintbox, and four works by his great nephew, Edward Opie.
Bought on eBay for the Museum, after a very tense final few moments, a WWII Defence Medal, awarded to Mrs Philadelphia Snell of Trenethick Cottage, Mount Hawke. It is especially good to have a medal awarded to a woman and also one from Mount Hawke.
The Museum already has a lovely collection of paraphernalia of Gordon Snell, Philadelphia’s husband, which was given to the Museum in 1994. There is a letter between Gordon and Philadelphia before their marriage, several driver passes from Carlyon Haulage of Mount Hawke, issued during WWII, other papers, and a photo of Gordon and Philadelphia in their later years.
The medal comes with its box sent OHMS.
We hope to learn what Philadelphia did during WWII to be awarded her Defence Medal.