A miniature of Charles I from the Richard Allen collection, offered at Halls with an estimate of £1500-2500.

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He developed a passion for the subject across a long career; first at Sotheby’s, then in his native Shropshire as a director of Halls.

A career high was advising the collector Charles Fleischmann III on his extensive collection of miniatures, which now resides in the Cincinnati Art Museum. However, tragedy struck soon after Allen stood down as fine art director at Halls, and he died in a motorcycle accident near his home in 2006.

Over the decades Allen had built his own extensive collection.

In 2014, Bonhams sold the majority in a dedicated sale in Knightsbridge. Now 29 miniatures, collectively valued at £30,000, have been consigned to Halls on October 18.

Picture specialist James Forster said the collection is the best he has ever sold.

Offered at £1500-2500 is an ink on vellum miniature of Charles I in an ermine-trimmed cloak with the collar of the Order of St George, by Dutch artist John Faber (1650-1721). It is thought to be based on a portrait which was completed as Charles I sat for his trial in Westminster Hall on January 23, 1648.

Elsewhere, a pair of later watercolour on ivory miniatures portraying husband and wife, George and Elizabeth Durance, by the Welsh portrait painter John Downman (1750-1824), are estimated at £5000-7000.

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