Henry BONE


Henry Bone, the internationally famous enamel painter/miniaturist, was born in Truro, Cornwall. He was the son of a cabinet maker and when his family moved to Plymouth in 1767, Henry was apprenticed to William Cookworthy, a well-known druggist. The latter mixed Cornish granite with clay to create hard-paste porcelain and founded the Plymouth China Works. Taking that forward to expand he took Bone with him to Bristol and established the Bristol Porcelain Works.

With meticulous attention to detail and much hard work, Bone perfected his own skill with enamels, creating faces for watches, spokes for ladies' fans and ultimately miniature portraits.  He went on to become the enamel painter to George III, IV and William IV.

His portrait was painted by the Cornish Wonder, John OPIE RA in 1799 (NPG, Wikipedia). His work was exhibited at the RA, a notable portrait being of his wife Elizabeth Vandermeulon.  He was elected an Associate of the RA in 1801 and RA in 1811.

Of particular note is his Royal Collection with over 100 pieces of exquisite work. Many images of his work are available on-line.


Enamel painting, miniaturist

works and access

Access to works: Royal Collection, London & Kingston Lacey, Dorset

Louvre On-line Museum

Metropolitan Museum of Art On-line




RA Assoc (1801), Full membership (1811)

misc further info



Dictionary of National Biography

J Neale (1974) 'Henry Bone, The Cornish Enamelist' in Cornish Life, Vol 1 No 10