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Jem Belcher

1 of 7 portraits by Charles Allingham

Jem Belcher, by Charles Allingham, circa 1800 -NPG 5214 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Jem Belcher

by Charles Allingham
circa 1800
30 in. x 25 1/8 in. (762 mm x 638 mm)
NPG 5214

This portraitback to top

The portrait shows Belcher aged about 21, at the height of his powers and presumably before the loss of an eye playing rackets in July 1803. It was tentatively attributed to Jackson in Sotheby's sale catalogue 26 July 1978 but without supporting evidence, nor is there any mention in Morgan's Jackson. Belcher very often wore a blue neckerchief with large white spots and a dark blue eye in the centre, known throughout the 19th century as a 'belcher' (Oxford English Dictionary).

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length head to right, brown coat with black velvet collar, light grey waistcoat, brown and yellow patterned neckcloth ('belcher'); brown hair brushed forwards, brown eyes, fresh complexion, bruised expression.

Provenanceback to top

Belcher's widow; Sotheby's 26 July 1978 (108) bought Leggatt for NPG.

Reproductionsback to top

Mixed stipple and line in reverse and head only, 'Copied by Permission of Mrs Belcher (His Widow) from an Original Portrait in Her Possession'.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for James ('Jem') Belcher

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