This beautiful, highly worked drawing was made by the draughtsman and engraver, Peltro William Tomkins.
The portrait depicts Princess Charlotte, eldest daughter of George III and Queen Charlotte. In 1797 she married Friedrich, the Hereditary Prince, later Duke, and from 1806 King of Württemberg. Peltro William Tomkins entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1775, at the age of fifteen, where he was taught stipple engraving by Francesco Bartolozzi. Tomkins was appointed to give drawing lessons to the daughters of George III; and in 1793 was appointed Historical Engraver to Queen Charlotte. In this role he engraved twenty-four designs by Princess Elizabeth, Charlotte’s younger sister, for illustrations to The Birth and Triumph of Cupid published in 1795. Another, similar drawing of Princess Charlotte by Tomkins is in the collection of the British Museum, London. Both drawings seem likely to have been made in 1796 following the announcement of Princess Charlotte’s betrothal to Friedrich. The marriage was a significant one, having partly come about thanks to pressure from Catherine the Great, whose son Paul had married the prince’s sister. Tomkins produced a stipple engraving of Princess Charlotte in 1797 which drew on both drawings.