John Keats portrait miniature to auction for $23,000?

A one of a kind portrait miniature depicting romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821), and believed to have been painted from life, is to auction at Bonhams London on May 30.

The image, consigned by an American owner, is estimated to attract £10,000 ($15,300) to £15,000 ($23,000) when it is auctioned.

Keats' declining health had reached a critical point by early 1820. He died of tuberculosis in Rome on February 23, 1821.

Almost every known image of Keats derives from Joseph Severn's miniature of the poet, which was exhibited at London's Royal Academy in 1819. Yet Bonhams' miniature, which has not been attributed to any artist, is not thought to derive from Severn's work, or any other contemporary portrait of the poet.

The miniature is to be auctioned alongside its red leather travel case as well as a copy of Autobiography of John Keats - compiled from his essays and letters by Earle Von Weller.

In death, Keats came to be regarded as one of the key figures of the English romantic movement. He remains culturally significant today, having been directly referenced by artists as various as Morrissey, F Scott Fitzgerald and Philip Pullman.

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