Jane Austen’s real Mr Darcy may fetch PS50,000 at auction

June 11th, 2008 - 1:44 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 11 (ANI): A rare portrait of a man believed to have inspired Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice character Mr Darcy is expected to fetch 50,000 pounds at an auction.

The portrait of Thomas Lefroy, who the novelist is said to have loved in her youth, was painted by an English artist known as George Engleheart on ivory in 1798.

Austen met Lefroy - who described his feelings for her as a “boyish love” - in 1796 at the age of 21.

They are said to have talked, danced and flirted, and later she called him “a gentlemanlike, good-looking, pleasant young man”, reports BBC.

There are several locks of hair located in a panel at the back of the miniature, although it is not known to whom they belonged.

The picture will be sold at the Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair in London later this month. (ANI)

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