Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s not fan art.
A drawing of Jane Austen by an unknown artist–presumably an “imaginary portrait” by someone who did not know her–will be auctioned by Bonhams on March 29. From the website:
THIS IS THE EARLIEST OF THE SO-CALLED ‘IMAGINARY’ PORTRAITS OF JANE AUSTEN, thus listed by Deirdre Le Faye in her article ‘Imaginary Portraits of Jane Austen’ in Jane Austen Society Report, 2007, pp. 42-52 (a copy of which is included with the lot).
Le Faye suggests that the portrait ‘could be as early as 1818’, one year after Austen’s death. Le Faye comments: ‘This might well be a creation by the Revd William Jones (1777-1821), curate and vicar of Broxbourne and Hoddesdon – or if not him, someone with very similar interests. On 17th April 1818 Mr Jones confided to his diary: “Whenever I am much ‘taken with’ an author, I generally draw his or her likeness in my own fancy…”
The estimate is £1,000-2,000. Have fun if you want to bid! Feel free to come here and gloat if you win!