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Our website was last updated on: 15 December 2014
 
SOLD ITEMS
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SOLD....Portrait of a Young Boy with a Hoop c.1826; Attributed to Sir John Watson Gordon.
Oil on canvas in period gilt frame.

A charming image of a young boy about to bowl his hoop along the ground.
This excellent portrait has the simple sincerity for which Gordon was noted.

SIR JOHN WATSON GORDON, RA. PRSA. (1788 -1864) was a Scottish portrait painter and a president of the Royal Scottish Academy.
He was born John Watson in Edinburgh, the eldest son of Captain Watson, R.N., a cadet of the family of Watson of Overmains, in the county of Berwick. He showed a natural aptitude for art, and his father was persuaded to allow him to adopt it as his profession. Captain Watson was himself a skilful draughtsman, and his brother George Watson, afterwards president of the Royal Scottish Academy, was a highly-respected portrait painter, second only to Sir Henry Raeburn, who was also a friend of the family.

In 1808 John exhibited a picture "The Lay of the Last Minstrel" at the Lyceum in Nicolson Street, Edinburgh - the first public exhibition of paintings in that city - and continued for some years to exhibit fancy subjects; but, although freely and sweetly painted, they were altogether without the force and character which stamped his portrait pictures as the works of a master. After the death of Sir Henry Raeburn in 1823, he succeeded to much of his practice. He assumed in 1826 the name of Gordon to distinguish himself from his two cousins and uncle who were also painting in Edinburgh.

One of the earliest of his famous sitters was Sir Walter Scott, who sat for a first portrait in 1820.
During the last twenty years of his life he painted many distinguished Englishmen who came to Edinburgh to sit to him; and it is significant that David Cox, the landscape painter, on being presented with his portrait, subscribed for by many friends, chose to go to Edinburgh to have it executed by Watson Gordon, although he neither knew the painter personally nor had ever before visited the country.

Gordon was one of the earlier members of the Royal Scottish Academy, and was elected its president in 1850; he was at the same time appointed Limner for Scotland to the Queen, and received the honour of knighthood. Since 1841 he had been an associate of the Royal Academy, and in 1851 he was elected a Royal Academician.

SIZE: 36 x 31 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, South of England.
Ref: NP101
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SOLD....Portrait of a Young Gentleman c.1645; attributed to Theodore Russell
Oil on oak panel in fine period carved auricular frame.
(The auricular style flowered in the 1640s and 1650s, and subsequently in the form of the Sunderland frame. Auricular, meaning literally 'of the ear', was a highly stylised free-flowing interpretation of organic forms, usually animal or marine in nature and was fashionable from the 1630s to the 1680s for pictures of all sizes).

A very sensitive and high quality portrait of a young man, hardly more than a boy, his fashionable moustache barely showing, painted at the time of the English Civil War.
Armour was very expensive and was often used in portraiture to depict the wealth and gentlemanly status of the sitter.
However, as this was a deeply troubled time it is likely that the sitter would have been involved in the armed conflict between the King and Parliament.
Which cause he favoured and whether he survived or not is unknown.

THEODORE RUSSELL (1614-1689)
Aliases: Theodore Rousel; Theodore Rousseel; Theodore Roussel; Theodore Russel.
Born in London, his father, Nicasius, was a goldsmith and jeweller, who left Bruges for England about 1573 and settled in the parish of St Anne, Blackfriars, London; his second wife, Theodore’s mother, was the sister of Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen.
The Russells were connected with the Gheeraerts, de Critz and Oliver families. Theodore’s son, Anthony Russell, who provided George Vertue with information concerning 17th-century artists, stated that Theodore had studied under Jonson and van Dyck, had been employed by such patrons as the 3rd Earl of Essex and the 1st Earl of Holland, and ‘was a lover of ease & his Bottle’.
Signed portraits by him are rare. A set of five bust-length portraits at Knebworth House, Herts, includes a male portrait, signed and dated 1644. They are sensitive works in the manner of Jonson.

SIZE: 21.5 x 17 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent through a family of Worcestershire landed gentry.
Ref: 8617
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SOLD....Portrait of a Young Girl c.1680; attributed to Mary Beale
Oil on canvas in reproduction parcel gilt 'cassetta' frame.

The attractive young sitter is depicted as a shepherdess in the mythical realm of Arcady (or Arcadia), a fashionable conceit of the times which also featured in the literature and poetry of the period.
The girl holds a shepherd's crook of the Continental type; real shepherds would use the shaped end to scoop up and throw small stones to send the sheep in a chosen direction.

The influence of the style of Sir Peter Lely, Mary's mentor and friend, is clearly seen.

MARY BEALE (1633 - 1699). Born Mary Cradock in Suffolk where her father was rector of Barrow church. She married Charles Beale in 1651/2.
At a time when a female professional artist was a rare thing Mary quickly built up a successful business painting mainly the middle classes.
Known as a painter from 1654, her later work was strongly influenced by Sir Peter Lely, Painter to the King and immensely fashionable.
Mary's most active period was in the 1670s and 80s. In many, but not all, of her bust portraits she affects a feigned stone oval surround.

SIZE: framed 30 x 24.25 inches
canvas size 23.75 x 17 75 inches.

PROVENANCE: London Private Collection.
Verso, a framer's label 'Sebastian d'Orsai (A.B.) Ltd.'
Ref: 8453
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SOLD....Portrait of a Young Girl c.1700; Circle of Robert Byng
Oil on canvas in a 19th c. gilt frame of 17th c. 'cassetta' type.

A charming portrait of a pretty young girl by a member of the Circle of Robert Byng.

The sitter is holding a variegated tulip, which, in the Language of Flowers, symbolises 'beautiful eyes'; the large rose, of course, is the symbol of love.
The basket of flowers together also represent the beauty and fleeting quality of youth.

The girl wears a Classical robe, to her right a draped curtain and to her left the landscape of Arcadia...the mythical world so fashionable at the time.

This artist, strongly influenced by Byng's noted portraits of children, lacks the technical sophistication of his master, especially in the stylised treatment of the drapery.
However there is a strong sense of a painterly delight in using the medium - especially in some of the impasto in the drapery which contrasts pleasingly with the gently painted face.
The painting has a strong appeal and is an endearing image of an attractive young girl.

Robert Byng (1666 - 1720) was born in Wiltshire, but is buried in Oxford where he died in 1720, having lived there since before 1714.
He was a pupil of,and very strongly influenced by, Sir Godfrey Kneller (Principal Painter to the King and the most distinguished Baroque portraitist in England).
Byng's earliest dated portraits are c.1697; one of his younger brothers, Edward, was drapery painter to Kneller and his principal assistant.

SIZE: 44 x 33.5 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: a Private London Collection.

Verso: an old label of Francis Draper of Albany Street, London. 'Restorer and Preserver of Paintings in London and the Country'. By appointment to his Majesty the King; then follows a list of noted clients including the National Portrait Gallery and members of the Royal Family.

Ref: 8401
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SOLD....Portrait of a Young Girl c.1775 - 1790; English School.
Oil on canvas in gilt frame.

An extremely attractive naive Georgian portrait of a young girl in the countryside.
There is a sense of peace to the painting; the youthful sitter looks confidentally out at the viewer. Her hat, to protect her fair complexion and avoid any unsightly browning of the skin, lies abandoned on the ground. She wears the red shoes so fashionable at this time.

The child has a pet robin on a string perched on her hand whilst another, on a twig, looks across.
Birds, at this time, were common pets and playthings but, depicted in a portrait, they also had other meanings.
A free bird, which could easily fly away, was used as a symbol of the transience of life but a tethered one represented the desire for longer life for the child. Even children from rich families had a high mortality rate.

The identity of the provincial artist is unknown although he was clearly influenced by the fashionable artists of the day. Naive the portrait may be, but it has great charm and a direct quality sometimes lacking in more sophisticated works.

SIZE: 43 x 31 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection.

Ref: 8680
This item has been sold




SOLD....Portrait of a Young Girl c.1775; Attributed to Katherine Read
Oil on canvas in an elaborate giltwood frame.

This is a very appealing portrait of a lovely little girl dating from c.1775.

KATHERINE READ (1723-1778) was a fashionable portrait painter who worked mainly in crayons, but occasionally in oils.
Born in Forfarshire, Scotland in 1723, she was painting portraits by 1745. She studied in Paris and Rome, settling in London in 1754, she became a very fashionable portraitist and was favoured with the patronage of Queen Charlotte in 1761. Exhibited widely, most notably at the Royal Academy.
She went to India in 1777, but returning in 1778 she became ill and died at sea.
She was especially successful with children's portraits; her oil portraits show the influence of Reynolds.

SIZE: framed, 17 x 15 inches
canvas, 11 x 9 inches

PROVENANCE:
By descent through a Wiltshire family.
Verso: a handwritten label:
"Girl unknown. Possibly painted by ---- Reed (sic), woman. Present from Ronald Storrs to his wife Lily (Littleton-Clowes) c.1940. Then to Daisy Templeton, c.1965, daughter of Lily (Clowes), then to her daughter Margaret Ziegler 1987."



Ref: 8540
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SOLD....Portrait of a Young Girl with her Pets c.1810; Studio or Circle of William Owen R.A.
Oil on canvas in giltwood frame.

An utterly enchanting portrait of a little girl, about three years old, offering a savoury treat to her dog, unaware that her parrot has opened the door of its cage and has designs on the larger piece she holds behind her back.

This a superb evocation of a late Georgian childhood with an amusing twist.


WILLIAM OWEN RA, (born Ludlow, 1769; died in London, 11 March 1825) was the son of a bookseller, he was educated at the grammar school in Ludlow and was sent to London in 1786 to study under Charles Catton the elder (1728-98), coach painter to George III and founder-member of the Royal Academy.

Owen's copy of a work by Reynolds, made soon after his arrival, attracted the latter's attention. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1791 and exhibited at the Royal Academy the following year. From then on he exhibited there every year, apart from 1823 and 1825, and was elected ARA in 1804 and RA in 1806.
He painted a number of rural scenes but specialized in portrait painting. Although his reputation was eclipsed by that of Thomas Lawrence, he was sought after by many of the eminent figures of the day, producing portraits of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr William Howley (1813), and of the politician and essayist John Wilson Croker (exh. 1812; both London, N.P.G.); other of his sitters were William Pitt the younger and John Soane.
He was particularly good at portraying children and elderly sitters.
In 1810 he was appointed Portrait Painter to the Prince of Wales (later George IV) and in 1813 Principal Portrait Painter to the Prince when the latter became Prince Regent. The Prince Regent does not seem to have sat to him but nonetheless he offered Owen a knighthood, which the painter refused.
At this time his income was £3000 a year...an enormous sum.
From c. 1820 Owen's health deteriorated until a disease of the spine confined him to his room and finally rendered him incapable of painting. He died after accidentally taking a bottle of opium that had been wrongly labelled by a chemist's assistant. After his death many of his portraits were finished by Edward Daniel Leahy.

SIZE:50 5 x 30 25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Dorset Private Collection.


Ref: 8698
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of a Young Lady (Hon Catherine Alington ?) with a Parrot c.1695; Circle of Kneller
Oil on canvas in a carved and giltwood frame.

A pleasing three-quarter length portrait of a fashionable young lady with a parrot on her hand.
At this period a parrot, a rare and colourful bird from distant lands, symbolised the exotic and the expensive.
There may also be a reference to the source of the family's wealth; from these distant lands came slaves, sugar, rum and mahogany...often creating vast fortunes; many fine mansions in great estates were built on these trades.

Inscribed on one of the stretchers, in an old script, is the name 'Alington', sugesting that the sitter is a member of the ancient family of Alington of Horseheath, Cambs and Wymondeley, Herts.
(The forebear of this family having been the
Under Marshal to William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066).

If this so, the most likely candidate is the Hon. Catherine Alington, daughter of William, 3rd Baron Alington of Killard, 1st Lord Alington of Wymondeley and Lady Diana Russell, daughter of the 1st Duke of Bedford.
Born in 1677, Catherine married, in 1694, Sir Nathaniel Napier 3rd Baronet of More Crichel. Their daughter Diana eventually became sole heiress of the Alingtons and Napiers and was ancestress of the later Lords Alington (of a new creation).
Catherine, Lady Napier died in 1724.

SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646-1723) was the most distinguished painter of baroque portraits in England.
Born in Lubeck, he trained with Bol and Rembrandt, coming to London in 1676.
By 1679 he had painted the King and remained the most famous and successful portrait painter in England until his death.
In 1688 he was made Principal Painter to the King and was knighted in 1692 and a made a baronet in 1715.
His style had a profound influence on British portraiture and a large number of artists, some very talented in their own right, emulated his fashionable style.

SIZE: 43 x 36 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: A Suffolk Collection.
Verso: inscription 'Alington', and the words 'Left Hand - East Hall Door'.
Ref: 8409
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SOLD....Portrait of a Young Lady as Diana the Huntress c.1635; Circle of Jan Mytens
Oil on panel in 18th c. gilt frame.

The young sitter is depicted in an open landscape.
This beautifully executed portrait captures the shimmering quality of the sitter's garments...the silk, fine linen and delicate gauze all compliment the delicacy with which the girl's face is painted.

The fashionably, and expensively, dressed young lady is depicted as Diana the Huntress, goddess of the hunt, moon and birthing.
The sitter holds a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other.
The celestial character of Diana is reflected in her connection with light, inaccessibility, purity and virginity; all desirable attributes for a girl who was on the marriage market.


JAN MYTENS (1614-1670) worked in The Hague as a portrait painter for over thirty years painting those loyal to the House of Orange as well as a number of British visitors. His work was much admired and he was very influential in Dutch portraiture.

MIJTENS (MEYTENS, MYTENS):
Dutch family of painters of Flemish origin. The earliest known artist of this family was Aert Mijtens (1541-1602), a history and portrait painter who worked in Naples and Rome. His brother Martin Mijtens, a saddle and coach-maker, fled to the northern Netherlands and had two sons who also became painters: Daniel Mijtens I, who was prominent in England for a period as a portrait painter in the Stuart court, and Isaac Mijtens (c. 1602-1666), a portrait painter in The Hague. Jan Mijtens was a nephew of these brothers and father of the portrait painter Daniel Mijtens II (1644-1688). Martin Mijtens I, himself a son of Isaac, moved to Sweden where he worked as a portrait painter in Stockholm, while his son Martin van Meytens II later became a portrait painter at the imperial court in Vienna. Several other minor members of the Mijtens family established reputations as painters.


SIZE: 24 x 20.5 inches inc. frame.
17 x 13 inches panel size.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection.
VERSO: old label for Reeves and Son, Kensington, Picture Frame Makers.
Ref: 8644
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SOLD....Portrait of a Young Lady c.1690-1700: By Charles D'Agar.
Oil on canvas in a a period giltwood frame.

The young woman, little more than a girl, stands as if on the terrace of a large country house; she holds a basket of flowers signifying her youth, beauty and its transience.
An elegant and fashionable silk shoe peeps out from under her skirt; the way the flowing robes are shown suggests a feeling of movement as if the sitter has just walked in and paused for a moment.

The sitter's identity is not known, but, tantalisingly, on the frame a fragment of handwritten label survives
"....ell of Lanherne.....ed......7th Baron".
The most notable family in Lanherne, Cornwall were the Arundells, an ancient and noble family. Might this label have once read ".......Arundell of Lanherne married ......7th Baron"?

D'Agar's manner is directly comparable in style to Michael Dahl, whose treatment of portraits of children in particular is similar. The size, c. 60 x 40 inches would seem to have been a standard dimension for Dagar's child full-lengths - and they often employ the same staging device, whereby the sitter is placed on a terrace, a landscape beyond. This portrait also employs D'Agar's trick of trailing drapery just cropped by the edge of the canvas.

CHARLES D'AGAR (1669 - 1723) came to England with his Huguenot father Jacques in 1681, settling here permanently after a stay in Copenhagen by 1691. He had a good practice, numbering such people as the Duke of Buccleuch and Lord Bolingbroke among his patrons.

SIZE:69 x 47 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Burrow Hall, Lancashire.
VERSO: old label for Chapman Bros. of Kings Road, Chelsea.
Damaged handwritten label (details above).
Ref: 8733
This item has been sold



 
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