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Portrait of Lady Mary Villiers C.1640; Attributed to Theodore Russell.
Oil on panel in gilded frame.
This is a superb quality portrait in fine condition. The elaborate frame is in the French style and presents this lovely portrait like a jewel in a rich gold setting.
A reduced version of Van Dyck's original. These small size portraits after Van Dyck were the speciality of Russell and of Van Leemput.

LADY MARY VILLIERS was the daughter of 1st Duke of Buckingham and Katherine Manners and, raised with the royal children, she was a favourite of James I and Charles I. She was married three times.
In 1626 she was betrothed to Charles Herbert, son of Philip, who subsequently succeeded as 4th Earl of Pembroke. They were married on 8 January 1635, but Herbert died a year later, leaving a 13 year-old widow. Her second marriage was to James Stuart, Duke of Lennox (afterwards Duke of Richmond), a cousin of Charles I, on 3 August 1637. Whilst living at King Charles I exiled court at Oxford between 1643 and 1645, Mary was rumoured to have had an affair with Prince Rupert of the Rhine.
The Duke of Richmond died in 1655, and Mary left for the exiled Royalist community in Paris. After the Restoration she returned to the English Court and became Lady of the Bedchamber to the dowager Queen, Henrietta Maria. In 1664 she was married to Colonel Thomas Howard (d. 1678), brother of 1st Earl of Carlisle.

As Duchess of Richmond, and later as the wife of Colonel Howard, Lady Mary was a prominent figure at Court after the Restoration. Several poems by the anonymous Stuart poetess known as Ephelia (whose works were published in 1679 as ''Female Poems... by Ephelia'') were dedicated to her, and it has been established in the last decade by Maureen Mulvihill of the Princeton Research Forum that Ephelia was in fact Lady Mary herself. This poetess produced an intriguing set of texts, some privately-printed, being bold political broadsheets against the Popish Plot and the rising of James, Duke of Monmouth, as well as amusing coterie verse, songs, a collection of female poems, amorous verse-letters, and ‘a damn'd play’, evidently a farce-burlesque on the debauched private lives of Charles II and his brother, James, Duke of York. This new identification suggests that Lady Mary Villiers was the most highly-placed, publishing woman writer of the Stuart period.
She died in 1685 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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, who much influenced his style. he 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’.

SIZE: Panel, 15.5 x 12.5 inches
Frame: 25.5 x 21 inches
*Old collection of a titled family, North Yorkshire.
*With Roy Precious Fine Art.
*Collection of a Fellow of a Cambridge College.
Ref: 9015
This item has been sold

Portrait of Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth c.1671; by Mary Beale.
Oil on canvas in a later frame (damages).

The Duchess lounges sensously on the ground, in an Arcadian landscape....she holds a shepherd's crook, a lamb by her side. This is possibly the first time Lely used this pose which he was to use many times.
Louise demonstrates her new status amongst the most elevated at Court by wearing a daring 'undress'...this was a means of demonstrating one's superiority.

She was highly successful in her career as a mistress, and as an agent in the interest of King Louis XIV. She had first come to England in 1670 as a Maid of Honour to the Duchess of Orleans, the King’s sister. When the Duchess died in that year, Louis sent her back to England in order to captivate the King, whose mistress she became in the following year. She was the most absolute of the mistresses, and remained with the King until his death. Charles’s obligation to Louis was considerable — he received a pension from the French king in consequence of the Secret Treaty of 1670 — and neither this money nor Louise de Kerouaille let him forget it. In 1674 she was created Baroness Petersfield, Countess of Fareham and Duchess of Portsmouth.

Her conduct of her position was highly accomplished, and she ensured amid moments of strong anti-Catholic feeling, such as the Popish Plot, that she was friends not only with the Duke of York, as might be expected, but with the Earl of Shaftesbury, the Prince of Orange and the Duke of Monmouth. At the King’s death she lived in England until 1688, when returned to France. She spent the rest of her life in considerable financial difficulties, having spent the fortune that she received from Charles on gambling and extravagance. She was the longest-lived of the mistresses, dying in France in 1734. The Dukes of Richmond are descended from her.

MARY BEALE 1632-1697.
Beale's oeuvre is best-known for its scale-of-life portraits of her friends and contemporaries. Works such as the present painting represent a third and further aspect of her work, in which she produced copies of paintings by Sir Peter Lely with a mind both to an understanding of his technique as well as to the marketablity of the product.

This portrait of the Duchess of Portsmouth belongs to a particular category of these copies, which are distinguished by a reduction in scale and by the employment of a more meticulous technique and often costlier pigments than found in her larger canvasses. The present portrait, a ''pin-up'' of a current Royal mistress, is plainly of a commercial subject, and would have justified the comparatively high price of its execution -perhaps as much as £11.
The original was commissioned by Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland in 1671 and is still at Althorp. This painting might have been painted by Mary Beale from Lely's original before its collection by the client, or, according to a further theory concerning these small pictures, from the client's painting as a duplicate to hang in a townhouse whilst the large paintings went to the country.

Following the Windsor Beauties series, there was a great fashion in the second half of the seventeenth century in the collection of portraits of prominent women famous for their beauty and scandalous behaviour. As well as the eleven portraits listed in 1674 from the Windsor Series there were other recorded sets, most prominent among them belonging to Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland.

SIZE:32.5 x 27.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection for many years.
Ref: 8837
This item has been sold

Portrait of Louise de La Valliere; Follower of Pierre Mignard.
Oil on canvas in a giltwood frame.
Based very closely on the 17th century portrait by Pierre Mignard (the only major difference being the left arm), this is an 18th century small scale portrait of one of the most famous lovers of Louis XIV.
The talented unknown artist has painted this portrait with a miniaturists skill; the detail is superb.

LOUISE DE LA VALLIERE (Françoise Louise de La Baume Le Blanc; 6 August 1644 – 7 June 1710) was a mistress of Louis XIV of France from 1661 to 1667. She later became the Duchess of La Vallière and Duchess of Vaujours in her own right.
Louise was born in Tours, the daughter of an officer, Laurent de La Baume Le Blanc (who took the name of La Vallière from a small estate near Amboise) and Françoise Le Provost. Laurent de La Vallière died in 1651; his widow remarried in 1655, to Jacques de Courtarvel, marquis de Saint-Rémy, and joined the court of Gaston, Duke of Orléans, at Blois.

Louise was brought up with the younger princesses (the future Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Duchess of Alençon, and Duchess of Savoy), the half-sisters of La Grande Mademoiselle. After the death of Gaston, Duke of Orléans, his widow moved with her daughters to the Luxembourg Palace in Paris and took the sixteen-year-old Louise with them.

Louise had been at Fontainebleau only two months when she and Louis XIV fell in love, becoming the king's mistress. It was Louise's first serious attachment and she was reportedly an innocent, religious-minded girl who initially brought neither coquetry nor self-interest to their secret relationship. She was not extravagant and was not interested in money or titles that could come from her situation; she wanted only the King's love. She bore the king five children.
By 1667 Louis had tired of her and taken other mistresses; after much pleading to the monarch she was finally permitted to enter the Carmelite convent in the Faubourg Saint-Jacques in Paris under the name of Sister Louise of Mercy. She died, a nun, in 1710.

PIERRE MIGNARD (1612-1695) was a member of a family of artists, he was a painter in the classical French Baroque manner, known primarily for his court portraits.

In 1635 Mignard left the studio of Simon Vouet for Italy, where he spent 22 years and made a reputation that brought him a summons to Paris in 1657. Successful with his portrait of Louis XIV and in favour with the court, Mignard pitted himself against Charles Le Brun; he declined to enter the French Royal Academy, of which Le Brun was the head, and he organized the opposition to its authority.
Mignard was chiefly active in portraiture; many of the beauties and celebrities of his day sat for him, including Molière, the Viscount de Turenne, Jacques Bossuet, the Marquise de Maintenon, the Marquise de Sévigné, the Duchesse de La Valliere and the Marquise de Montespan. His skilful technique and graceful arrangements are noteworthy.

SIZE: 19 x 15 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Norris Castle, Isle of Wight (see image 8)
Ref: 8906
This item has been sold

Portrait of Margaret Neville; attributed to Henri Gascar.
Oil on canvas in a fine carved and giltwood 18th century frame. Traditionally called Margaret Brooke, nee Neville, it seems more likely that the sitter was perhaps a daughter of Margaret. Margaret was born in 1618 and died in 1673. Her clothes, hairstyle and the working life of the artist Henri Gascars do not fit these dates; this portrait was painted c1680.
Lower left, the later inscription, 'Margaret Brooke Wife to/Thomas Brooke Esqr. and/Daughter of Sir Thomas Neville KB./eldest son of Henery 7th Ld/Abergavenny'

Margaret Neville was the daughter of Sir Thomas Neville KB, and married Thomas Brooke Esq.
In this delightful portrait, probably painted for a betrothal, the sitter holds flowers (peonies, which signify sincerity) and with a number of them in her lap. These latter signify her youth and future fruitfulness...the prime task of any aristocratic wife was to bear children, preferably a male heir. In her hair are some jasmine flowers, signifying aimiability of character.

HENRI GASCAR (1635 – 1701) (also Gascard, Gascars) was a French-born portrait painter who achieved artistic success in England during the reign of Charles II.
He painted many leading ladies at court, including several of the King's mistresses.
Gascar came to England about 1674, probably at the behest of Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, Charles II's favourite mistress at that time. Gascar (or Gascard, as he seems to have spelt his name at first) was already known as a skilful portrait-painter.

His flamboyant style, contrasting with the stolid English approach, seemed to suit the frivolity of the time and he painted many of the ladies of Charles II's court. His lack of attention to detail in the likeness he made up for by the sumptuous draperies and adornments around the subject.

SIZE:57 x 47 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: Linley Hall Collection.
Probably by descent to Catherine Smitherman and by descent to her daughter Catherine Edwardes and by descent to;
Sir Henry Hope Edwardes Baronet, of Wootton Hall, Derbyshire, and by descent to;
Colonel Herbert James Hope Edwardes, Netley Hall, Shropshire, and by descent to;
Lady More (nee Hope Edwardes, formerly Coldwell), Netley Hall, and subsequently Linley Hall, Shropshire, and by descent to;
the Late Sir Jasper and Lady More, Linley Hall.
After Lady More died in 1994, the house and collection were left to her her cousin and godson, who has now sold the house and dispersed the collection.
(The Edwardes family can trace their ancestry to the princes of Powys, the More family to the 13th century).

LITERATURE: Illustrated in situ in a photograph of the drawing room, Netley Hall c.1905, and subsequently at Linley Hall, c.1960.
T.Cox, Inventory of the contents of Netley Hall, Shropshire, 1917, page 4 (drawing room).

Ref: 8940
This item has been sold

Portrait of Mary Hume c.1735; Attributed to Thomas Murray
Oil on canvas in good quality period carved and giltwood frame.

Mary Hume (1715-1740) was painted in probably 1735 to commemorate her betrothal to Nicholas Loftus, later 2nd Viscount Loftus of Ely and then 1st Earl of Ely. The marriage followed on 18 August 1736; the union was to be short.

Nicholas Loftus was the eldest son of Nicholas Loftus of Loftus Hall, County Wexford and his daughter Anne Ponsonby, daughter of the the 1st Viscount Duncannon.
The Loftus family was wealthy and long-established in Ireland, being descended from Archbishop Adam Loftus (Lord Chancellor of Ireland and founding Provost of Trinity College Dublin).

Mary was the eldest daughter and co-heiress of Sir Gustavus Hume, 3rd Bt, who was an enormously wealthy landowner with vast estates in County Fermanagh, where he had commissioned Richard Castle to design him a neo-classical mansion, Castle Hume. Hume had been High Sheriff of that county in 1701.
Nicholas Loftus took the suffix Hume when he married.

Mary bore a son, another Nicholas, in 1738, but died in 1740 aged 25.

{Our thanks to Simon Loftus, a direct descendant, for the above information}

THOMAS MURRAY (1663-1735), Portrait painter.
Scottish-born Murray moved to London and studied with a member of the De Critz family before becoming a pupil of eminent portraitist John Riley. In 1703, he painted Queen Anne for the Society of the Middle Temple in London, showing her crowned and in royal robes. His many full-length oil paintings include a portrait of John, 1st Duke of Atholl.
Several of his portraits are in the National Portrait Gallery and include such luminaries as William III and Sir John Vanbrugh, the architect and playwright.

SIZE: 36.75 x 32 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: *by family descent.
*With Roy Precious Fine Art.
*Collection of a Fellow of a Cambridge College.
Ref: 8851
This item has been sold

Portrait of Mary of Modena; Attributed to Caspar Netscher.
Oil on canvas; unframed; recently cleaned, lined and restretchered.
The pose was one used by Netscher previously; the body, drapery and background are based on a portrait of the sitter's daughter-in-law Queen Mary II (now in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg).

MARY OF MODENA (Maria Beatrice Anna Margherita Isabella d'Este; 1658 – 1718) was Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland as the second wife of James II [England] and VII [Scotland], (1633–1701). Mary Beatrice had wanted to join the convent for the Sisters of the Visitation, which was next door to the Modena’s castle. But she had to marry the widowed James, who was the younger brother and heir presumptive of Charles II. Throughout her life, she was first and foremost a devoted and pious Catholic. She was uninterested in politics and devoted to James and their children, two of whom survived to adulthood: the Jacobite (previous Roman Catholic/Stuart dynasty) claimant to the thrones, James Francis Edward, (who would have become James III of England, but later in life known as "The Old Pretender"), and Louisa Maria Teresa.
Born a princess of the northwestern Italian Duchy of Modena, Mary is primarily remembered for the controversial birth of James Francis Edward, her only surviving son. It was widely rumoured that he was a "changeling", brought into the birth-chamber in a warming-pan, in order to perpetuate her husband's Catholic Stuart dynasty. Although the accusation was entirely false, and the subsequent Privy Council investigation only reaffirmed this, James Francis Edward's birth was a contributing factor to the "Glorious Revolution", the revolution which deposed James II and VII and replaced him with his Protestant eldest daughter from his first marriage to Anne Hyde, (1637–1671), Lady Mary, (later Queen Mary II). She and her husband, William III, Prince of Orange-Nassau, would reign jointly on the English Throne as "William and Mary".

Exiled to France, the "Queen over the water" — as the Jacobites called Mary — lived with her husband and children in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, provided by King Louis XIV of France ("The Sun King"). Mary was popular among Louis XIV's courtiers; however, James was considered a bore. In widowhood, Mary spent much time with the nuns at the Convent of Chaillot, where she and her daughter Louisa Maria Teresa spent their summers. In 1701, when James II died, young James Francis Edward became king at age 13 in the eyes of the Jacobites, as now "King James III and VIII". As he was too young to assume the nominal reins of government, Mary acted as his regent until he reached the age of 16. When young James Francis Edward was asked to leave France as part of the settlement from the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which ended the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), Mary of Modena stayed, despite having no family there, daughter Louisa Maria Teresa having unfortunately died of smallpox. Fondly remembered by her French contemporaries, Mary died of breast cancer in 1718.

CASPAR NETSCHER(1639-84) was a Dutch portraitist of Holland's Golden Age of painting. In his early career at The Hague, where he settled in 1651, he also painted genre and religious scenes; but from c.1670 onwards he devoted himself exclusively to the portrait, often of Court members in The Hague, earning a considerable fortune. His reputation was so highly regarded that he was invited to England by King Charles II.
Netscher worked elegantly and with a slight French influence, his paintings exquisitely finished and influencing Dutch portraiture into the 18th century.

SIZE:45.5 x 34.75 inches.
PROVENANCE: With Philip Mould (Historical Portraits).
Private Collection.
Ref: 8810
This item has been sold

Portrait of Mary Sackville, Countess of Dorset; after Kneller. 18th century.
Oil on canvas in a fine quality William Kent giltwood frame.

The British Palladian or 'Kent' frame, with its distinctive outset corners, is called after the architect and designer William Kent (1685-1748); he derived it from the late Mannerist work of Michelangelo, interpreted by Palladio and Inigo Jones. Kent, however, used it as part of a coherent interior, where for the first time architecture, fittings and furniture were designed as a single whole. The painting and its frame were completely integrated with the overall setting. The 'Kent' frame was decorated with strong classical mouldings, such as egg-&-dart, ribbon-&-stave and Greek fret.

This lovely portrait is a head and shoulders version of a large three quarter length of Mary, painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller for Queen Mary II for her collection known as The Hampton Court Beauties.

LADY MARY COMPTON, later MARY SACKVILLE, COUNTESS OF DORSET (1669-1691)was Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen.
Her father was James Compton, 3rd Earl of Northampton (1622-1681), and her mother was the Hon. Mary Noel (died 1719). In 1685 the sitter married Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset (1637-1705) KG. They lived at Compt Hall, Waltham Abbey. The union produced two children, Linel Cranfield Sackville, 7th Earl of Dorset, (created Duke of Dorset in in 1720), and Lady Mary Sackville, died 1705, first wife of Henry Somerset, 2nd Duke of Beaufort.
Mary, Countess of Dorset died of smallpox in 1691 aged 22 years.

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.

SIZE:32.75 x 28 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Old Nottinghamshire Private Collection.
Ref: 8942
This item has been sold

Portrait of Mary Trelawney Wigan c.1752; Follower of Allan Ramsay.
Oil on canvas in ornate giltwood and composition 19th century frame.

The sitter is very expensively dressed and carries flowers signifying her youth and future fruitfulness.

The artist was clearly influenced by the successful Scottish portraitist ALLAN RAMSAY (1713-1784) who was at the height of his powers in the mid 18th century. His portraits of women are especially notable for the warmth, tenderness, and bloom of their presentation, as well as for the technical facility with which lace and ruffles are reproduced. The influence of French Rococo portraiture is clear in the lightness and unpretentious elegance of these works.

MARY TRELAWNEY WIGAN (later Mary Trelawney May) was born in 1740, the daughter of the prominent physician, poet and author Dr. John Wigan and his wife Mary, sister of the wife of Colonel Edward Trelawney, Governor of Jamaica and Wigan's oldest friend. (A portrait of Dr. Wigan is also for sale on this website)
The two friends had travelled to Jamaica in 1738. Trelawney settled in Spanish Town, and Wigan married Mary Wheeler, daughter of planter John Douce, soon afterwards.
Wigan, alas, died in December 1739 before his daughter's birth in 1740.
He is buried under a black marble slab at St. Catherine's Cathedral Church in Spanish Town.
His widow Mary later married Daniel Stott.

The widow of Col. Edward Trelawney, Governor of Jamaica, and brother to Sir Jonathan Trelawney, Bart., Bishop of Exeter, was possessed of the manor of Stapledon in Devonshire by her husband's devise, and bequeathed it, in 1778, to her sister Mary, wife of Daniel Stott, Esq.
Mrs. Stott devised it, in 1783, to her daughter (by her first husband, Dr. Wigan,) MARY TRELAWNEY WIGAN, the wife of the Hon. Rose Herring May, one of his Majesty's counsel for Jamaica, (and descended from the Mays of Mayfield in Kent).

SIZE: 57.5 x 48.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Yorkshire Private Collection for many years.
Ref: 8756
This item has been sold

Portrait of Mary, Lady Killigrew c.1637: Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck.
Oil on canvas, unframed.

Lady Killigrew here gazes out at the viewer directly. By the late 1630s, van Dyck seems to have devised for his female portraits a less specifically fashionable form of dress. Clearly the prestige of being painted by him was such that his sitters were prepared to accept this. Mary is shown in just such a gown – simplified, and minus the kind of richly textured lace that was so time-consuming to paint – and which has thus become a ‘timeless’ version of contemporary dress. It is clear that van Dyck had absorbed ideas from Venetian painters.
Van Dyck maintained a busy studio; he had a number of talented assistants to help meet the demand for his work. Working under his eye they would produce copies of his portraits if more than one was required.

MARY HILL (c.1610 -1686) was the daughter of John Hill of Honiley, Warwickshire. She married Sir William Killigrew, son of Sir Robert Killigrew and Mary Wodehouse, in 1626.
Sir William Killigrew (1606-1695) was a courtier to Charles I, and also later a playwright. Mary was a dresser to the queens Catherine of Braganza and Henrietta Maria.
William Killigrew was knighted by Charles I in May 1626 – probably shortly after his marriage to Mary Hill. They took a Grand Tour of Europe before Sir William was elected M.P. for Newport and Penryn in Cornwall, and appointed Governor of Pendennis castle and Falmouth Haven. He was made Gentleman Usher to King Charles I, studying with him at Oxford and commanding one of the horse troops that guarded the King during the Civil War.

The couple were to have seven children in all. As Royalists, the couple were forced by poverty to live apart during the Civil War and Commonwealth period. They were re-united at the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660, when Sir William regained his earlier court post and Lady Mary became dresser to the dowager Queen Henrietta-Maria.

SIR ANTHONY VAN DYKE (1599-1641) was the greatest master of the European baroque portrait. Born in Antwerp, he first visited England in 1620. In 1632 he entered the service of King Charles I as Court Painter, and was knighted in 1633.
His clientele was essentially the aristocratic circle of courtiers, many of whom lived in a romantic Royalist dream world which collapsed in ruins in the Civil War, soon after Van Dyck's death.
Sir Anthony Van Dyke's influence on the art of the portrait is almost beyond measure.

SIZE:29.5 x 24.5 inches.
PROVENANCE: With Philip Mould (Historical Portraits).
Private Collection.
Ref: 8812
This item has been sold

Portrait of Mary, Princess of Orange (later Mary II), after Lely.
Oil on canvas in reproduction frame.
The sitter within a feigned stone oval.

This little portrait, late 17th or 18th century, is a reduced detail of a large three quarter length painted by Sir Peter Lely in 1677.
Mary (1662-1694) was the elder daughter of James, Duke of York (later James II) and his first wife, Anne Hyde.
She was married to her cousin William III of Orange at the age of fifteen.
When her Catholic father James was ousted at the Revolution of 1688 the Protestant Mary and her husband returned to England from Holland and they were jointly crowned Mary II and William III in 1689.
The original of this portrait was painted at the time of her marriage in 1677. A number of versions of this portrait exist including one in the Royal Collection and one in the National Portrait Gallery.
The rich and daring colour scheme with its clashing orange and red testifies to Lely's skill as a colourist. The choice of orange, an unusual colour in Lely's portraits is perhaps a reference to Mary's new title, Princess of Orange.

SIR PETER LELY (1618 - 1680) was the most important portraitist in the reign of Charles ll, although he had painted portraits throughout the Commonwealth. Dutch born as Pieter van der Faes, he became Principal Painter to the King, painting everyone of importance and maintaining a busy and active Studio to help with the huge demand for his portraits.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This lovely little painting has, at some time in the past, been overcleaned and, as can be seen, the paint is now rather thin. Hence the very low price.
Despite this fault it is still a charming little portrait.

SIZE: 16 x 14.5 inches framed. Image size 13 x 10.5 inches.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Sussex.
Ref: 8953
This item has been sold

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