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SOLD....Portrait of James Stuart (?) called The Old Pretender, 1695, by William Sonmans
Oil on canvas in good carved and giltwood period frame. Signed lower right 'Wm. Sonmans.'
The sitter has been known as The Old Pretender for at least 100 years.

Probably James Francis Stuart, the young boy strikes an arrogant pose, dressed in faux Classical clothing with all the implications of Imperial Rome, his hound is beside him and his hat bears the three ostrich plumes of the Prince of Wales.

Son of James II and his Catholic second wife Mary of Modena. James Francis’ birth in 1688 was controversial as it raised the prospect of succession of a Catholic king. A rumour was started by James’ detractors that the baby was a substitute introduced in a warming pan. James II was unpopular and the birth precipitated his fall when William of Orange, who had married Mary James’ daughter by his first wife Anne Hyde, was invited to take the throne in the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688. James abdicated a few months later when his forces faced defeat by William, and he, his wife Mary of Modena and baby son James fled to France.

James was raised in France and on the death of his father in 1701 declared himself James III as the rightful heir to the English throne and James VII to the Scottish throne. He was recognised by the French King Louis XIV, and became the focus for the Jacobite movement to regain the thrones. In 1708 he attempted to land with French ships in the Firth of Forth in Scotland but was driven back by the English under Admiral Byng.

His two Protestant half sisters, Mary and Anne, had both become Queen, and when Anne died in 1714 he could have renounced his Catholicism and become king but he refused, leaving the throne to the Hanoverian George I. In 1715 the Scottish Jacobites started an uprising and James set foot on Scottish soil spending 6 weeks cold and disconsolate in an alien land. The Battle of Sheriffmuir was indecisive and James decided to return to France disappointed by his lack of support. He became a political embarrassment, as the Scots were unimpressed and his patron Louis XIV had died, so James spent the rest of his life in exile.

He became known as ‘The Old Pretender’ after he married Maria Sobieski in 1719 and had one son Charles Edward Stuart ‘The Young Pretender’. Maria left him after 5 years, and James had an illegitimate son Henry Benedict Stuart. Pope Clement offered James the use of a Palace in Rome where he went to live. He lived through his son’s more spectacular attempt to regain the throne in 1745 before he died in Rome in 1766.

WILLIAM SONMANS (working 1670s - 1708).
He was a portraitist of Dutch origin, a native of Dordrecht. He came into prominence after the death of Sir Peter Lely, the Royal Court painter, in 1680.
Sonmans was based in London, but spent term-
time in Oxford where he painted academics. His style has echoes of both Riley and Kneller. Portraits by him are rare.

SIZE: 58 x 49 inches inc. frame.
*Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Gorst, Castle Combe, Wiltshire, by whom sold at Sotheby's in 1913.
*English Private Collection;
*Private Collection, France.
*Collection of a Fellow of a Cambridge college.
Verso: label; 'Andre Chenie & Fils, Transport Internationale, Paris'.
Ref: 8713
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Jane Bickerton, Duchess of Norfolk (?), Circle of Lely c.1678
Oil on canvas in a period carved and giltwood frame.

This beautiful portrait of 'cabinet size' is thought to be of Jane Bickerton; (the 'cabinet' in the 17th century was a small, intimate room in which were kept items important to the owner, and only their closest friends would be admitted).
The painting has a great theatrical sense of movement and solidity, using a combination of drapery and pose. this portrait is a perfect example (on an unusually small scale) of Lely's late portraiture with its unashamed courtly sensuality.
The pose in this painting seems to have been reserved by Lely and his Studio for the portraiture of courtesans and mistresses.

Mistress, then wife, of Henry Howard, the 6th Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England. She was the daughter of Robert Bickerton, Gentleman of the King's Wine Cellar and his wife Anne Hester.
Jane had lived with Norfolk since the death of his first wife in 1662. They had four children and some time before 18 January 1678 they married, causing protests from Norfolk's legitimate children.
Bickerton represents a rare example of a woman of relatively modest background marrying into the highest level of the aristocracy.
After Norfolk's death in January 1684 she married Thomas Maxwell, Quartermaster-General to the army.

SIR PETER LELY (1618 - 1680) was the most important portraitist in the reign of Charles ll. Principal Painter to the King, he painted everyone of importance, maintaining a busy and active Studio to help with the huge demand for his portraits. Members of his Circle, many of them talented artists in their own right, emulated his style to supply this constant market.

SIZE: 29 x 21 inc. frame

PROVENANCE: Anonymous sale, Christie's 16 June 1967.
Then forty two years in a private London Collection.
Ref: 8512
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Jane Brooke; Follower of Philip Mercier
Oil on canvas in gilded frame.

The sitter, Jane Brooke, is pictured with her spindle.
Working with wool or silk was very fashionable and considered an appropriate pastime for a young lady. Needlework was a highly valued skill amongst the upper classes.

Jane was the daughter of Peter Brooke and his second wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Jonas Langford Esq of Theobalds, Hertfordshire and Antigua, British West Indies. There were two other daughters, Elizabeth and Frances.
Jane was the youngest daughter; she married, firstly, William Hulton of Hulton Park, Lancashire on 22 August 1785 and, secondly, William Tyrell Boyce Esq.

The Brooke family of Mere lived at Mere Hall, Knutsford from the 1650s until 1993. Colonel Ronald Langford-Brooke had died in 1980 and his wife Helen in 1993.
A dispersal sale of the contents, including this portrait, was held on the premises by Christie's in May 1994.
Image 8 shows Mere Hall and in Image 9 this portrait can be seen, upper right, hanging on the staircase wall.

PHILIP MERCIER (c.1689-1760)was a French painter and etcher, who lived principally and was active in England. He was born in Berlin of French extraction, the son of a Huguenot tapestry-worker. He studied painting at the Akademie der Wissenschaften of Berlin and later under Antoine Pesne, who had arrived in Berlin in 1710. Later, he travelled in Italy and France before arriving in London—"recommended by the Court at Hannover"—probably in 1716. He married in London in 1719 and lived in Leicester Fields.
He was appointed Principal Painter and Library Keeper to the Prince and Princess of Wales at their independent establishment in Leicester Fields, and while he was in favour he painted various portraits of the Royalties, and many of the nobility and gentry.

Mercier became involved in a scandal of sorts and he lost favour in c.1736 He left London around 1740 and settled in York, where he practiced portrait painting for over ten years, before returning to London in 1751. In 1752, Mercier went to Portugal at the request of several English merchants. He did not long remain there, however, but came back to London, where he died in 1760.

Mercier favoured a bright palette and painted in a distinctly French manner. Waterhouse described him as "an important figure in the introduction of French taste to England". His style influenced Ramsay, Reynolds, Charles Phillip and Henry Morland and many others.

SIZE: 39 x 33 inches inc. frame.
*The Brooke family, Mere Hall, Knutsford, Cheshire and by descent.
*The late Helen Langford-Brooke, Mere Hall. Christie's house sale, May 1994.
*Private Collection, Eaton Square, Begravia, London.
Verso: 19th c. label for a Manchester frame maker and the inventory number '35'.
Ref: 8747
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Jenny Myddelton (?) and her Spaniel c.1675: Attributed to Mary Beale
Oil on canvas in late 18th c. giltwood frame.

This pleasing portrait of a young girl, thought to be Jenny Myddelton (1661-1740)shows the sitter and her dog in exactly the same pose (but reversed) as Sir Peter Lely had painted Mary of Modena, Duchess of York and later Queen of England.
Jenny Myddelton's mother was Jane Needham, Mrs. Myddelton the famous Court beauty, mistress of the Duke of Montagu and later the Earl of Rochester. It was Jane's ambition that her daughter should ultimately become the mistress of Charles ll - an event which would have ensured titles, estates and wealth for her. The plan, however, came to nought and Jenny married Charles May, Equerry to Queen Mary.

The King Charles spaniel was very fashionable and may be seen as a symbol of fidelity and as an affectionate reminder of Charles II (and more broadly of the Stuart monarchy). Its inclusion was probably intended as a reflection of the sitter's grace and her fashionable - and flattering - taste in pets.
In the background (not shown well on the photographs) can be seen what seems to be a fantasy view of the Myddelton's castles - Chirk and Ruthin. Chirk is one of the great border castles built in the late 13th c. to maintain the conquests of Edward I in Wales. In 1595 it was purchased by an Elizabethan merchant adventurer, Thomas Myddelton, whose descendants have lived there since.
The castle was the scene of two notable sieges during the Civil War - 1643 and 1659. The 'greate dyninge roome' of that period was made into a fashionable neo-classical saloon by Richard Myddelton in 1772 .As the portrait is in a frame of the 1770s it seems likely that it and the others were reframed to match, as was then the fashion.
According to an inventory of the late 19th century, 27 portraits hung in this room. The label on the reverse of this painting identifies it as Number 11, though by that time the indentity of the sitter and artist had been forgotten.

In the late 1970s Chirk was acquired by the National Trust, by which time this portrait had moved to the Myddelton's Private Wing where it remained until June 2004.

MARY BEALE (1633-99) was born Mary Cradock, daughter of the Rev. John Cradock in Suffolk; in 1651 she married Charles Beale, Lord of the Manor of Walton, and moved to London. She was already known as a painter by 1654 and she was strongly influenced by Sir Peter Lely, Principal Painter to the King and famous Court and Society portraitist.
Lely was a friend of Mrs.Beale and she sometimes copied his work and frequently used his poses in her portraits.
It was most unusual for a woman to take up a professional career as an artist at this time, but her studio thrived; her most active period was the 1670s and early '80s. Mary Beale died at Pall Mall and is buried in St. James's Church, Piccadilly.
Her work is represented in many country house collections, art galleries and museums.

PROVENANCE: the Myddelton Family of Chirk Castle, Wrexham.
Verso: 19th c. handwritten label:-'Saloon, No. 11. Little Girl and Dog - Sir Godfrey Kneller'.
Ref: jenny
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Jonathan King c.1720; English School.
Oil on canvas in ebonised and part gilt frame.

This very naive provincial portrait has great charm and interest, showing young Master King attired in the dress of a Classical shepherd in the mythical land of Arcady...the land of innocence and purity; a very fashionable conceit at the time. The implement shown was used by shepherds to scoop up and hurl stones in defence of their flock.
The rather amusingly depicted sheep wander on a hillside whilst Jonathan's dog looks adoringly up at him.

The Kings were a West Country yeoman family of modest means; as Colonel Edwin King says in his book "Records of the Family of King" such families were the very backbone of England.
NOTE...This book accompanies Jonathan's portrait which is depicted therein (see images 6 and 7)

Jonathan's father was Ensign Thomas King of Lord Lovelace's Regiment of Foot, he was born in 1693, appointed an ensign in 1708, aged 15 or 16, and died in 1752. Thomas's wife was Fruzan King, nee Constable, who died in 1748.
During the Wars of the Spanish Succession Lovelace's Foot took part in the campaigns in the Spanish Peninsula.
The Regiment was disbanded in 1712 on the outbreak of peace and the officers put on half-pay. At this time Thomas married Fruzan Constable and their eldest son Jonathan was born.
Thomas served in a number of other regiments reaching the rank of lieutenant but never had the money to purchase a captaincy, this being the then way of advancing in rank.
Thomas retired in 1740 and returned to Leigh-upon-Mendip, Somerset where also lived his son Jonathan, now married. On Christmas Day of that year Jonathan's son was baptised. Sadly Jonathan King died shortly after and was buried at Leigh on 25 January 1741. To the great sadness of his wife Anna their baby son also died a few days later.

SIZE: 49.5 x 39.75 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: by descent in the family.

Ref: 8722
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of King Henri IV of France c. 1595; French School.
Oil on panel c.1595.

The monarch wears The Order of the Holy Spirit, the senior order of chivalry in France; the king was Sovereign and Grand Master of the order.
Due to the blue riband from which the Cross of the Holy Spirit was hung, the Knights became known as "Les Cordon Bleus". Over time, this expression was extended to refer to other distinctions of the highest class - for example, Cordon Bleu cooking and Blue Riband sporting events.

HENRI IV of France, also Henri III of Navarre (13 December 1553 – 14 May 1610), ruled as King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France. His parents were Antoine de Bourbon, Duc de Vendôme and his wife, Jeanne d'Albret, Queen Regnant of Navarre.

As a Huguenot, Henri was involved in the Wars of Religion before ascending to the throne in 1589. In 1598 he enacted the Edict of Nantes which guaranteed religious liberties to the Protestants and thereby effectively ended the civil war. One of the most popular French kings, both during and after his reign, Henri showed great care for the welfare of his subjects and displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the time.

He was murdered by a fanatical Catholic, François Ravaillac, who stabbed him as he rode in an open carriage.
Henri was nicknamed Henry the Great (Henri le Grand), and in France is sometimes called le Bon Roi Henri ("Good King Henry").

As the father of Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles l of England, he was also grandfather to Charles ll...who is on record as saying that he admired Henri for the number of his mistresses. Charles himself, of course, was no mean achiever in this field!

SIZE: 34 x 24 inc. frame.
CONDITION: painted on panel now mounted on 20th c. plywood for strengthening. Two old, repaired splits running top to bottom; paint thin on the garments; some retouching. Old frame, damaged at each corner.
PROVENANCE: Surrey private collection.

Ref: 8457
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Lady Anne Cecil c.1635; Circle of Van Dyck
Oil on canvas in good quality 17th c. carved and giltwood frame.

LADY ANNE CECIL, COUNTESS OF NORTHUMBERLAND was born 1611/12 and baptised in the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, London. She was the daughter of William Cecil, Earl of Salisbury and Lady Catherine Howard. Anne married Algernon Percy, Earl of Northumberland before 1630 (date not known exactly) and bore him five daughters.
The portrait is unusual in that the sitter is clearly pregnant, her hand resting protectively across her belly. This well observed gesture exemplifies the greater interest in naturalism found in English paintings of the early 17th century.
The portrait is a symbol of the hope and need of these two great families for a male heir to the Earldom of Northumberland. Alas, no son was born and Anne, Countess of Northumberland died in December 1637 aged 26.

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:47 x 39.5 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: for many years in a Cheshire Private Collection.

A head and shoulders version of this portrait is at Lennoxlove House in the Collection of the Duke of Hamilton.
At Burghley House, ancestral home of the Cecils, is a beautiful portrait by Van Dyck of Lady Anne before her marriage.

Ref: 8394
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Lady Anne Fitzroy, Countess of Sussex c.1665; Studio or Circle of Lely
Oil on canvas in fine quality 18th c. carved and giltwood frame.
Inscribed lower right 'Lady Anne Fitzroy, Countess of Sussex'

LADY ANNE FITZROY was the natural daughter of King Charles II and Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine and Duchess of Cleveland; they had spent the Coronation night together and Lady Anne was born nine months later. The King acknowledged the child and granted her the Royal Arms with a baton sinister.
In 1674, aged 13, Lady Anne was married to Thomas Lennard, 15th Baron Dacre (created Earl of Sussex for the occasion); the wedding and dowry were both paid for by the king.
The children of the union were Charles Lennard, Lord Dacre (1682-84), Henry Lennard (died only months old), Lady Barbara Lennard (1676-1741), Lady Anne Lennard, Baroness Dacre in her own right (1684-1755).
The Earl and Countess separated in 1688. Lady Anne died in 1722 and her husband in 1715.

SIR PETER LELY (1618-80) was the dominant portraitist of the reign of Charles II. Principal Painter to the King, he painted everyone of importance at the time.
Lely himself was influenced by Van Dyck, upon whose style he based his own.

In this portrait the pose is very similar to that used by Van Dyck for the youngest child in his portrait of 1635 'The Three Eldest Children of Charles I', but here, rather than the apple used in that painting, Lady Anne holds grapes...a symbol of future fruitfulness and fertility.

SIZE: 51.75x51.5 inches inc. frame

Verso: old label for 'Clifford Ellison. By Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Picture Restorer'

PROVENANCE: From the Estate of Brigadier Sir Edward Ford KCB, GCVO [1910-2006] (Asst. Private Secretary to King George VI 1946-52).

By descent through the family :-
The Barons Dacre;
Henry Robert, Viscount Hampden and 24th Baron Dacre;
his son Robert Henry Brand, 1st Baron Brand;
his daughter the Hon. Virginia Brand, wife of Sir Edward Ford.
Ref: MP101
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Lady Derwentwater, by Michael Dahl
Oil on canvas in well carved period frame, inscribed upper right 'Lady Derentwater'. (This was the way 'Derwentwater' was pronounced in Cumberland at the time; indeed, some still pronounce it this way today).

This portrait is typical of Dahl’s eloquent depiction of aristocratic women.
The sitter rests her elbow on a stone plinth and supports her head with her hand,the drapery and sitter’s turned head impart a subtle sense of movement, which, combined with the relaxed, even wistful pose helps convey a feeling of tranquillity.
The veil on Lady Mary's head is a feature often used by Dahl, e.g. his portraits of the Duchess of Ormonde, Elizabeth Felton, Lady Hervey and the Countess of Clarendon.

MARY, COUNTESS OF DERWENTWATER (1673 - 1726) was the illegitimate daughter of Charles II of England by his mistress, the actress and singer Mary 'Moll' Davis, a celebrated rival of Nell Gwynn, King Charles' London-born mistress who was also an actress. She was given the title of Lady Mary Tudor.

In the 'Masque for the Entertainment of the King', John Blow's opera 'Venus and Adonis' of 1680, Moll created the role of Venus, while her daughter, Lady Mary, sang Cupid. This was the first English opera.
Charles gave his daughter an annuity of £1500 in September 1683, and she was married to Edward, Viscount Radcliffe, later Earl of Derwentwater, in August 1687.
This prestigious marriage alliance with the ill-fated Stuarts proced to be the downfall of the Radcliffes, who, after the Glorious Revolution, were noted as the most wealthy and powerful Jacobite family in the North of England.
Two of Mary's three sons were to be executed for their parts in the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745. James, who died in 1716, was described as being an accomplished singer and guitarist, so perhaps he inherited this from his mother and grandmother...who appears in Lely's portrait of c.1674 playing a guitar.

After the Earl's death on 29 April 1705, Mary married Henry Graham (d. 7 January 1707) on 23 May 1705. After Henry's death she married Major James Rooke (d. 16 June 1773) on 26 August 1707.
She died in Paris on 5 November 1726, shortly after her fifty-third birthday.

MICHAEL DAHL (1659-1743) was born in Stockholm; after studying in Paris, Rome and Frankfurt he settled in London in 1689. He soon became the best patronised portrait painter in England after Kneller. He was much employed at the Court painting many portraits; a great patron of the 1690s was the Duke of Somerset, for whom he painted the series of portraits of Court ladies known as the 'Petworth Beauties'.

His style is extremely close to Kneller but his interpretation of character is less brash and more human. He has a quieter but somehow more understanding appeal to character which relies on its own integrity to make its impact; his works are of a real distinction.
This painting is typical of Dahl's sensitive portraiture and is of considerable charm.

SIZE: 38 x 33 inches inc. frame.
*For many years in the Collection of the Seymour family of Wiltshire.
*Sold at Christie's c.1950 and bought by a Somerset family with Seymour connections.
In their possession for c.57 years.
*Then another Somerset private collection.

VERSO: old label with information on the Derwentwaters and the inscription "From The Times Octbr 13 1874. C.H. Seymour"
Ref: 8565
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Lady Lucy Pelham by Cornelius Johnson
Oil on canvas in good quality carved and silver-gilt 17th c. Lely-panel frame.
(Although now rarely seen, at one point in the seventeenth century silver-gilt frames were very fashionable; Samuel Pepys had all his paintings framed so.)

This beautifully painted portrait is a fine example of Johnson's work...the material almost tangible in its realism, and, in this portrait in particular, the sitter's face depicted with great talent and sensitivity.
As one of Johnson's later works it shows the strong influence of Sir Anthony van Dyck.

LADY LUCY PELHAM born before 1631, died 1685.
She was the daughter of Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester and Lady Dorothy Percy (daughter of the 9th Earl of Norhumberland).
In 1647, the year between the First and Second Civil Wars, she married Sir John Pelham, 3rd Baronet (born before 1627, died 1702/3), son of Sir Thomas Pelham, 2nd Bt.
Sir John was M.P. for Hastings 1645-6, M.P. for Sussex 1660-98.
They had four children:-
* Henry Pelham d. 1 Apr 1721
* Elizabeth Pelham d. 13 Jul 1723
* Lucy Pelham d. 8 Jul 1721
* Thomas Pelham, 1st Baron Pelham of Laughton b. c 1653, d. 23 Feb 1711/12

Lady Lucy Pelham was also painted by Sir Peter Lely, now in the Collection of the Earl of Yarborough (also a Pelham).

CORNELIUS JOHNSON (also known as Jonson, Jansen, Van Ceulen) 1593-1661, was born in London, the son of Flemish emigres.
Although Waterhouse thought he was trained in Holland it seems more likely (as Collins Baker has it) that Marcus Gheeraerts was his master in London.
Johnson is the most satisfying and 'English' of the portraitists working in England in the first part of the seventeenth century. He has a fine technique with a restrained and introspective style, with careful attention to the costume details.
His accurate portraits are never flattering but a sober and objective portrayal of his usual sitters: the gentry and lesser nobility. His style is easily identified by its coolness and restraint.

SIZE: 30 x 25 inches canvas size.
37 x 32 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: James Thursby Pelham of Cound Hall, Shropshire; thence by descent.
(The fifth photograph shows Cound Hall)

Verso: a 19th c. inscription identifying the sitter, but confusing the names of father and son.

LITERATURE: A. Finsberg, 'A Chronological List of Portraits by Cornelius Johnson', published by The Walpole Society in 1922 (p.30, no.87, fig. LXII).

Ref: 8467
This item has been sold

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