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Our website was last updated on: 14 April 2015
 
SOLD ITEMS
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SOLD....Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, Manner of Federico Zuccaro.
Oil on canvas in a 17th century Italian ebonised and parcel gilt frame with gold lettering 'Mary Queen of Scots. Zuccaro'. To the left of the sitter the faint inscription 'A.D. 1561. Aetatis 19'.

This beautiful portrait is in the manner of Federico Zuccaro, in it the queen wears magnificent jewels and a gold and silver encrusted dress to emphasise her royalty, wealth and power. The quality of the painting of this opulence is superb, and contrasts perfectly with the sensitive depiction of the sitter's youthful face.

This image dates from the late 17th or early 18th century when, after the Stuarts came to power with the accession of Mary's son James I, a process of history rewriting took place.
Mary had been called an adulteress and traitor by the English and was beheaded for plotting to assassinate her cousin Elizabeth I,but under the Stuarts she was presented as a beautiful and religious princess unjustly executed for her Catholic faith.

All through the 17th c (and later) portraits of Mary were created; this one shows her, rather idealised, at the age of 19 in 1561 when she returned to Scotland after the death of her husband King Francis II of France.
 

MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (born as Mary Stewart and known in French as Marie Stuart; 1542 – 1587), was Scottish queen regnant from 14 December 1542 to 24 July 1567. In the lists of Scottish sovereigns, she is recognized as Mary I. (Not to be confused with Mary I of England.) Her great-great-granddaughter was Mary II of England.
She was the only surviving legitimate child of King James V. She was six days old when her father died and she was crowned nine months later. In 1558, she married Francis, Dauphin of France, who ascended the French throne as Francis II in 1559. Mary was not Queen of France for long; she was widowed on 5 December 1560. After her husband's death, Mary returned to Scotland, arriving in Leith on 19 August 1561. Four years later, she married her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Their union was unhappy and in February 1567, there was a huge explosion at their house, and Darnley was found dead, apparently strangled, in the garden.
She soon married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who was generally believed to be Darnley's murderer. Following an uprising against the couple, Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle on 15 June and forced to abdicate in favour of her one-year-old son, James VI. After an unsuccessful attempt to regain the throne, Mary fled to England seeking protection from her first cousin once removed, Queen Elizabeth I, whose kingdom she hoped to inherit. Elizabeth ordered her arrest because of the threat presented by Mary, who had previously claimed Elizabeth's throne as her own and was considered the legitimate sovereign of England by many English Catholics, including participants in the Rising of the North. After 19 years in custody in a number of castles and manor houses in England, she was tried and executed for treason for her involvement in three plots to assassinate Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth died childless in 1603, Mary's son James VI of Scotland became James I of England. (James was a descendant of Henry VII of England through his great-grandmother Margaret Tudor, older sister of Henry VIII.)

FEDERICO ZUCCARO, also known as Federico Zuccari (c. 1542/1543 - July 20, 1609), was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active in Italy and other European countries.
In 1574 he came to England, where he received commissions to paint the portrait of Queen Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots, Sir Nicholas Bacon, Sir Francis Walsingham, Lord High Admiral Howard, and others.

SIZE: 36 x 32 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: Niel Rimington Collection, Fonthill
Old Abbey, Tisbury, Wiltshire

Verso: old hadwritten label 'Sir T..... H. Stev...'
Ref: 8532
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of Matilda Marryat 1843; by Richard Buckner.
Oil on board in period gilt frame. Signed and inscribed 'Rome' lower left.

This beautiful portrait of the Hon. Matilda Marryat and her pet spaniel was painted in Rome in 1843 and is a fine example of Buckner's work, being not only an image of a lovely young woman but also a charming portrait of her spaniel and the items on the table are a still life.

Buckner's great talent is demonstrated by his use of, to use a photographic term, 'soft focus'. Matilda's face is the most 'in focus' part of the painting, the items on the table and the spaniel less so, and the background is merely suggested in an almost abstract way...the wall, column and view from the balcony are depicted with a painterly delight in the use of paint in a very free way.
All this causes us to focus on the sitter's face and only then to become aware of, and enjoy, the rest of the painting.
"His best work has a breathtaking quality" ('The Dictionary of Portrait Painters in Britain' by Brian Stewart and Mervyn Cutten.)

THE HON. MATILDA SOMERSET, (born in 1815, died in 1890) , was the daughter of General Lord Robert Edward Henry Somerset and the Hon. Louisa Augusta Courtenay, the daughter of William Courtenay, 2nd Viscount Courtenay of Powderham Castle and Frances Clack.
Lord Somerset was born on 19 December 1776 at Caldicot Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales. He was the son of Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort and Elizabeth Boscawen.

Matilda married Horace Marryat, the famous travel writer, and brother of Captain Frederick Marryat, the naval officer, novelist, and a contemporary and acquaintance of Charles Dickens, noted today as an early pioneer of the sea story.

RICHARD BUCKNER (1812 - 1883) was an English painter. He first worked from a studio at his family home in Rumboldswhyke, near Chichester.
After a short spell in the army, he went to Rome where he studied under Giovanni Battista Canevari (1789-1876). He set up a studio there and quickly earned a reputation not only for his elegant portraits (e.g. Lady Charlotte Guest and her Daughter, priv. col., see Stewart and Cutten, p. 36) but also for his delicate watercolours of Italian peasants.
His work attracted the attention of important patrons including Queen Victoria and her husband Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Prince Consort; Edward, Prince of Wales; Adelaide, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen ( fl 1860s), and William Alexander, 11th Duke of Hamilton.
Maas considers him one of the most cultivated of Victorian portrait painters "He was one of the few portrait painters of the 19th century whose work could hold its own when hung in country houses alongside the work of Reynolds and Gainsborough".

SIZE: 34.5 x 29 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: The Collection of a Titled Lady, East Sussex.
VERSO: Old handwritten labels:-
"Matilda Marryat, daughter of Ld. ** Somerset. d.1890 aged 85."
"Mrs. Horace Marryat painted by R. Buckner at Rome AD 1843."
Ref: 8659N
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of Matthew Brickdale M.P., 1812, by Henry Singleton
Oil on canvas in good giltwood period frame.
An excellent portrait of the Regency period; the sitter, Matthew Brickdale, painted in 1812 at the age of 78, looks out at the viewer with confidence and assurance. Matthew bears his years well, living to the age of 96.
His left arm and hand rest upon a leather bound tome, with a bookmark protuding, which seems to inscribed 'First Charters'.

Born on 30 April 1734, son of John Brickdale, a successful Bristol draper. He inherited the enormous sum of £100,000 on his father's death in 1765. Retiring from business, Matthew devoted himself to politics. He stood as Member of Parliament for Bristol on two occasions, firstly between 1768 and 1774, and then from 1780 until 1790. He was elected Mayor of Bristol in 1791, but declined the office. Matthew was Deputy Lieutenant for Gloucester, Somerset and Devon; he died on the 8 September 1831.

Matthew had married Elizabeth Smith and had a son, John Brickdale (see portrait stock no. 8574).

His diaries, now held at the Archives Hub, were written between 1770 and 1774, and deal primarily with domestic, national, and international political issues and news, including events and politics of Bristol, shipping, government, and the colonies, in particular America. They are an invaluable reference of the period.

As he rose socially, Matthew Brickdale bought the manors of East and West Stoodleigh about the year 1779.
Stoodleigh Manor, Matthew's home, lay in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South Molton, about seven miles from Tiverton.

Mr. Brickdale's son John sold these estates, in 1819, to John Nicholas Fazakerly, Esq., M. P.
The ancient house was demolished in 1881 and replaced by the Victorian Gothic Stoodleigh Court, now an hotel.

HENRY SINGLETON (1766 - 1839) was born in London, England on 19 October 1766. In 1839 he was buried in the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

He was a member of an artistic family. He was raised by his uncle William Singleton (d. 1793), after his father died when he was younger than two years old. William Singleton, who studied under the tutelage of Ozias Humphry, painted portraits and miniatures. Another uncle, Joseph Singleton, exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1773 and 1788. Henry Singleton’s sisters Maria and Sarah (later Macklarinan) were miniaturists who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1808 to 1820 and from 1787 to 1806 respectively.

Singleton exhibited at the Royal Academy, between 1784 and 1839, approximately 300 works, a large proportion of which were portraits. His works were also exhibited at the British Institution from 1806 and at the Society of British Artists from 1824 until his death in 1839.

From the age of sixteen, Henry Singleton worked as a professional portraitist. He attended the Royal Academy Schools from the age of seventeen and won the silver medal in 1784. His painting from John Dryden’s ode Alexander’s Feast won the gold medal in 1788. In 1793, he was commissioned by the Royal Academy to paint a group portrait of forty of the academicians.
His portrait work was always in demand... Lord Nelson, Admiral Vernon, Lord Howe, John 'Mad Jack' Fuller,Sir W. Chambers, James Northcote, Thomas Sandby, Richard Cosway and Johann Zoffany are among his portrait sitters.

In 1807 he married his cousin, William Singleton’s only daughter; the mariage was of short duration as she died in 1811.

Henry Singleton’s works are currently in the collections of: The British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery (London), the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, the Ulster Museum, and the Brighton Art Gallery.

SIZE: 40.5 x 36 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: by family descent.
Inscription, verso on the old relining 'Matthew Brickdale. Aged 78. Painted in 1812. Copied from the original canvas.'
Ref: 8576
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of Matthew Prior c. 1700; attributed to Sir Godfrey Kneller
Oil on canvas in fine 18th c. carved and giltwood frame.

The sitter is thought to be Matthew Prior, poet and diplomat; the best known image of Prior shows slightly more aquiline features, but in the National Portrait Gallery are three images of Prior (NPG D3973, D19242 and 562) bearing a very strong facial resemblance to this sitter and wearing the same clothing.

MATTHEW PRIOR (1664-1721). Prior's brilliance as a boy was noted by Lord Dorset who paid for the continuance of his education at Westminster. He took his B.A. in 1686, becoming a Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge two years later.
He became famous for writing a satire on Dryden in collaboration with Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax.
After four years as Secretary to the Embassy in the Hague he was appointed one of the Gentlemen of the King's Bedchamber.
The poet's knowledge of French assisted his move to Paris in attendance on the English Ambassador. Still writing highly successful poetry, on his return to England Prior became Under Secretary of State then a Commissioner of Trade. In 1701 he became M.P. for East Grinstead.
After 1710 he was involved in many important negociations with the French Court...sometimes as Ambassador, sometimes as a secret agent. When the balance of power within the Government changed he was impeached and confined for two years. During his imprisonment he wrote prolifically and earned enough for him to live in comfort for the rest of his life.
He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646-1723) was the dominant Court and Society portraitist of his age.
About the turn of the century Kneller's style starts to change. His handling of the paint became freer with a painterly delight in the use of the medium..a style shown to perfection in this portrait. Kneller was at his best painting creative sitters - a rapport was established.
Here he dispenses with the fashionable wig and elaborate costume, and paints Prior in the clothing that was the preserve of men of the arts and sciences...the silk gown and soft velvet cap. The emphasis is on the sitter as an individual and the viewer's attention is directed to the face, with no distraction from background or accessories.
Even the simple robe is depicted with a looseness of focus and a sophisticated technique of fluid brush strokes...reminding one that Kneller had studied under Rembrandt. With this technique one should perhaps remember Kneller's comment to those who peered closely at his portraits, "My paintings were not made for smelling of..."

SIZE: 37x32 inches inc. frame
Small areas of damage to the frame.
PROVENANCE: an Edinburgh Private Collection.
Ref: 8451
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of Miss Gwnedd Rees Price, by W.G. Gillies.
Oil on canvas in giltwood frame.

This charming portrait of a pretty young girl, Gwynedd Rees Price, dates from the early 1900s; the little girl, wearing traditional Welsh dress, sits on a late 17th century oak chair and looks at the viewer with an air of peace and tranquillity.
Gwnedd wears a coral necklace, which, from Roman times and through the Middle Ages was believed to have healing properties and to avert the attentions of the 'evil eye'; for these reasons it was often hung round children's necks as a protection.

The portrait, in its original frame, is signed, upper left, by the artist.

W.G. GILLIES exhibited between 1890 and 1924. He lived at West Regent Street, Glasgow. His works were shown at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts (28 times) and the Royal Scottish Academy on one occasion.
(He must not be confused with the more famous William George Gillies, who was a modernist landscape and still life painter.)

The canvas bears a stencil verso of the supplier "G. Davidson. Artist's Colourman. 123 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow".

SIZE: 50.5 x 40.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: by direct descent from the sitter, through the family.
Ref: 8546
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of Miss Harriet Tatnall "The Primrose Girl", c.1780; attributed to Sir Thomas Beechey.
Oil on canvas in superbly carved giltwood frame bearing plaque "The Primrose Girl. Miss Harriet Tatnall circa 1780. Sir William Beechey 1753-1839".

The little girl, dressed very fashionably, is out gathering primroses; in the background is a medieaval fortified manor house. This may represent Harriet's ancestral home as the Tatnalls were an ancient family. First found in Cheshire, they were Lords of the Manor of Tattenhall before and after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

SIR WILLIAM BEECHEY RA FSA (1753-1839). He was born in Burford, Oxfordshire; he entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1774. Many of his earlier portraits (c.1776-1786) are, like this one, small scale full-lengths and show a debt to his teacher, Zoffany.
After some years in London he moved to Norwich, then a very important city, where he enjoyed a good practice painting conversation pieces, and life size portraits from c.1783. He retiuned to London in 1787 and worked from Brook Street. he became extremely successful and moved to Hill Street, Berkeley Square, the to Hanover Square and ultimately to Harley Street.
He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1793, then RA in 1798 and was knighted in 1798 (the first artist to receive this honour since Reynolds).
Beechey was appointed Portrait Painter to Queen Charlotte in 1793 and by 1814 Portrait Painter to Her Majesty and to HRH the Duke of Gloucester.

SIZE: 38.5 x 32.75 inches inc. frame
canvas size 30 x 25 inches.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection.




Ref: 8617
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of 'Miss Penelope Johnson' c. 1775, by Thomas Hickey
Oil on canvas in 18th c carved and giltwood frame

An excellent portrait of Penelope Johnson, an attractive and fashionably dressed young lady, painted c.1775 by Thomas Hickey.
The sitter is within a feigned oval and in the background is a large country house in its estate; an elaborate bridge is visible to the foreground.

THOMAS HICKEY (1741 - 1824) was born in Dublin, he studied under Benjamin West at Dublin Society Schools 1753-6, winning prizes.
He travelled to Italy c.1760-6, returning to Dublin in 1767 where he exhibited 1768-70.
He moved to London and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1771, exhibiting at the RA 16 times between 1772 and 1792.

In 1778 Hickey was working in Bath then embarked for India in 1780, but the ship was captured by the French en route and he was released at Cadiz. He proceeded by land to Lisbon, where he worked successfully 1782-4 before continuing on to India, arriving in Bengal in 1784. He took a large, handsome house in the most fashionable part of Calcutta and established a thriving business.

Hickey returned to England in June 1791; he was portrait painter to Lord Macartney's expedition to China 1792-4. Probably in Dublin in 1796, returning to India in 1798, where he had a successful portrait practice until his death; he was buried in Madras 20 May 1824.

Examples of Hickey's work are in the major public collections.

SIZE: 37 x 32 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: a London Private Collection
Ref: 8402
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of Nicholas Fortescue,1627; English School
Oil on canvas in a period 'cassetta' frame.

Portrait of Nicholas Fortescue, aged 31, three quarter length in a brown slashed doublet, white lace collar and cuffs, with sword and arquebus support. The sitter wears the metal gorget of an officer which contrasts with the very expensive 'reticella' lace he also wears.

The arquebus (sometimes spelled harquebus or hackbut) was a primitive firearm used in the 15th to 17th centuries. Like its successor, the musket, it was a smoothbore firearm although somewhat smaller than its predecessors, which made it easier to carry.The arquebus was fired by a matchlock mechanism and the arquebusier supported the gun's barrel with a pole with a forked end when firing.

Fortescue was born in East Allington in 1596; his father was Edmund Fortescue, born 1552, and his mother, Mary (Maria) Champernoune, born 1567.
Their ancestor Sir Richard le Fort came to England with William the Conqueror and was given the name Fort Escue (strong shield) through having protected Duke William with his shield at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

The family resided at East Allington in South Devon for many generations; their arms are displayed in the village church of St. Andrew.

SIZE: 38 x 35.5 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: By descent through the Fortescue family to the late Mrs Charles Steuart.
Then to a private collection in an East Anglian
Georgian country house.

With the portrait comes a printout of the the Fortescue family tree from the Norman Conquest to the mid 17th century. Extracted from 'The Visitations of the County of Devon' by Lt. Col. J.L. Vivian, 1895.

Ref: 8537a
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of Princess Henrietta Anne c.1662; Studio of Lely, possibly John Baptist Gaspars
Oil on canvas mounted on board in a carved and gilded 17th century style frame.
A fine portrait of Henrietta Anne Stuart very similar, but reversed, to Lely's 1662 portrait in the National Portrait Gallery.

HENRIETTA ANNE STUART, Duchesse d'Orléans, third daughter of the English king, Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria, was born during the Civil War at Exeter on the 16th of June 1644. A few days after her birth her mother left England, and provision for her maintenance having been made by Charles she lived at Exeter under the care of Lady Dalkeith (afterwards Countess of Morton) until the surrender of the city to the Parliamentarians, when she was taken to Oatlands in Surrey.
In July 1646 Lady Dalkeith carried the princess in disguise to France, and she rejoined her mother in Paris, where her girlhood was spent and where she was educated as a Roman Catholic. Henrietta was present at the coronation of Louis XIV, and was mentioned as a possible bride for the king, but she was betrothed, not to Louis, but to his only brother Philippe.

After the restoration of her brother Charles II, she returned to England with her mother, but a few months later she was again in Paris, where she was married to Philippe, now Duke of Orleans, on the 30th of March 1661. The duchess was very popular at the court of Louis XIV, and was on good terms with the grand monarch himself; she shared in the knowledge of state secrets, but was soon estranged from her husband.
A year into the marriage, Henrietta gave birth to a daughter later baptised Marie Louise. The paternity of the child was doubted by the court who believed Louis XIV, or the Count of Guiche, to be the father. Henriette and Guiche had started an affair early in her marriage, despite his having been a former lover of Philippe.

In 1670, at the instigation of Louis, she visited England and obtained the signature of Charles II's ministers to the treaty of Dover; her success in this matter greatly delighted Louis, but it did not improve her relations with Philippe, who had long refused his consent to his wife's visit to England.
Shortly after returning to France, Henrietta died at St. Cloud on the 30th of June 1670. She was buried at St. Denis, her funeral oration being pronounced by her friend Bossuet, and it was asserted that she had been poisoned by order of her husband.

She left two daughters, Marie Louise, wife of Charles II of Spain, and Anne Marie, wife of Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. According to legitimist principles, the descendants of Henrietta, through her daughter Marie of Savoy, are entitled to wear the British crown.

JOHN BAPTIST GASPARS (working c.1641-1692). He was a portraitist and all-purpose painter; chiefly known for having painted "postures" for Sir Peter Lely, Court and Society portraitist, Riley and Kneller. He was a native of Antwerp and son of a painter; he was made Master at Antwerp in 1641/2.
Gaspars was in England by 1650 where he entered the service of General Lambert whom he taught to paint. From c.1660 he was a leading executant in Lely's studio, but was also allowed to work on his own.

SIZE: 32 x 25.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: For the last 34 years in a private collection in Switzerland and then Sussex, England.
Ref: 8601
This item has been sold





SOLD....Portrait of Queen Anne c.1705; Circle of Dahl
Oil on canvas in a superb carved and giltwood frame.

QUEEN ANNE (1665-1714). The second daughter of James II, Anne married Prince George of Denmark in 1683, and succeeded William III to the throne in 1702. For the whole of her reign, which was a period of great glory, this kind and generous woman was surrounded by warring political factions.
In her personal life she suffered greatly, all her many children dying in infancy. Only Prince William lived longer than the others, and his death aged eleven opened up the Hanoverian succession.

In this elegant portrait, an exquisite version 'in little' of a life-size Court painting, she is shown as queen, draped in her robes of state and with her crown by her side.

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.

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.
At his best he was a finer portraitist than any of his contemporaries, with a softer and more gentle technique than Kneller's, which was especially suitable for his portraits of women.

SIZE: 17 x 12 inches canvas size.
24.5 x 19 inches frame size.

PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Yorkshire.
Ref: 8469
This item has been sold



 
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