Portrait of a Gentleman c.1800; Attributed to ...

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John Opie was born in St Agnes, near Truro in 1761. From an early age he showed a talent for drawing, in addition to a more general academic excellence. He soon established a local reputation for portrait painting and was discovered by John Wolcot who introduced him to London as “The Cornish Wonder”. This nickname was mainly due to the fact that he was completely self-taught.
Opie was introduced to London in 1781 as 'the Cornish Wonder'. His style as a portrait painter was marked by strong realism, and striking contrasts of light and dark.

This very fine and insightful portrait was created at the turn of the 18th century, and shows the sitter against a dark background with a hint of a rich drapery to his left. The half-turned head with its dark hair is set against the bright white necktie and waistcoat. The extraordinarily strong presence of the sitter evokes the spirit of Baroque painting during the seventeenth century. It was Opie’s abilities in chiaroscuro which is said to have won the praise of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who reputedly described him as ‘like Caravaggio and Velazquez in one.’ The brooding spirit of early-Romanticism, through the lens of knowledge of the Old Masters is strong in this work.

Born the son of a carpenter in a tin-mining district of Cornwall before being discovered as a child prodigy. His natural gifts in drawing were discovered by Dr John Walcot (1738-1819), whose protection and patronage helped to nurture the boy’s gifts before he was brought to London in 1781 where his works caused great sensation. He quickly received the patronage of the Royal Family alongside leading figures of the nobility and cultural elites. Opie was elected an Association of the Royal Academy in 1786 and was made an RA the following year. His successful portraits of the likes of Mary Delany, Mary Wollstonecraft, Samuel Johnson and Henry Fuseli have become some of the most lasting and iconic images of these sitters. Although also known as an artist of historical and genre scenes, his portraits have received perhaps the most enduring interest and fame since his death. His efforts in portraiture placed him in direct competition to the likes of Thomas Lawrence, James Northcote and Henry Fuseli.

After his death at the age of 45 in 1807 Opie was interred in the crypt of London’s St. Pauls’ Cathedral . This location, in the crypt next to Reynolds, demonstrated the high regard felt for the painter amongst his contemporaries.

CONDITION: in excellent conserved condition apart from a repaired large L-shaped tear to the left of the background. In most lights this is not visible, but, as can be seen in Image 6, under a glancing light it shows. Allowance for this has been made in the asking price.
SIZE: 36 x 31.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private London Collection.


Portrait of Sir Robert Anstruther c. 1694, ...

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This forthright and insightful portrait was probably painted when Anstruther was created a baronet in 1694. The artist is as yet unknown; he was obviously aware of the fashionable conceit of a feigned carved stone oval as used by Lely and Beale amongst others, but this no Court painting, it has a Scottish directness and honesty. Sir Robert looks like a man of serious intent and determination.
The frame is a fine carved and giltwood one of the period, almost certainly the original.

SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER, 1st Baronet (1658 – March 1737), of Wrae, Linlithgow, and Balcaskie, Fife, was a Scottish politician who sat in the Parliament of Scotland between 1681 and 1707 and in the British House of Commons from 1709 to 1710.
He was baptised on 24 September 1658, the third son of Sir Philip Anstruther of Anstruther, Fife, a member of the Scottish Parliament, and his wife Christian Lumsden, daughter of Sir James Lumsden of Innergellie, Fife.

Anstruther had an early spell in the Parliament of Scotland as a Burgh Commissioner for Anstruther Easter from 1681 to 1682. He married Sophia Kinnear, the daughter and coheiress of David Kinnear, and adopted the additional name of Kinnear on the death of his father-in law in 1684. Sophia died in 1686 and he married as his second wife Jean Monteith, the daughter and heiress of William Monteith of Wrae, on 12 March 1687. From 1689 to 1690, unlike his brother, he served the regime of King William on various local commissions.
He was caught up in a double returned for Anstruther Easter, and the result was decided against him. He was given a place as one of the general receivers of supply in 1691. He was created a baronet of Wrae, Linlithgowshire and Balcaskie, Fife and Braemore, Caithness on 28 November 1694. In 1696 he was appointed joint farmer of excise, and in 1697 was appointed Clerk and Keeper of Cocquet Seal, Firth of Forth west of Queensferry. He lost at least £500 in the Darien scheme and lost money in the farm of the Scottish excise, but had married two heiresses. He was able to purchase in 1698 an estate at Balcaskie, on the Fife coast where he went on to build a house. He also served as a commissioner to the convention of royal burghs for the neighbouring burgh of Anstruther Easter. He married as his third wife, his cousin Marian Preston, the daughter of Sir William Preston, 2nd Baronet of Valleyfield, Fife.

In 1702 Anstruther became Burgh Commissioner for Anstruther Wester. He opposed the Union and took part in the protests in 1705 against the treaty act. In Parliament he was frequently absent in the divisions on the Union and five of his only six votes were on the opposition side. He probably acted according to the influence of the Court Tory Lord Leven. He lost his seat and his government posts in 1707.

After the union of Scotland with England, Anstruther was returned to the new Parliament of Great Britain as Member of Parliament for Fife at a by-election on 24 March 1709. There was little time for him to make any impression and he did not stand at the 1710 British general election.
Anstruther died in March 1737. He had had five sons and two daughters by his second wife and one son and two daughters by his third wife. One of his sons was killed at the Battle of Preston in 1715 in the first Jacobite Rebellion, and another rose to the rank of general in the service of the Hanoverians. He was succeeded by his eldest son Philip Anstruther.

SIZE: 32.25 x 29.25 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: by family descent to Kilmany House, Fife. Verso: an old handwritten label, mostly illegible, though the sitter's name can be made out.

Portrait of Diana Connell c.1948-50, by John ...

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Oil on canvas in the original frame. Signed, lower right 'Gilroy'.

The attractive young sitter, Diana Connell, smiling and looking confidently to her right, is dressed for an evening function.
The portrait is painted, as was often the fashion at this time, on a rather coarse canvas, giving an added texture to the painting. The frame is the original one and the canvas remains unlined; a clean and re-varnish was all that was necessary to bring these glowing colours back to life.
This is an excellent portrait and fully redolent of its time .. the Second World War was over and people, especially the young, looked forward to a brighter and better time.

JOHN THOMAS YOUNG GILROY (30 May 1898 – 11 April 1985) was an English artist, portraitist and illustrator, best known for his advertising posters for Guinness, the Irish stout. He signed many of his works, simply, "Gilroy".
Born in Whitley Bay, Northumberland, England, Gilroy attended Durham University until his studies were interrupted by World War I, during which he served with the Royal Field Artillery. He resumed studying at the Royal College of Art in London, where he remained as a teacher. He taught at Camberwell College of Arts.
In 1925, he gained employment at S.H. Benson's advertising agency, where he created the iconic advertisement art for Guinness featuring the Zoo Keeper and animals enjoying Guinness. He worked with Dorothy L. Sayers. He created cover designs for the Radio Times, most famously, in 1936, one depicting a laughing cat.

He was also an accomplished portrait painter, numbering royalty, politicians, actors and many others amongst his sitters. He worked in his large studio at 10 Holland Park, London, the former home and studio of Sir Bernard Partridge.

He was a long-standing and much loved member of the Garrick Club, where he was created a Life Member and Chairman of the Works of Art Committee 1970–1975. He was awarded and Honorary MA by Newcastle University in 1975, and was made a Freeman of the City of London in 1981

He married twice. First, in 1924, to Gwendoline Short, an artist like himself. They had one son - John Morritt in 1927. His second marriage, in 1950, was to Elizabeth Margaret Outram Bramley.

SIZE: 47 x 37 x 2.75 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: by descent.
Old inscriptions and labels verso.

Miniature 19th century Kingwood chest of drawers. ...

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A rare miniature piece of furniture, probably Maltese, kingwood veneered and inlaid, in excellent condition. Some old worm holes, but inactive.

DIMENSIONS: 11.25 inches tall, 11 inches wide, 7.75 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: from the longstanding collection of a French family now resident in Oxford.

Portrait of Capt. James Monypenny, R.N. 1702, ...

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Oil on canvas in a period giltwood Maratta frame.

This fine portrait descended through the ancient Moneypenny family for over 300 years. The ancestral seat of the family was Pitmilly House in Scotland, and they have been associated with it for over 800 years, when Thomas, Prior of St Andrews, granted a charter of the lands of Pitmilly to Richard Monipennie in 1211. The current baron is the 29th generation of the family. This portrait was part of a significant family collection of portraits which, extraordinarily, remained together with the family until recently.

The sitter is Captain James Monypenny, the son of Arthur Monypenny. He married Mary Gybbon (1685–1756), daughter of John Gybbon, on 31 May 1714. James Moneypenny was the nineteenth generation of that family. In 1697 he was Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and in 1704 he was a Captain at the Capture of Gibraltar, Battle of Malaga, and Battle of Marbella. He was also Captain of the ship HMS Superb from 1710 to 1714 and Captain of the ship The Royal Oak in 1715. Between September and November 1711 he captured four French ships engaged in the Levant trade. The resulting prize money formed the basis of his fortune. He purchased the ancient Maytham Estate (the estate dates from Saxon times and at least four Norman lords had manors there) and commenced the building of Maytham Hall in 1714.
The family have been associated with Pitmilly, Scotland, since 1211 and the estate remained in the family until the 20th century, when the house was destroyed by fire. A nominal four acres were retained to keep the feudal barony alive.

The origins of the family name by legend are that Malcolm III Cænnmor, King of Scotland, being obliged to flee after his father Duncan the Gracious was killed by Macbeth in 1040, found refuge with a wealthy French merchant named James Dauphin. When the King sought to recover his Kingdom, he asked his friend for a few pennies, whereupon James Dauphin replied, "Not a few pennies but many pennies", and his two sons fought at the side of the King. When the Kingdom was recovered, the King gifted to the eldest son James, the lands of Pitmilly, Fife, and married him to a lady related to Macduff, Thane of Fife.

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 showing intelligence and a sense of humour in the sitter.

SIZE: 36.5 x 31.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: From the sitter at Maytham Hall and Pitmilly House, and by descent through the family until recently. Old inscriptions and labels verso.

Portrait of a Young Lady c.1700, Studio ...

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Oil on canvas in a giltwood frame.

While standard portraits of this period tended to be pleasing and superficial Fra Galgario’s are dark, brooding, almost Goya-like in their intensity and with a sense of drama; this is evident in this fine portrait with its sense of suddenly stilled movement.
Fra Galgario is the author of some of the most astonishing portraits of the late Baroque period. Full of character and remarkable for their expressive poses, these images are both dramatic and sympathetic.
He is said to blend the attention to colourism and glamour that captures Baroque portraiture in Venice, with the realism of Milanese art, such as that of Moroni.

Fra’ Galgario, born Giuseppe Vittore Ghislandi, and also called Fra’ Vittore del Galgario, was born 4 March 1655, and though much of his work has been lost or forgotten, he was a successful and busy portraitist mainly active in the Bergamo and Milan art markets.
Born to an artist father, Domenico Ghislandi, Galgario initially entered the studio of Giacomo Cotta, then Bartolomeo Bianchi, and finally the studio of Sebastiano Bombelli in Venice of the 1690s. He also reported to have trained with the German portrait artist Salomon Adler in Milan.

After a period of initial training in his native city with painters of purely local renown, Ghislandi continued his education in Venice between 1675 and 1688. There he became a lay brother in the monastery of San Francesco di Paolo, though writers who have doubted the seriousness of his vocation have insinuated that he did so merely in order to gain financial support for his studies. According to early sources, he studied the works of Titian and Veronese above all. This initial contact with the great tradition of portraiture proved decisive for his later development, and Ghislandi became best known as a portraitist, although he also painted a number of history paintings, no longer extant, in Venice and Bergamo.

In 1688, Ghislandi returned briefly to Bergamo before returning again to Venice, where he was assistant to the portraitist Sebastiano Bombelli (1635-1719) for the next twelve years. During this second Venetian period Ghislandi painted the portraits of important Venetian noble families, and apparently became something of a rival to Bombelli, as the sources related that he left the studio under the cloud of the master's envy.

He was made a member of the Accademia Clementina of Bologna after a trip to that city in 1717. He died in Bergamo in 1743.

SIZE: 51 x 35 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: London private collection.

Portrait of Louis XIV as a Child ...

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Oil on canvas in a period carved and giltwood frame.
Louis was born on 5 September 1638 at St Germain-en-Laye. He became king at the age of four on the death of his father, Louis XIII.
While Louis was a child, his mother, Anne of Austria, served as regent, assisted by Louis XIII's chief minister, Cardinal Mazarin.
Louis's early years were marked by a series of rebellions against his mother and Mazarin, which were known as the 'Fronde'. These created in him a lifelong fear of rebellion, and a dislike of Paris, prompting him to spend more and more time in Versailles, southwest of Paris. In 1660, he married Maria Theresa, daughter of Philip IV of Spain.
When Mazarin died in 1661, the 23-year-old Louis decided to rule without a chief minister. He regarded himself as an absolute monarch, with his power coming directly from God. He carefully cultivated his image and took the sun as his emblem, and was known as The Sun King. Between 1661 and 1689, he built a magnificent palace at Versailles and moved his government there from Paris in 1682.
In the early part of his reign, Louis worked with his finance minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to tighten central control over the country, reviving the use of regional royal officials, 'intendants' and carrying out other financial and administrative reorganisation. Louis also expanded the French army and navy.
Louis's reign was marked by aggressive French foreign policies. After the death of his father-in-law, Louis claimed part of the Spanish Netherlands and launched the War of Dutch Devolution (1667-1668). In the Second Dutch War, he failed to crush the Dutch, led by William of Orange, but made significant territorial gains.
In 1685, Louis, a devout Catholic, revoked the Edict of Nantes which had allowed freedom of worship to French Protestants (Huguenots). Around 200,000 Huguenots, many of them skilled craftsmen, fled to Holland and England.
The last three decades of Louis's reign were marked by almost constant warfare. France was now the dominant power on the continent and other European nations felt threatened by this supremacy. The War of the League of Augsburg (1688-1697), followed by the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) severely strained French resources. In the War of the Spanish Succession, for the first time in nearly a century France consistently lost battles, most notably at Blenheim in 1704 and Ramillies in 1706.
Louis XIV died on 1 September 1715, shortly after the Peace of Utrecht which ended the War of the Spanish Succession. As his eldest son and grandson had died before him, his great-grandson succeeded him as Louis XV.
CHARLES BEAUBRUN (1604–1692) was a French portrait painter active in Paris between 1630 and 1670.
He was born at Amboise, a member of a distinguished family of painters.
He studied under his uncle Louis Beaubrun (d. 1627). He and his cousin Henri Beaubrun (II (1603–1677), were portrait painters in the courts of King Louis XIII and Louis XIV of France. Some of his work is jointly attributed to Henri. His youngest brother, Michel Beaubrun (d 1642), was also a painter. Charles died at Paris in 1692.
SIZE: 32 x 27.5 inches framed.
PROVENANCE: The Collection of the late Anne, Lady Winnington of Brockhill Court, Worcestershire, and London.

Early 17th century miniature table cabinet.

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This is an extremely rare piece of furniture of great quality, it is dated 1623 beneath the image of the lady, and the initials (partly erased) HM beneath the man.
These initials are repeated above the central drawer.

The doors, top and sides all with ivory line inlaid panels of stylised flowers, the doors enclosing an arrangement of panelled small drawers, the central deep drawers with ivory inlaid urn of flowers and portico cresting to the drawer above, the inside of the doors inlaid in ivory with a full length portrait of a man and a lady within arched surround.
Continental, most likely Flemish, it is almost certain that this masterpiece was made to commemorate the wedding of the two people depicted on the doors and as a gift to the bride.

The large central drawer has a secret sliding compartment, which when opened contains a mother of pearl gaming token.

DIMENSIONS: 8 inches wide (closed) 16 inches wide (open), 6 inches tall, 4.75 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: a long standing French Collection.