Miniature oak bureau, 18th century.

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A rare and interesting miniature oak bureau, mid 18th century.
Possible an apprentice piece or it could have been made as a trinket box or child's toy.
There are two keys; one for the drawers and one for the fall.
The piece is in excellent original condition, although one rear foot looks as if it is an old replacement.

DIMENSIONS: 12.5 inches tall, 10.75 inches wide, 8 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: From the private collection of a retired Somerset antiques dealer.

"Emma Young, The Reluctant Sitter" c.1950, by ...

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A charming pastel by Dorothy Colles, signed, and inscribed verso.

Dorothy Colles was born in Cairo in 1917. Her father was a forensic scientist and medical school professor working for the Egyptian government. He eventually retired to England where in the 1930s Dorothy began her training at the Central Westminster, Epsom and St Martin’s schools of art. Soon after she began at St Martin’s the Second World War began. She was keen to join the war effort and joined the WAAF.

After serving at Tangmere fighter base, where she drew some of the pilots, she served at Medmenham interpreting the photographs taken by photographic reconnaissance aircraft. She was then sent to Italy and the Middle East where she spent much of her spare time drawing and painting.

After the war Dorothy returned to art school at St Martin’s and then joined the Egypt Exploration Society and left for Egypt to record the hieroglyphs on temples threatened with the rising desert water table. She then did similar work in Jordan drawing ancient sites as well as painting portraits of the king’s immediate circle, part of the royal family and Bedouin warriors.

When Dorothy returned to England in the late 1940s she started a freelance art career concentrating on portrait painting of children. She worked substantially to commission and would usually paint two portraits of a child during several sittings, one full face and one three quarter face leaving the parents to make the choice. Her portraits were known to be “fresh with a spark of character and wonderfully lively”. She worked mainly in pastel.
She exhibited at The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and The Pastel Society of which she was a member. Dorothy wrote "Portraying Children" in 1953.
She died, aged 86, on 12 November 2003 in Petersfield, Hampshire.
SIZE: 32 x 25.5 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: *Formerly with Graham Bentley Watercolours and Drawings.
* Private Collection, Shropshire.

Triple Portrait of The Hon. Mrs. Denham ...

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Oil on canvas in giltwood frame, signed and dated "Edward Hughes 1896" lower left, on the stone plinth.

This superb triple portrait shows the Honourable Mrs. Denham-Cookes and her children Arthur Brownlow and Clara Evelyn in their garden at 16 Princes Gate, London. (This house is now the Iranian Embassy and is famous for its siege and capture by the SAS in 1980).

Their father was Colonel George Denham-Cookes, and his son Arthur followed him into the army, becoming a captain in the 24th Battn. London Regiment.
Prior to this he had become an M.A. Trinity Hall, Cambridge and a Member of the Inner Temple.
Arthur had married, in 1916, Ursula Bloom, the novelist, and in 1917 they had a son, Pip Denham-Cooke. Tragically, having survived the First World War, Arthur died of influenza in November 1918 aged 27.

EDWARD HUGHES (1832–1908) was a highly successful painter who exhibited at the Royal Academy, The British Institute, and The Grosvenor Gallery, displaying over the period from 1847 to 1892 a total of 69 works. He is best known for his genre pieces in the manner of Thomas Faed and in his later career for his portraits of the aristocracy, which strongly recall the ‘fancy’ pictures of J. E. Millais. Feted by the Victorian elite, Hughes’s art commanded high prices; his early work displayed a Pre-Raphaelite attention to detail, and his pictures produced in the final parts of the century are lavish and showy in the manner of Victorian impressionism, with a flamboyant emphasis on bright tones and light effects.

Both idioms embody a sharp understanding of the subject. Hughes was admired by his fellow-artists and drew approving comments. Millais – whose work he imitated – was thoroughly impressed, noting how many artists could draw a man, but Hughes was distinguished by his capacity to ‘paint a portrait of a lady'.
{Simon Cooke, Ph.D The Victorian Web.}

SIZE:52 x 46 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: by direct descent through the family.

SOLD....Portrait of Captain Stewart 1814; by Thomas ...

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Oil on canvas in ornate frame.

The subject of this Late Georgian/Regency portrait is thought to be Daniel Stewart (Stuart), brother of Elizabeth Stewart, Mrs. Westmacott (portrait also on this website).
But there were four brothers in the army...Daniel, John, Charles and Thomas ...a lieutenant, a captain and two majors; however this portrait has decended directly through the family and is known as Daniel.
The handwritten label verso says the sitter was a captain in the 24th Dragoons, but the dragoons wore blue uniforms and this officer wears a red tunic with the yellow facings of a Scottish regiment. Of course, the officer may have changed regiments at some time but clearly more research is needed to identify the sitter beyond doubt.
In August 1822 two of the Stewart brothers died in India, both in the Honourable East India Company, Bombay; Major John Stewart died of a liver complaint aged 43, and Captain John Guise Stewart died of a wound in the head aged 38,"both brothers of Mrs. H. Westmacott of Cadogan-place". Reported in 'The Gentleman's Magazine' Volume 92, "Obituary of Remarkable Persons" and "Blackwood's Magazine" Volume 11.

The parents of the sitter were Thomas Stewart, Town Clerk of Montrose and Elizabeth Guise, born in Gibraltar in 1755.

The National Portrait Gallery has Thomas Phillip's sitter's book in which this portrait and that of his sister Elizabeth Stewart are included.

THOMAS PHILLIPS R.A. (1770-1845) was a leading English portrait painter. He painted many of the important and wealthy of the day including scientists, artists, writers, poets and explorers.
He was elected ARA 1804, RA in 1808, becoming Royal Academy Professor of Painting in 1825.
Phillips was a contemporary of Lawrence and offered a more subdued style based on his study of Old Masters. "His best works are full of character and show him to be in the top rank of portrait painters" (The Dictionary of Portrait Painters in Britain up to 1920.)

SIZE: 40.5 x 35.75 inches inc. frame
30 x 25 inches canvas size.
PROVENANCE: By family descent.
Deceased Estate, Dorset.
VERSO: handwritten label identifying the sitter.

Oak court cupboard c.1740

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This Welsh court cupboard, also known as a press cupboard, didarn or cwpwrrd deuddarn (Welsh for two-part cupboard) is stylistically characteristic of those made in Denbighshire. It is of outstanding colour and patination.

To quote from 'Oak Furniture, The British Tradition' by Victor Chinnery :-
"Apart from the tester bedstead, the great press cupboard was the most important and prestigious piece of furniture many small households could boast.
As a type, they first appeared in the second half of the 16th century, and continued to be made in North Wales and some other remote areas until the beginning of the 19th century."

The ovolo mouldings seen on the top doors of this piece are fine examples of this type of decoration which became very popular after c.1680, particularly in North Wales.
As Chinnery says "This late type of fielded panel is usually considered as sufficient decoration on its own, supplemented with the usual simple edge moulding and a heavy cornice."

SIZE: 59 inches wide, 71.5 inches tall, 22.5 inches deep.
CONDITION: superb colour and a rich patina, fine largely original condition (handles old but later).
Interestingly, on the side of the piece are the small branded initials 'EW'. A candle burn on the right hand upper door reminds us of the lighting in use in the 18th century and its attendant fire risks.
'Such marks are often found on period oak furniture and are ownership initials. It seems most likely that the marks were applied by branding irons in the course of taking an inventory.' (Victor Chinnery "Oak Furniture: The British Tradition").

PROVENANCE: Denbighshire Private Collection.

Portrait of a Gentleman 1690; Attributed to ...

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Small oil on canvas in a carved and giltwood frame. The fine quality frame was expensively restored and regilded by the previous owner, using both oil gilding and water gilding for different colour areas.
Dated 1690 and indistinctly signed centre right.

The fashionable and expensively dressed sitter looks confidently out of the frame as if surveying his extensive lands. The open book signifies that he is an intellectual.
His luxurious wig (from which fashion came the expression 'big-wig' for someone important), his silks, his costly table carpet, the very expensive Indian tea gown and particularly his pose, all make this the archetypal Baroque portrait.
The pose and treatment of the material are typical of van Musscher.
This type of portrait was usually on a larger scale e.g. 50 x 40 inches; the fact that this is 'in small' suggests that it was for the 'cabinet'...the intimate room for favoured possessions that was so fashionable during the Baroque period. Perhaps painted for a wife or lover?

MICHIEL VAN MUSSCHER (1645 – 1705) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. was born in Rotterdam in January 1645 and was later baptized on 27 January.
According to Houbraken, he showed a talent for drawing at a young age, and had many teachers, of which he kept a record. His first teacher was Martinus Saeghmolen in 1660 for two months, and in 1661, he took lessons from Abraham van den Tempel. In 1665 he took seven lessons with Gabriel Metsu, and in 1667 he spent three months in Haarlem to take lessons with Adriaen van Ostade. Though his entire education spanned several years, Houbraken was astonished that he became so skilled with so few hours of professional study, and concludes that he must have had a great natural talent that he practiced extensively on his own.
Houbraken wrote that van Musscher moved to Amsterdam to work for Jonas Witsen, a wealthy art lover who introduced him to all of his friends as a portrait painter.

In Amsterdam, during the second half of the 17th-century, the top name in portraiture was Michiel van Musscher.

He married twice, first to Eva Visscher in 1678 in Buiksloot (Amsterdam), and the second time in 1693 to the widow Elise Klanes. His pupils were Ottmar Elliger the Younger and Dirk Valkenburg.
He died on June 20, 1705 in Amsterdam and was buried on June 25 in the Nieuwe Kerk.

SIZE:26.5 x 23 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: Christie's London, where purchased by the previous owner.
Sibton Park, Suffolk, and by descent.
Verso: old auction catalogue entries.


SOLD....Portrait of Sir Maximilian Norris; Manner of ...

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SIR MAXIMILIAN NORRIS (also known as Norreys) was a relative of Henry Norreys, Keeper of the King's Privy Purse, who was executed in 1536 for alleged adultery with Queen Anne Boleyn.

Maximilian was one of five brothers who campaigned in Ireland and on the Continent against the Spanish; he was killed fighting in Brittany in 1593.
The present representatives of the Norris family are the Berties, Earls of Abingdon.

This painting dates from c.1800 (the frame dating from that period) and is a copy of a lost 16th century original. It is typical of much Elizabethan portraiture in it's iconic feeling, use of symbolism and the fashionable poetic melancholic appearance of the sitter, who wears the 'sable harness' or black armour also in fashion at that time.

Upper right the copyist has misspelt the knight's name as 'Maximisian' and upper left has incorrectly copied the Latin inscription as 'His Aut Nullis', which should read 'Hic Aut Nullus'. One can only presume the inscriptions on the original were indistinct.
Beneath the sitter's name can faintly be discerned an overpainted inscription.

The symbolism of the hand, sword and armillary sphere is interesting.
The use of the armillary would suggest that the sitter was linked to the Court of Elizabeth l; it was much used there, especially by the Queen, as a symbol of constancy and (specifically) Protestant religious fidelity.
The sword and hand represent military valour in pursuit of these virtues and the Latin translates as 'Without this, nothing'.

ROBERT PEAKE the Elder (c. 1551 – 1619) was an English painter active in the later part of Elizabeth I's reign and for most of the reign of James I.
Peake was the only English-born painter of a group of four artists whose workshops were closely connected. The others were De Critz, Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, and the miniature painter Isaac Oliver. Between 1590 and about 1625, they specialised in slightly 'stiff feeling' portraits that are unique to England at this time. It is not always possible to attribute authorship between Peake, De Critz, Gheeraerts and their assistants with certainty.

SIZE: 45 x 41 inches inc frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of a Lady of Title.

Rare Chinese Kangxi ‘Mounted Warriors' charger (1662-1722) ...

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A Chinese famille verte-decorated “Mounted Warriors” charger, Kangxi period. (1662-1722).
The interior enamelled with a battle scene depicting soldiers on horseback interspersed with several bannermen, the shaped rim decorated with mythical beasts, flowers, and antiques, the underside with artemisia leaf mark within a double circle.

NOTE: for other examples depicting battle scenes, see: Christie's, London, May 20, 2003, Lot 184 and Bonham's, Edinburgh, UK, March 25, 2015, Lot 266 and Freemans, Philadelphia, where the identical, but undamaged dish, Lot 56, April 8, 2021, sold for $5040 (£3828)

The Mounted Warriors decoration is rare. The dish, Wucai porcelain, is painted with considerable verve. In the centre a mounted general aims his spear at a fleeing foe.
Although the dish is badly damaged the enamel decoration is clear and bright .. well worth proper restoration.
Despite the damages this is still a beautiful and rare artwork, around 400 years old.

SIZE: 14.5 inches
PROVENANCE: Cheshire Private Collection.
Southern England Private Collection for the last 34 years.

SOLD....Portrait of Lady Anne Cecil c.1635; Circle ...

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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.


SOLD...Portrait of a Lady c.1628; attributed to ...

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Oil on oak panel in fine 18th c. carved and giltwood frame.

A superb portrait typical of de Vos's style, the brushwork detailed, sensitive and rich in nuances, his colouring is ardent and full-bodied in the Flemish manner. His portraits glow with an air of prosperity and well-being.
De Vos was well-known for dignified portraits which nevertheless maintain a charming modesty, as is seen here. The reserved expression of the sitter and meticulous handling of the costume details are characteristic.

CORNELIS DE VOS (1585 - 1651) was admitted as a Master of the Antwerp Guild in 1606. In the early 17th century Antwerp was crowded with excellent painters. The art-loving wealthy merchants of the great trading city were able to employ a sizeable population of artists, who were also kept busy by the foreign demand for works of art from Antwerp.
Cornelis de Vos became one of the most respected artists in the city, whilst also active as an art dealer.
He worked with Rubens and Van Dyck, and his work has been mistaken for theirs, although his portraits are more closely dependent on the Flemish tradition than his celebrated Italianate colleagues.
Essentially of the School of Rubens, de Vos's portraits developed an individual and successful style and Rubens sent many sitters to him.

SIZE: 30 x 26 inc. frame.

Verso: an old collection seal in red wax, probably 18th century.

Private Collection, Cornwall.
Boarsney House, Sussex.


SOLD....Marble Portrait Bust of the Sculptor's Lover ...

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A superb quality marble bust by Janko Brayovitch (1889 - 1947).
The sitter, Brayovitch's mistress, exquisitely carved from a large block of fine marble, is depicted with her head gracefully turned and her downcast eyes are half closed, as if in some delicious, drowsy reverie. Despite the nudity and the unquestioned erotic charge of the sculpture there is a great sense of peace and a feeling of quiet contemplation.
It is signed on the reverse of the plinth 'J. Brayovitch' accompanied by a carved circular symbol, the significance of which is not known.

Born in Montenegro, Janko Brayovitch studied at the High Academy of Sculpture in Vienna. After the First World War he emigrated to Britain, where he settled in Hampstead, London.
Many of his works were portrait busts in marble, bronze or a mixture of both.

In 1928 he was invited to Canada to sculpt the famous soldier General Burnham and his wiife. These busts were unfortunately destroyed by a fire at the General's house in 1955.
Brayovitch was also commissioned to scupt a bust of Gerald Gratan McGeer, Mayor of Vancouver and reformer of the once corrupt police force. This remains at 453 West 12th Ave. Vancouver.
A bust by Brayovitch of 1933, 'Red Indian', is in the Tate Gallery, London and featured in the exhibition 'Head to Head' in 2004.

Apart from its beauty and the consummate skill of its creation what makes this bust utterly unique is that it is of Brayovitch's lover and therefore a very intimate piece.
It was kept by her long after his death in 1947 until the 1970's, when it was sold to a collector who owned it for the last 35 years or so.

SIZE: 24.5 inches tall.
* Janko Brayovitch.
*The sitter.
*Hillersdon House nr. Cullompton, Devon.

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1675, by Mary ...

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Oil on canvas in a period frame.
A fine portrait, characteristic of Mary Beale's mature and best period. She presents a sympathetic and insightful view of the sitter. There is a sense of intimacy so that despite the lace and silk the he is not affected or pretentious. She saw him, as do we, with a clear gaze.

The portrait has been authenticated as an autograph work of the artist by Tabitha Barber, Curator of British Art 1500-1750, Tate Galleries.

MARY BEALE (1633-1699) was born in Barrow, Suffolk, the daughter of John Cradock, a Puritan rector. Her mother, Dorothy, died when she was 10. Her father was an amateur painter, and member of the Painter-Stainers' Company, and she was acquainted with local artists, such as Nathaniel Thach, Matthew Snelling, Robert Walker and Peter Lely. In 1652, at the age of 18, she married Charles Beale, a cloth merchant from London - also an amateur painter.
She became a semi-professional portrait painter in the 1650s and 1660s, working from her home, first in Covent Garden and later in Fleet Street. 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 was not the only female painter in England, but her name has survived, until recently, as that of the only woman to make a successful living, and to enjoy a flourishing practice as a portraitist.

The family moved to a farmhouse in Allbrook, Hampshire in 1665 due to financial difficulties, her husband having lost his position as a patent clerk, and also due to the Great Plague of London. For the next five years, a 17th-century two storey timber-framed building was her family home and studio.
She returned to London in 1670, where she established a studio in Pall Mall, with her husband working as her assistant, mixing her paints and keeping her accounts. She became successful, and her circle of friends included Thomas Flatman, poet Samuel Woodford, Archbishop of Canterbury John Tillotson, and Bishops Edward Stillingfleet and Gilbert Burnet.
She became reacquainted with Sir Peter Lely, now Court Artist to Charles II. Her later work is heavily influenced by Lely, being mainly small portraits. Her surviving works, however, suggest far more the artist who was a close friend of Sir Peter Lely and widely reckoned to be Van Dyck's most accomplished copyist. Her grasp of Lely's colouring is evident, but the pleasant and direct manner in which she treats her sitters is entirely her own.
Mary Beale died in 1699 in Pall Mall, and was buried at St. James's, Piccadilly in London. Her husband died in 1705.

SIZE: canvas 30 and three eighths x 25 inches (77 x 63.5 cm)
Framed size: 36 x 31 inches. (92 x 78.5 cm)

PROVENANCE: *(Possibly) Collection of the Earls’ of Wilton, Heaton Hall;
*(Possibly) Sale, Walter Brierley, Catalogue of the Heaton Park collection of oil paintings, drawings, engravings and antique furniture, Manchester, 29 June 1906, lot 18;
*Sir John Thomas Banks (1815-1908), Dublin; by descent to the Hon. Catherine Burrell (d. 1958), his granddaughter;
*Thence by descent;
*Sale, Sotheby’s, British Painting and Watercolours and 19th Century Continental Pictures, 12 May 1999, lot 167 (withdrawn);
*Private collection, England.