Portrait of William Coventry, 5th Earl of ...

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Oil on canvas laid on board. Signed and dated lower left 'G Kneller F. 1720'.
Inscribed on the reverse: 'The Earle of Coventry: 1720'

WILLIAM COVENTRY, 5th Earl of Coventry was born in 1676, the son of Walter Coventry and his wife Anne Holcombe, daughter of Humphrey Holcombe, a wealthy London merchant.
William inherited the Earldom in 1719 but was only distantly related to the Earl’s of Coventry, his grandfather being the youngest brother of Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry. It is perhaps for this reason we see the large Coventry coat of arms painted on the wall to the right, behind William. Although the composition is a typical format of Kneller’s later works, the inclusion of the family coat of arms surmounted by the Earl’s coronet is
most unusual. William appears to have moved into Croome Court, the Coventry family seat built in 1649, as soon as he became the 5th Earl and immediately went on to improve the earnings of the estate. William’s son George later went on to employ Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to redesign the gardens and house in a style that befit the mid 18th century fashions.
1719 was also the year that William was married, to Elizabeth Allan, daughter of John Allen of Westminster, of whom Kneller also painted in a now lost portrait shortly after the marriage. This portrait was thus almost certainly painted to celebrate both William’s rise to the peerage and his marriage. Indeed, he points to the left, out of the composition, suggesting that when the portrait was hung at Croome it was placed next to Kneller’s
portrayal of Elizabeth and would thus show William indicating his new wife. William’s lavish maroon velvet jacket covered in an abundance of gold brocade is significantly more decorative than many jackets worn by other nobleman in Kneller’s portraits. it is clear to see William wished to visually display his wealth and status.
Kneller’s composition, which was considered to instil the sitter with an authoritative elegance, was much favoured by many sitters.
SIR GODFREY KNELLER, who was born in Lubeck in 1646 and first travelled to England in 1676, had risen to fame throughout the English Court for his ability to rapidly paint highly skilled portraits. After the death of Sir Peter Lely, Kneller was appointed Principle Painter in Ordinary to the Crown by Charles II. He was then knighted by William III after painting the Hampton Court Beauties series and made a Baronet by George I on the 24 May 1715, an unprecedented endowment for an artist in Britain.
One of Kneller’s most important commissions was painting the portraits of the members of the Kit-Kat club, an influential society made up of members and supporters of the Whig party. William Coventry would almost certainly be aware of these portraits as he was the Whig MP for Bridport in Dorset until he inherited his Earldom, after which he took his seat in the house of Lords. On the 22 March 1720 he was appointed to George I's Privy Council
and in the same year he was appointed the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire.

William’s grandson, the Rt. Hon John Coventry moved this portrait along with Kneller’s portrait of Elizabeth, Countess of Coventry, from Croome to another Coventry estate, Burgate Manor in Wiltshire. It was then sold from this estate at
Sotheby’s in 1929 by John Coventry Esq.

SIZE: 53.5 x 44 x 3.25 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: *Croome Court, Worcestershire
*Burgate Manor, Fordingbridge, Wiltshire
*Sothbey’s, London, Property of Sir John Coventry Esq., 15 May 1929 (Lot 82)
*Private Collection, London
*Christie’s, London, Anonymous Sale, 17 October 1986 (Lot 101)
*Private Collection, Monte Carlo

Portrait of Catharina Margaretha Beck c.1695; Attributed ...

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Small oil on canvas in period carved and giltwood frame.
The young sitter, Catharina Margaretha Beck, by the standards of the time of marriageable age, is depicted in the mythical realm of Arcady, a fashionable conceit of the time. Arcady, or Arcadia, was a mythological land, home of the god Pan, where love, innocence, and peace reigned.
At the centre of Arcady is the Garden of Love where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain. The fountain makes an allusion to her potential as a wife and mother, recalling Proverbs, chapter 5, verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of thy youth".
This is a very high quality portrait with symbolism typical of the Baroque period.

CATHERINA MARGARETHA BECK (1680 -1737) was born in Middelburg, Walcheren, where her father was Burgomaster. She became the second wife of Baron Guisbert van Hogendorp van Hofwegen in 1696. Thus she married into an old and influential family of the Dutch nobility. The marriage produced nine children of whom three died in the year of their birth. Catherina died in South Gravenage in 1737, aged 57.

JOHANNES (Jan) VAN HAENSBERGEN (1642–1705) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He was registered in the Utrecht Guild of St. Luke in 1668 and in 1669 he was registered in the Confrerie Pictura in The Hague, where he married Johanna van Heusden and worked on portraits for the elite there. According to Houbraken he was born in Utrecht. He was a student of Cornelius van Poelenburgh, and though he was quite successful in imitating his master's style of landscape painting, he switched to portraits since he could make a comfortable living making "flattering ladies portraits that made their skin look whiter". (Pale skin was the sign of quality at the time, only peasants who worked outside for a living had tanned skin). His portrait style shows the influence of Caspar Netscher.

SIZE:28 x 24.25 x 2.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: *Bonhams, London, Old Master Paintings, April 2015.
*The collection of a lady, Southern England.
Verso: an old Christie's stencil, and a handwritten label, dated 1930, with inventory numbers.

Indian casket, 19th century.

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A 19th century Indian casket, brass bound and finely decorated with 'pen-work'. A superior example of the type.
Size: 8 inches tall, 12 inches wide, 9 inches deep.

Please note: a very similar casket was sold at Christie's South Kensington, Lot 100, Sale 8291, 19th February 2013, for £2000.

'The Monkey King'; needlework panel c.1720.

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A good quality Georgian petit point needlework, first third of the 18th century, in excellent condition; a rare item.
SIZE: 19.5 x 15.5 inches framed.
PROVENANCE: Sussex Private Collection.
Yorkshire Private Collection since 1997.

Portrait of a Boy of the Crawley-Boevey ...

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Oil on canvas in a giltwood frame.

A charming portrait of a young boy likely to be a member of the Crawley-Boevey family, late 18th century, painted within the feigned oval that was so fashionable at the time.
It is possible that the sitter is Sir Thomas Crawley-Boevey, 3rd Bt., born on 28 November 1769. He was the son of Sir Thomas Crawley-Boevey, 2nd Bt. and Ann Savage. He was baptised on 1 December 1769 at Flaxley Abbey.
He married Mary Albinia Page, daughter of Sir Thomas Hyde Page and Mary Albinia Woodward, on 28 October 1807. He died on 10 January 1847 at age 77 at Flaxley Abbey and was buried there.

The artist is unknown and was probably one of the many provincial portraitists of the 18th century with influences by Kneller, Jervas, Richardson and other top artists; this mixture became a no nonsense, direct style of portraiture typical of the English School.

SIZE: 22 x 19 inches.
PROVENANCE:Collection of the Crawley-Boevey baronets who had Flaxley Abbey, Gloucestershire (see Image 8) as their seat since 1642.
Sold by direction of Sir Lance V.H. Crawley-Boevey (1900-1968) by Bruton, Knowles and Co. at the Six Day Sale of the Contents of Flaxley Abbey. Bought by F. Baden Watkins the new owner of Flaxley.
Lined and restored for Flaxley Abbey Estate Ltd by Frost & Reed Ltd. c. 1965.

Between 1962 and 1963 Flaxley Abbey's interior was restored by Tony Award winning theatre and set designer Oliver Messel.
Philip Baden-Watkins sold much of the Flaxley collection, including this portrait, in March 2015.

Pair of Portraits of King William and ...

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Oils on canvas in fine carved and gilt wooden frames.
Studio or Circle of Wissing versions of the originals; many copies were made as people sought to prove their allegiance to the new monarchs by displaying their images in their house.

William III and Mary II ruled Britain jointly after deposing King James II in what is known as the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Although Mary was James's daughter, she was a devoted Protestant, as was her husband, William (Prince of Orange), and many Parliamentarians and nobles wanted Mary to be monarch instead of her Roman Catholic father. In the autumn of 1688, after being asked by Parliament to take action against King James, William arrived in England with an army to depose him. James fled the country, abdicated, and Mary was invited to take the throne. However, Mary did not want to rule alone. She felt that her husband should be crowned instead (he was also a grandchild of King Charles I). But as William wanted the crown to pass to the next legitimate heir (which was Mary) and not claim the crown by conquest, a compromise was reached: Mary and William would rule jointly.
William spent eight months out of every twelve fighting a war with France and survived two Jacobite attempts to overthrow him, but his reign was short at just 13 years. Mary died after just five years on the throne, and as she died childless, the couple had failed to begin a dynasty of their own, and the crown was passed promptly to Mary’s sister, Anne upon William’s death.

WILLIAM WISSING also known as Willem Wissing, (1656 - 1687), was a Dutch portrait artist.
He was born in either Amsterdam or The Hague, and studied at The Hague under Willem Doudijns (1630–97) and Arnoldus van Ravestyn (1615–90). In 1676, he moved to England, where he studied with and assisted Sir Peter Lely.
After Lely's death in 1680, Wissing emerged as his most important pupil. Godfrey Kneller was the only contemporary portrait artist in England to rival Wissing. Wissing’s royal sitters include Charles II of England, Queen Catharine of Braganza, Prince George of Denmark and James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth.
In 1685, James II of England sent Wissing to the Netherlands to paint portraits of his Dutch son-in-law and daughter, the future William III of England and the future Mary II of England. Wissing died in 1687 at the peak of his fame as a portrait painter, at Burghley House, the home of Algernon Capel, 2nd Earl of Essex outside of London.
He was buried in St Martin's Church, Stamford, Lincolnshire.

SIZE: 42.5 x 36 x 2.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Mayfair Gallery, London.
Private Collection, London.



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Joined armchair, South-West Yorkshire, 1650 - 1700. The chair stands on typical 'gun barrel' legs.

"The most distinctive 'signature' of the Dales armchair is the broad curly profile of the double-scrolled pediment crest, in which the scrolled earpieces are an integral part of the design." ('Oak Furniture: The British Tradition' by Victor Chinnery).
This chair is of good quality, with typical West Riding carving and good colour, but constant use over the centuries has inevitably left its marks.
As these once high status chairs became unfashionable in the 18th century they moved down from gentry houses to farmers and small merchants then into cottages, often being badly treated.
This example has been restored and reconstructed and is firm, solid and ready to use for another 300 years.

DIMENSIONS:45 inches tall, 22.5 inches wide, 23 inches deep.
PROVENANCE:London Private Collection.

Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams ...

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Oil on canvas in reproduction 18th c. style gilt frame.
Inscribed, upper right, 'Col.n Sam & Rose Adams'.

A pleasing double portrait of Colonel Samuel Adams and his wife Rose, to whom he offers his snuff box for her to take a pinch. This is most unusual in portraiture.
(Snuff is a product made from ground or pulverised tobacco leaves. It originated in the Americas and was in common use in Europe by the 17th century.
It was generally inhaled or "snuffed" through the nose, usually directly from the fingers.
By the 18th century, snuff had become the tobacco product of choice among the upper classes, both male and female. The taking of snuff helped to distinguish the elite members of society from the common populace, which generally smoked its tobacco.)

PHILIPPE MERCIER (also known as Philip Mercier; 1689 in Berlin – 18 July 1760 in London) 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 librarian 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 royals, and no doubt many of the nobility and gentry. Of the royal portraits, those of the Prince of Wales and of his three sisters, painted in 1728, were all engraved in mezzotint by Jean Pierre Simon, and that of the three elder children of the Prince of Wales by John Faber Junior in 1744.

Mercier became involved in a scandal of sorts and he lost favour. 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.

SIZE: 45 x 51.5 inches inc. frame.
*Edward Abadam, Middleton Hall, Carmarthenshire, thence by descent.
*Sold Christie's 1980.
*American Private Collection.
*With Roy Precious Fine Art.
* Collection of a Fellow of a Cambridge College.

Verso: old inventory number; old Christie's stencil; old handwritten label "Colonel Samuel & Mrs. Adams. P. Mercier. To Christie's York from Vaughn, 102 Westbourne Ave. Hull"

Portrait of Mary Dodding 1677, by John ...

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Oil on canvas in a gilt reproduction frame of correct type.
This is a very high quality portrait typical of Wright's fine and sensitive work, with the haunting sense of character that Wright conveys. He would appear to have been far more interested in conveying intelligence than rivals such as Lely, and here, as always, we sense that the sitter is of an alert and enquiring mind.
Inscribed upper left "Mary, Daughter of George Dodding Esq. A.D. 1677."
This is almost certainly a portrait painted to mark Mary's marriage to Thomas Preston.

The surname Dodding was first found in Somerset at Doddington, which predates the Norman Conquest dating back to c. 975 when it was first listed as Dundingtune. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the village was known as Dodington.
There are other places similarly named in the Domesday Book but this is the only pre-Conquest village making it of Saxon origin. In early days, some of the family were found much further north in Cumberland at Kirk-Oswald where the estates of Kirk-Oswald were granted by Elizabeth I to the Dodding family.

MARY DODDING was the daughter of George Dodding Esq. of Conishead Priory; he was the son of Colonel George Dodding, (who had raised and commanded one of the Lancashire Regiments of Foot for Parliament during the Civil War, mainly recruited around Cartmel and Grange-over-Sands)
Colonel Dodding was the son of Miles Dodding Esq, of Conishead Priory, Lancashire.

Mary married Thomas Preston M.P. for Lancaster in, it is thought, 1677. Thomas was born in 1646 and died in 1697. He is buried at Cartmel, Cumbria. Mary's birth and death dates are not known, but the marriage was brief as Thomas married again and had two children from that union. There were no offspring from his earlier marriage, so it is very probable that Mary died in childbirth as was very common.

JOHN MICHAEL WRIGHT (May 1617 – July 1694) was a portrait painter in the Baroque style. Described variously as English and Scottish, Wright trained in Edinburgh under the Scots painter George Jamesone, and acquired a considerable reputation as an artist and scholar during a long sojourn in Rome. There he was admitted to the Accademia di San Luca, and was associated with some of the leading artists of his generation. He was engaged by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, the governor of the Spanish Netherlands, to acquire artworks in Oliver Cromwell's England in 1655. He took up permanent residence in England from 1656, and served as Court Painter before and after the English Restoration. He was a favourite of the restored Stuart court, a client of both Charles II and James II, and was a witness to many of the political manoeuvres of the era.
Wright is currently rated as one of the leading indigenous British painters of his generation, largely for the distinctive realism in his portraiture. Perhaps due to the unusually cosmopolitan nature of his experience, he was favoured by patrons at the highest level of society in an age in which foreign artists were usually preferred. Wright's paintings of royalty, aristocracy and gentry are included amongst the collections of many leading galleries today.

SIZE: 35.25 x 30.25 inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: latterly in a private collection in Sidmouth, Devon.


Portrait of Charles Bertie III, 1723; ...

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Oil on canvas in a George III carved and gilded gadrooned frame.
Inscribed, upper left, 'Chas. Bertie Esqr; Aetatis 19, 1723./of Uffington, in the /County of Lincoln', and with the sitter's coat of arms (showing three battering rams) and motto 'VIRTUS ARIETE FORTIOR' (Virtue is stronger than a battering ram. 'Virtue' here may also be interpreted a 'valour' or 'heroism'.)

CHARLES BERTIE III, painted here in 1723 at the age of 19, He died in 1754.
The Berties are an English aristocratic family headed by the Earl of Lindsey and Abingdon. Between 1715 and 1809 the head of the family held the title Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven. Over the centuries many members of the family were highly successful soldiers and often had an involvement in politics. Unlike his grandfather and father (both called Charles) the sitter had no interest in a parliamentary career.

CHARLES D'AGAR (1669 - 1723) came to England with his Huguenot father Jacques in 1681, settling here permanently after a stay in Copenhagen by 1691. He had a good practice, numbering such people as the Duke of Buccleuch and Lord Bolingbroke among his patrons.

SIZE: 36.5 x 32.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: By direct descent in the sitter's family to Montague Peregrine Albemarle Bertie, 12th Earl of Lindsay (1861-1938), and by descent to his daughter, Lady Muriel Felicia Vere Barclay-Harvey (1893-1980) of Ayton Castle, Berwickshire.

Verso: a torn inscription giving information on the sitter, and an old pencilled inscription on the stretcher 'No.32, 1st half-landing'.
A plaque on the frame misidentifies the sitter as Charles Bertie II, in fact that was his father.

Pewter charger c.1720.

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A large Queen Anne or George I singlr reed rim pewter charger, 18 inches in diameter.
Original owner's initials to the rim, E.B.(?).

SIZE: 18 inches diameter.
PROVENANCE:The Blue Boar Hotel, Maldon, Essex.

'The Cardinal'; a pottery bust by John ...

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A superb, and rare, artwork by John Fortnum, with a very powerful presence, it is pottery, but simulating charred wood...as if the bust had been rescued from a fire, but had been subject to great heat. It is, in appearance, timeless; it could date from the Italian Renaissance and be of wood, perhaps once painted; it could be, as it is, 33 years old...it moves effortlessly through a 600 year time span. It is a free standing 'trompe l'oeil' in that it hides its true material and presents us with a wide range of perceptions.
This is a very evocative sculpture which can inspire many messages … on art, survival, religion, life, apparent damage as enhancement....truly a very thought provoking item, as well as being a glorious sculpture.

Signed and dated '86; this is number 7 of a limited edition of 8. How many others have survived the last 33 years is not known.
"My Sculpture can be seen in some of the wildest landscapes in Britain, from the North Atlantic seascapes of the Orkney Isles to the North York Moors, where I have used the wind, rain, and oxidation as natural elements in Landscape sculpture. In my smaller more intimate sculptures the human body, with its architectural and structural aspects, is an underlying theme. I am fascinated by the alchemy of heat on materials. I enjoy using different materials and experimenting with a wide range of sculptural possibilities." John Fortnum, born 1945.
SIZE: 25.5 inches tall, 20 inches wide, 12 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: London Private Collection.