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Portrait of a Lady 1631, by Jan van Ravesteyn
Oil on marouflaged panel in good quality 18th century carved and giltwood frame.
Signed with initials and dated 'Anno. 1631. JVR" upper right.

A superb portrait of a gently smiling young woman; she wears a pearl necklace, the essential accessory of the period, but modestly conceals it beneath her fine muslin. No such modesty however, for the magnificent jewellery she wears across her bosom.
Her black clothing, fashionably slashed, is of the finest quality, beautifully decorated and contrasting with the exquisite white lace spread across her shoulders. In the work of great portraitists black is never dull, its pictorial potential is fully utilised. 
Black is an ideal background against which gold can stand out to dramatic effect and to contrast with the crisp white linen and lace. This extreme opposition between black and white is both austere and exciting, and is a characteristic feature of the 17th century Dutch portrait.

The theory has been put forward that the sitter is Amalia van Solms, wife of the Dutch Stadtholder (and grandmother of England's William III), who was painted many times by many different artists.
However, we consider this unlikely, as does Fred Meijer, curator at RKD, Netherlands Institute for Art History, at The Hague. 'While it is totally conceivable that Amalia van Solms sat for van Ravesteyn, I do not see any striking resemblance. Otherwise this appears to be a fully characteristic work by the artist.'
 
Regardless of the identity of the sitter this is a superb and sensitive portrait by a famous artist from the Netherland's Golden Age of painting.


JAN ANTHONISZ. VAN RAVESTEYN
(c. 1572-1657) was one of the most important and successful Northern Netherlandish portrait painters of the first half of the seventeenth century, and the leading portraitist of the government centre, The Hague. He was working there for the Stadholder's Court, for local patricians and for the upper classes of other cities in the Southern part of Holland and in Zeeland. 
His sitters are often depicted with rich costumes in the latest fashion, intentionally alluding to their wealth and status.
His earliest signed work is the well-known tondo portrait of the young Hugo Grotius, dated 1599 (Fondation Custodia, Paris). 
As early as 1604 Karel van Mander mentioned the artist as one of the most competent portraitists of his time. A large number of signed and dated works from the next decades - especially from the year 1611 - are known, including several group portraits of the Hague civic guard. 
The last dated portraits are from 1641, leading to the conclusion that the painter produced little, if anything, in the last fifteen years of his life. The general style of his work is closely related to that of the Delft portraitist Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt (1567-1641), but is generally less dry and often more flattering than the latter’s.
 
SIZE: 28 x 24.25 inches panel size.
34.5 x 31.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:
*Collection of Alfred Morrisson M.P. of Fonthill House, Tisbury, Wiltshire. (see image 10). Alfred Morrisson (1821-1887) was an outstanding collector of fine and rare items.
*Latterly in the Private Collection of a Lady.
VERSO: two Victorian printed labels bearing much information of "M & B Bartington; Est. 1836. No. 58 Wardour Street, Soho" framer and restorer.
Victorian handwritten label "Alfred Morrisson Esq. No. 106. Three quarter picture of Dutch Lady by Jan van Ravesteyn. 20/12/87".
Ref: 8553
Price: £25,000
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Portrait of a Gentleman 1666, Attributed to Samuel van Hoogstraten.
Oil on canvas; a superb quality portrait in a good 17th century carved and giltwood frame.

This powerful portrait has been known as Richard Cromwell, Oliver's third son, for many years, but, although the sitter bears a resemblance to the second Lord Protector, it is a doubtful attribution.

Looking directly and frankly at the viewer the sitter, almost certainly a military officer, makes no concession to any of the more foppish fashions of the day. He wears his own hair, not a wig, his cravat is simple. His sleeves have a silver thread pattern and over all he wears a breastplate with a buff leather coat beneath.
Although plain, all these items are of good quality...indeed, the young man must have been wealthy in order to commission such a high quality (and therefore expensive) portrait.
The different textures and appearance of all these materials, and the flesh and hair, are exquisitely painted by Hoogstraten.

Upper left, probably added in the 18th or 19th century, is the later inscription 'RICHARD CROMWELL', and to the middle right is another very faint inscription which seems to be contemporary with the portrait 'Aet. 23. Ano. 1666'.
If this date and the sitter's age are correct then it cannot be Cromwell who was born in 1626.

SAMUEL VAN HOOGSTRATEN (1627 - 1678)
Samuel van Hoogstraten was born in Dordrecht on 2 August 1627. He was first the pupil of his father, then, some time after his father's death in 1640, he entered Rembrandt's studio.
He painted genre scenes and portraits and he is well known as a specialist in perspective effects.
Hoogstraten travelled widely, visiting Rome and Vienna, where he was patronized by the Emperor. He was in London from 1662 to 1666, the time of the Great Fire.
He finally settled in his native town where he was made a Provost of the Mint. He published a book in 1678 "lnleyding tot de Hooge Schoole der Schilderkonst" (An Introduction to the Art of Painting), one of the few handbooks on painting published in Holland in that century. He died in Dordrecht on 19 October 1678.

SIZE: 29 x 23.5 inches canvas.
36.5 x 31 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Earl Granard K.P., Castle Forbes, County Longford, Ireland.(see image 6).
Private London Collection.
VERSO: Stencil "Earl of Granard KP Castle Forbes".
Hand written inscription, early 20th c. in appearance: "RICHARD CROMWELL. Painted by Robert Walker died 1659" (Unlikely attribution as the portrait is dated eight years after Walker's death.)







Ref: 8571
Price: £23,000
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Portrait of Philippe II, Duke of Orleans c.1706; Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Santerre.
Oil on canvas in a good quality reproduction frame.

This is a superb quality painting, the depiction of the various materials...silk, lace, gold, steel, hair and flesh is exquisite. Hands are often problematic with lesser artists but here they are totally realistic.
The Duke wears the Bourbon white silk sash and holds the baton of command of a high ranking officer.

PHILIPPE II, DUKE OF ORLEANS (1674-1723), Regent of France, the son of Philip I, duke of Orleans, and his second wife, the princess palatine, was born on the 2nd of August 1674, and had his first experience of arms at the siege of Mons in 1691. His marriage with Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, Mlle. de Blois, the legitimized daughter of Louis XIV, won him the favour of the king. He fought with distinction at Steinkerk, Neerwinden and Namur (1692-95). During the next few years, being without employment, he studied natural science. He was next given a command in Italy (1706) and in Spain (1707-08) where he gained some important successes, but he cherished lofty ambitions and was suspected of wishing to take the place of Philip V on the throne of Spain. Louis XIV was angry at these pretensions, and for a long time held him in disfavor. In his will, however, he appointed him president of the council of regency of the young King Louis XV (1715). After the death of the king, the duke of Orleans went to the parlement, had the will annulled, and himself invested with absolute power. At first he made a good use of this, counselling economy, decreasing taxation, disbanding 25,000 soldiers and restoring liberty to the persecuted Jansenists. But the inquisitorial measures which he had begun against the financiers led to disturbances.

There existed a party of malcontents who wished to transfer the regency from Orleans to Philip V, king of Spain. A conspiracy was formed, under the inspiration of Cardinal Alberoni, first minister of Spain, and directed by the prince of Cellamare, Spanish ambassador in France, with the complicity of the duke and duchess of Maine; but in 1718 it was discovered and defeated. Dubois, formerly tutor to the duke of Orleans, and now his all-powerful minister, caused war to be declared against Spain, with the support of the emperor, and of England and Holland (Quadruple Alliance). After some successes of the French marshal, the duke of Berwick, in Spain, and of the imperial troops in Sicily, Philip V made peace with the regent (1720).

On the majority of the king, which was declared on the 15th of February 1723, the duke of Orleans resigned the supreme power; but he became first minister to the king, and remained in office until his death on the 23rd of December 1723. The regent had great qualities, both brilliant and solid, which were unfortunately spoiled by an excessive taste for pleasure. His dissolute manners found only too many imitators, and the regency was one of the most corrupt periods in French history.

Father: Philip I, Duke of Orléans
Mother: Elizabeth Charlotte, Princess Palatine (b. 1652, d. 1722)
Wife: Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, Mlle. de Blois (b. 1677, m. 1698, d. 1749)
Son: Louis, duke of Orléans (b. 1703, d. 1752)

JEAN-BAPTISTE SANTERRE (1651-1717)
Santerre was born at Magny-en-Vexin, near Pontoise. A pupil of Bon Boullogne, he began his painting career at a portraitist, with a notable work being a portrait of Marie Leszczynska with the Maison de St Cyr in the background (now at the musée de Versailles). He won a major reputation thanks to his academies. His most notable work is his Susanna Bathing (Louvre), the diploma work executed by him in 1704, when he was received into the Académie (1730–1770) and Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806). He painted the Duc d'Orleans on several occasions

SIZE: 52.5 x 51.75 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private collection, East Kent.
Ref: 8955
Price: £13,250
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Portrait of H.M.S Royal Adelaide 1837; Attributed to Joseph Walter.
Oil on canvas in a gilt frame.

HMS ROYAL ADELAIDE LYING AT ANCHOR IN THE HAMOAZE AT DEVONPORT, WITH A LONGBOAT CARRYING DISTINGUISHED VISITORS HEADING INSHORE OFF HER STERN, THE BUILDINGS OF THE ROYAL WILLIAM VICTUALLING YARD ON THE OPPOSITE BANK.
Bears signature and date 1837, oil on canvas.

The first rate warship Royal Adelaide was laid down in Plymouth Dockyard as the London in May 1819. A larger version of Nelson's Victory, she displaced 4,122 tons, measured 198 feet in length with a 54 foot beam, and mounted 104 guns on three decks.
She was one of the earliest Royal Navy ships to have planking right round the bow at the height of the forecastle. However attempts to strengthen the stern in a similar way meant depriving the officers of their large windows and glass doors and met with indignant opposition. They objected to being deprived of their comfort, so the windows and glass doors remained open to devastating broadsides from astern.
Originally called HMS London she was nine years on the stocks before being launched on 28th July 1828 in the presence of the Lord High Admiral, the Duke of Clarence (later King William IV), as HMS London, she was christened by his Duchess and immediately renamed HMS Royal Adelaide in honour of the future Queen Adelaide.
Spending most of her career as Port Admiral's flagship at Plymouth, she was transferred to Chatham in 1891, where she served as Receiving Ship until 1904, and was finally broken up at Dunkirk in 1905.

JOSEPH WALTER (1783–1856) was an English marine painter in oils and watercolour, working at Bristol and Portishead. He gained notice for his portrayals of Brunel's steamships Great Western and Great Britain.

Walter was born in Bristol and died there, but was living in Portishead at the time that he exhibited his first known work, 'View from Portishead towards Wales' (1832). This was at the Bristol Institution in 1832, in the first exhibition of the Bristol Society of Artists. He is not known to have been associated with the Bristol School of artists in the 1820s. However surviving sketches suggest that he did take part in the revival of the school's sketching meetings in the 1830s. His drawing technique shows similarities to that of the leading Bristol School artist Samuel Jackson.

Walter's subjects included shipping at Bristol, Southampton, Malta and Saint Lucia. He also portrayed Dutch vessels in the style of the Dutch artists Van de Velde and son, for example in Dutch vessels in a fresh breeze (c. 1851). He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1837, and also at the Society of British Artists.

SIZE: 32.5 x 44 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:*London, Sotheby's, 5th December 1923, lot 139 as by J. Walter, from the Maude Collection.
*Bought by the previous owner's father in the late 60s from a dealer as an autograph work.

Verso: a 1986 restorer's label. (The painting was conserved by our restorer in December 2015)

Our thanks to Michael Naxton for his expertise.
Ref: 8921
Price: £12,950
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Portrait said to be of Sarah Wilson c.1750; Attributed to Allan Ramsay.
Oil on canvas in an excellent 18th century carved and giltwood frame.
Inscribed lower right 'Sarah Wilson'. The sitter depicted within a feigned oval.

This is a fine quality portrait and is typical of Ramsay's work in the mid 18th century; as usual, the fabrics are so well painted one can almost 'feel' them. Ramsay often employed the famous specialist drapery painter Joseph van Aken.
The frame is a work of art in its own right, beautifully carved by a master craftsman.

The later inscription claims the sitter to be Sarah Wilson, by repute the daughter of Christopher Wilson and heiress of Bradyll Dodding (1689-1748) of Conishead Priory, Cumbria. She married John Gale of Highcap Castle and had three children - Thomas Richmond Gale, Henry Richmond Gale and Margaret Gale.
Her sister Mary married into the Wharton family.

ALLAN RAMSAY 1713–1784.
Ramsay was born in Edinburgh. His father, also Allan Ramsay, was an important Scottish poet from whom the younger Ramsay inherited a tradition of strong nationalistic pride. Ramsay junior was instrumental in formulating a native Scottish style of painting, as his father had done for poetry.
Ramsay studied in London at St Martin's Lane Academy and at Hans Hysing's studio, before going to Italy. He worked from 1736 to 1738 at the French Academy in Rome under Francesco Imperiali and under Francesco Solimena in Naples. On his return he settled in London, although he continued to be active in Edinburgh. Between 1754 and 1757 he was in Italy, mostly in Rome. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1743. During his prime period he had a virtual monopoly on court painting. He became the official painter to George III in 1760, and Principal Painter-in-Ordinary in 1767. His assistants included David Martin, Alexander Nasmyth and Philip Reinagle.

SIZE: 37.5 x 32 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Deceased estate of a former Derby solicitor, who owned the portrait for 40 tears.
VERSO: Old trade label of Aiken Dottson, Castle Street, Edinburgh.
Ref: 9016
Price: £11,950
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Portrait of Capt. the Hon. Henry Dundas Shore C.1820, by Arthur William Devis.
Oil on canvas in the original Regency gilt frame.

This is a superb portrait of the young aristocratic officer; sensitive and insightful, his hair in the fashionably Byronic style. It is a fine example of the best work of Devis. He wears the dress uniform of the Light Dragoons.

CAPTAIN THE HONOURABLE HENRY DUNDAS SHORE (1800 - 1826) was the third son of the 1st Lord Teignmouth, Governor General of India and anti slavery campaigner.
The sitter served with the 11th Regiment of Light Dragoons as Cornet in 1818, then in the 4th Royal Irish Regiment of Dragoon Guards (being promoted to Lieutenant in November 1822) before becoming Captain in the Royal Marines in 1826.
Shore died in Loumarin, France, in April 1826. He was 26 and unmarried.
His funeral was a grand affair: "The pall was borne by officers of the French army. As the procession passed through the streets, which were densely crowded - as a holiday had been granted to the people of the neighbourhood - its progress was indicated by volleys from the carbines of the gendarmerie and the same martial tribute was bestowed at the grave." (from 'Memoir of the Life and Correspondence of John, Lord Shore', vol.2).

ARTHUR WILLIAM DEVIS (1762 - 1822). Devis was the son of Arthur Devis, a successful portrait painter. Devis enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools at the age of twelve and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1775. In 1782, he embarked aboard the Antelope for a voyage to the East Indies, in the capacity of draughtsman. The ship was wrecked and Devis and the crew were stranded for a year on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. After a series of extraordinary adventures, during which he took part in the wars of the natives on a neighbouring island and received two arrow wounds, Devis arrived in India, where he settled for ten years, establishing a successful practice as a painter of portraits and local scenes. He attracted the attention of Sir William Jones, Lord Cornwallis and General Harris. He returned to England in 1795, concentrating mainly on painting portraits and a few notable history subjects. Perhaps his best known painting is the famous "Death of Nelson".

SIZE: 39 x 34.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent in the family of the sitter.
Verso: an old depository label for Lord Teignmouth, and an illegible inscription.
Ref: 9022
Price: £11,750
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Portrait of The Hon. Frederick John Shore, c.1820, by Arthur William Devis.
Oil on canvas in the original Regency gilt frame.

This is a superb portrait of the young nobleman, sensitive and insightful, his hair in the fashionably Byronic style. It is a fine example of the best work of Devis.

THE HONOURABLE FREDERICK JOHN SHORE, (1799-1827), 2nd son of the 1st Lord Teignmouth, Governor General of India and anti slavery campaigner.
The sitter was born in England in May 1799 and married Charlotte Mary Cornish (1800-1883), the daughter of his mother's younger brother, in January 1830. He was the author of "Indian Affairs", a noted political treatise, whilst an employee of the East India Company.
At this time the East India Company ruled large areas of India with its own private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions.
Company rule in India effectively began in 1757 and lasted until 1858 when, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown assuming direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj.
An old handwritten label verso informs us that Frederick was killed "at the storming of a Robber Fort in India" two days before his 38th birthday.

His wife bore him three children, Louisa Sara, Arthur Frederick and Clara Maria.

ARTHUR WILLIAM DEVIS (1762 - 1822). Devis was the son of Arthur Devis, a successful portrait painter. Devis enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools at the age of twelve and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1775. In 1782, he embarked aboard the Antelope for a voyage to the East Indies, in the capacity of draughtsman. The ship was wrecked and Devis and the crew were stranded for a year on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. After a series of extraordinary adventures, during which he took part in the wars of the natives on a neighbouring island and received two arrow wounds, Devis arrived in India, where he settled for ten years, establishing a successful practice as a painter of portraits and local scenes. He attracted the attention of Sir William Jones, Lord Cornwallis and General Harris. He returned to England in 1795, concentrating mainly on painting portraits and a few notable history subjects. Perhaps his best known painting is the famous "Death of Nelson".

SIZE: 39 x 34.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent in the family of the sitter.
VERSO: two old handwritten labels, one described above, the other inscribed 'Property of Hugh Shore'. A modern label inscribed 'Lady Teignmouth'.
Ref: 9021
Price: £11,750
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Portrait of James Cecil, 5th Earl of Salisbury, 1695; Studio of Kneller.
Oil on canvas in a 17th century carved and giltwood frame.

This is a fine quality three quarter length studio version of the full length painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller in 1695, in the collection of the present Earl of Salisbury at Hatfield House.
The young aristocrat wears faux Roman clothing for his portrait, this was a fashionable conceit of the time, and was known as 'elevating the sitter', it was thought to give the portrait a Classical, timeless look.

JAMES CECIL, 5th Earl of Salisbury was born on 8 June 169, he was the son of James Cecil, 4th Earl of Salisbury and Frances Bennett.
He married Lady Anne Tufton, daughter of Thomas Tufton, 6th Earl of Thanet and Lady Catherine Cavendish, on 12 February 1708/9.
Succeeded to the title of 5th Earl of Salisbury [E., 1605] on 24 October 1694. Previously he had held the titles of 5th Baron Cecil of Essendon, Rutland and of 5th Viscount Cranborne, co. Dorset.

He graduated from Christ Church, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, in 1707 with a Master of Arts degree. He held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire between 1712 and 1714. Died on 9 October 1728 at age 37.

Children of James Cecil, 5th Earl of Salisbury and Lady Anne Tufton:-
Lady Anne Cecil d. 3 Jul 1752
James Cecil, 6th Earl of Salisbury b. 20 Oct 1713, d. 19 Sep 1780
Lady Catherine Cecil b. 15 Aug 1719, d. 16 Aug 1752.

SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646-1723) studied under Ferdinand Bol, and perhaps Rembrandt himself in the 1660s. He was in Rome and Venice between 1672 and 1675, settling in England in 1676 for life. He was soon employed at Court and became the most successful portraitist of the generation following Lely. He enjoyed the office of Principal Painter, at first jointly with John Riley (d.1691), from shortly after the accession of William and Mary in 1688 until his death. He was knighted in 1692 and became a baronet in 1715.
His work fully expresses the spirit of the English Baroque, and includes penetrating studies of many of the leading figures of Whig Society such as the famous Kit-Kat portraits now in the National Portrait Gallery (Beningborough Hall, Yorkshire), which include the likenesses of Sir John Vanbrugh, Charles 3rd Earl of Carlisle, and others.

SIZE: 38 x 33 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Northwest Yorkshire.
VERSO: an old wrongly identifying the sitter as Lord Cecil Burghley.

Our thanks to the art historian Adam Busiakiewicz.
Ref: 9024
Price: £11,500
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Portrait of Letitia Hall, c1775, by George Knapton.
Oil on canvas in a good period William Kent carved and giltwood frame..

This is an extremely fine quality portrait and an excellent example of Knapton's best work.
Please note that in an oblique light an old restoration is visible. (Image 7) If you are on www.royprecious.co.uk go to www.sellingantiques.co.uk/rp to see this image.

LETITIA HALL married Charles Hewitt (born 1742) in 1775, probably when this portrait was commissioned. The union produced six children, one of whom died in infancy. The Hewitts are an ancient family, and the family tree that accompanies this portrait traces their ancestry back to the 1200s, and then, rather more sketchily (and perhaps hopefully) to Charlemagne the Great in the 8th century.

GEORGE KNAPTON (1698–1778) was an English portrait painter, he was born in Christchurch, Hampshire, the son of William Knapton Esquire of Brockenhurst, Hampshire. He studied art under Jonathan Richardson, then at the St. Martin's Lane Academy. He spent some years in Italy where he became known as a sound judge of the works of the Old Masters. An account of his visit to Herculaneum was published in the "Philosophical Transactions" of 1740 (no. 458).

Knapton was an original member of the "Society of Dilettanti" and their first portrait artist. He painted many members of the society, including the Duke of Dorset, Viscount Galway, Sir Francis Dashwood, the Earl of Holdernesse, Earl of Bessborough and Sir Bourchier Wray. Knapton resigned his position at the society in 1763.

In 1750, the then Prince of Wales commissioned Knapton, together with George Vertue, to produce a catalogue of the pictures at Kensington Palace, Hampton Court and Windsor Castle. In 1765, he succeeded Stephen Slaughter as Surveyor and Keeper of the King's Pictures; he was also in charge of Lord Spencer's collection at Althorp, Northamptonshire.

SIZE: 39 x 33.5 x 2 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: By direct descent through the family.
Ref: 9002
Price: £11,500
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Portrait of a Gentleman, 1756, by Henry Pickering.
Oil on canvas in a gilded reproduction frame.
Signed and dated "H. Pickering pinxt 1756" (H .Pickering painted this 1756).

An excellent, sensitive portrait of a gentleman, almost certainly a doctor, as a frontispiece portrait engraving from a book is visible behind the sitter.
"The book is 'Histoire de la Medecine' by Daniel Le Clerc, the seminal medical text, first published in Geneva in 1696, but this version looking like the Amsterdam version of 1723 (not that that is of any great relevance, other than intellectual snobbery -- a version had already been published in English, but that would be infra dig).
I thought it possible that the painting's date and composition might be significant, in other words that it perhaps marks the sitter's admission as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. A biographical register of Fellows exists, but none of those admitted in 1755 or 1756 appear to have any Shropshire connection." (Richard Grigson)

HENRY PICKERING c.1720-1771.
At his best, as here, he is hardly to be distinguished from Thomas Hudson. Pickering's earliest known portrait is dateable to 1740. Vertue states that in 1745 Pickering returned from a trip to Italy and that he on occasion worked with Joseph Van Aken the drapery painter, as did Hudson.
He was working in London circa 1746, but also appears to have had a good following in the North Midlands. He seems to have moved about between Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales, all of which districts provided him with sitters. In 1759 he was living in Manchester, possibly in Deansgate and appears to have been there at his death. His dated works range from 1740 to 1770. His will (dated 1759) requested that his pictures 'may be finish'd by the Best Drapery Painter and then delivered to the Gentrey (sic) who have favoured me with their commands...'

SIZE: 56.75 x 46.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Deceased estate; for over 30 years in the private collection of an antiques dealer, who had bought it from a country house sale in Shropshire.
Ref: 8948
Price: £10,985
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