Portrait of a Lady c.1618; Studio or ...

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Oil on panel.
An exceptional portrait of high quality of a lady in a white ruff, lace headdress and a many-linked gold chain. Painted c.1618 this is typical of van der Voort's depictions of the incredibly rich merchants and burghers in the Netherlands at this time.
This was the Golden Age of Dutch portrait painting and van der Voort was to the fore.

CORNELIS VAN DER VOORT (1576-1624) was born in Antwerp but moved to Amsterdam with his parents about 1585. "He was a great innovator in portraiture. To a large extent he single-handedly laid the foundations for the development of portraiture for the rest of the seventeenth century." (Dutch Portraits: The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals. Published by the National Gallery).
His work was in great demand and held in high esteem. In 1619 Van der Voort was the head of the Guild of St. Luke. He had a strong influence on the early portraits of Rembrandt, as well as the work of Nicolaes Eliasz. Pickenoy and Thomas de Keyser. His own students included David Bailly, who copied his paintings, Pieter Luyx, Dirk Harmensz. and probably Pieter Codde.
He died in Amsterdam and was buried on 2 November 1624.

SIZE: 35.5 x 29 x 2.25 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: From the Collection of a Deceased Buckinghamshire Gentleman.

Portrait of a Boy in Red c.1720: ...

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Oil on canvas in a slim modern frame.

A pleasing early 18th century portrait of a good-looking youth, really little more than a boy, painted by an unknown artist who was influenced by the style of Verelst; probably one of the many intinerant painters who travelled the country painting the gentry and prosperous mercantile classes.
However, this portrait is well above average for its type, the face is sensitively painted and with a real feeling of the nature of the sitter and the detail of the sitter's expensive lace is depicted with great care. All in all a very attractive early Georgian portrait.

JOHN VERELST (active 1698-1734) was born in England, of Netherlandish stock. His father was Harman Verelst, a portrait painter who came to England in 1683, part of the famous family of artists....Pieter, Harman, another Pieter, John, Maria, Simon and Willem.

SIZE: 48.5 x 36 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: A Private Collection of a Leicestershire family for over 70 years,the painting cleaned and relined whilst in their possession.

Portrait of John Robinson of Denston Hall, ...

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Oil on canvas in 18th century frame.
John Robinson married Frances Bromsal, and this is one of the portraits of the Robinson family bought back by Algernon Dunn Gardner from Augutus Benyon, whose mother has rented Denston Hall and bought furniture and pictures from Henrietta (Harriet) Pigott, the then owner of the estate, whose mother had been a Robinson.
Denston Hall in Suffolk was the estate which for centuries belonged to the Robinson family.
Having descended through various branches of the family the different estates became invested in Algernon Dunn Gardner in the early 20th century. Connected to the Robinson family by marriage, Dunn Gardner kept this portrait on the walls of Denston until it was removed by his daughter when the property was sold 30 years ago. It was then kept in storage until now.

SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646-1723) was the most distinguished painter of baroque portraits in England.
Born in Lubeck, he trained with Bol and Rembrandt, coming to London in 1676.
By 1679 he had painted the King and remained the most famous and successful portrait painter in England until his death.
In 1688 he was made Principal Painter to the King and was knighted in 1692 and a made a baronet in 1715.
His style had a profound influence on British portraiture and a large number of artists, many very talented in their own right, emulated his fashionable style.

SIZE: 36.75inch framed height 32.00inch framed width
PROVENANCE:By descent at Denston Hall and then to Dunn Gardner in 1908 thence by descent.
VERSO:much handwritten information.

Portrait of a Lady c.1695; Circle of ...

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Oil on canvas in a period carved and gitwood frame.

Our portrait captures superbly the ostensibly modest yet seductive character of the sitter..
It is a good example of the way that Dahl and his Circle eloquently depicted aristocratic women. In terms of both draughtmanship and pose, Dahl's female portraits are noticeably softer and gentler than Kneller's, and thus allow for a greater versatility in the expression of feminine beauty.
Dahl's works are frequently distinguished by a greater attention to the character of the sitter than those of his rivals, and he particularly allowed a softer aspect to the surfaces of his sitter's costume and drapery. His colours are silvered and luminous, and there is a great charm and sensitivity in the overall expression of the sitter. In this example, the drapery and sitter's turned head impact a subtle sense of movement. She wears the headcloth often seen in Dahl's portraits at this period; her gown is fashionably revealing, the supposedly modest drape of diaphanous material over her decolletage conceals little.

MICHAEL DAHL (1659-1743) was a painter of exceptional talent and regarded as the only really serious rival to Sir Godfrey Kneller, for royal patronage, during the years 1690-1714. Dahl's patterns were undoubtedly indebted to the fashion set by Kneller, but Dahl had a lighter palette, and his brushwork applied in shorter and more careful strokes.
His self portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery and he is famed for having painted a series of wonderful female portraits for the Duke of Somerset, now at Petworth House, and known as the Petworth Beauties.
Dahl's portraits of members of the royal family hang at Kensington Palace and Windsor and other examples of his work can be found at the Tate and National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

SIZE: 37.5 x 32.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Old private collection in south Herefordshire. Deceased estate.


Portrait of The Hon. Frederick John Shore, ...

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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.
Images 6 and 7 are from Paviere's "The Devis Family of Painters" (With thanks to Nick Cox of Period Portraits)
VERSO: two old handwritten labels, one described above, the other inscribed 'Property of Hugh Shore'. A modern label inscribed 'Lady Teignmouth'.

Portrait of a Lady c.1700; Circle of ...

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Oil on canvas in a rare original silver gilt frame. For a time silver gilding was very fashionable but when it went out of favour many frames were re-gilded.
This one survived.
These images give the viewer this is the conventional canvas size of 30 x 25 inches, but in fact it is 13.5 x 11.5 inches.
This was created as an intimate item, for a close friend or lover, who would have kept it in the private room known as a 'cabinet' where few would have been invited.

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 to the King, 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 his influence on other artists was great.
SIZE: 18.75 x 16.5 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: Sussex private collection.

Oak side table c.1690-1720 and later.

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This very attractive side table may have started life as the base of a 17th century chest on stand, as time passed, chest and base were often separated.It is a lovely colour, patina and of excellent proportions. The top is later, the drawer has been rebuilt and the ball feet are replacements.
The original brass escutcheon suggests a lock, but there has never been one; locks were very expensive and on country furniture they were not always fitted. The ends are panelled.
Clearly, this is not a piece for the purist collector, but it is a 300 years old piece of furniture that is beautiful, useful and sensibly priced.

SIZE: 39.5 inches wide, 23.5 inches deep, 30 inches tall.
PROVENANCE: Oxfordshire Private Collection.

Portrait of Three French Aristocratic Children c.1690; ...

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Oil on canvas in 18th century giltwood frame.
A superb quality large 17th century portrait of three children of the French nobility. Such is the splendour and expense of their fashionable clothing that the girls may be princesses, especially as a young gentleman kneels before them. Possibly some of Louis XIV's numerous progeny sired on his several mistresses. Louis legitimised these children and they all received titles.
On the reverse of the painting is a very faint inscription which seems to read "Children of Louis 14th by Pierre Mignard".
The painting has been reduced in size and changed from rectangle to oval, probably in the late 18th century,as that is the date of the frame, whether because of damage or for a decorative purpose is not known.
PIERRE MIGNARD (1612-1695) was a member of a family of artists, he was a painter in the classical French Baroque manner, known primarily for his court portraits.
In 1635 Mignard left the studio of Simon Vouet for Italy, where he spent 22 years and made a reputation that brought him a summons to Paris in 1657. Successful with his portrait of Louis XIV and in favour with the court, Mignard pitted himself against Charles Le Brun; he declined to enter the French Royal Academy, of which Le Brun was the head, and he organized the opposition to its authority.
Mignard was chiefly active in portraiture; many of the beauties and celebrities of his day sat for him, including Molière, the Viscount de Turenne, Jacques Bossuet, the Marquise de Maintenon, the Marquise de Sévigné, and the Marquise de Montespan. His skilful technique and graceful arrangements are noteworthy.
With the death of Le Brun (1690), Mignard succeeded to all the posts held by his opponent. These late honours he did not long enjoy. He died while about to commence work on the cupola of the Hôtel des Invalides. His brother Nicolas Mignard (1606–68) and his nephew Paul Mignard (c. 1638–91) were also accomplished painters.

SIZE: 56.00inch framed height 44.00inch framed width (142.24 cm framed height  111.76 cm framed width)
PROVENANCE: Collection of Maria Carmela, Viscountess Hambleden of Hambleden Manor, Buckinghamshire since the 1950s.
This portrait was selected by John Fowler, of Colefax and Fowler, in the 1950s, for Hambleden Manor, home of the Viscountess Hambleden.
It hung there until July 2013 when the countess moved to a smaller property on the estate. The decoration and furnishing of Hambleden Manor is regarded as one of Fowler's earliest major achievements.
(Image 10 shows Hambleden Manor)

Inscribed verso; "Children of Louis 14th by Pierre Mignard".(?)


Portrait of Mary, Lady Vere; Circle of ...

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Oil on canvas in a reproduction 'cassetta' frame of appropriate type.
This is a 'head and shoulders' version of the full length of Mary, Lady Vere, in the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

MARY, LADY VERE (1581–1671), a highly distinguished member of the English aristocracy. Mary was in her early thirties when she sat for Larkin, and she wears the sombre yet opulent costume befitting a married noblewoman. She lived an extraordinary life that spanned the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I, Charles I, Oliver Cromwell and Charles II, until her death at the age of ninety-one – a remarkable age at a time when the average life expectancy in England was thirty-five. At the age of nineteen she was wed to William Hoby, with whom she had two sons prior to his death in 1602. In 1607 she married Sir Horace Vere and would have five daughters from this second marriage. A professional soldier, Sir Horace saw active service during the Dutch wars against Spanish rule. Lady Vere accompanied him to the Netherlands for a number of years, during which time the couple became actively involved with Calvinism. Throughout her life Lady Vere supported a number of puritan and protestant ministers, promoting their careers and fortunes. In 1643, at the start of England’s Civil War, Lady Vere was asked by Parliament to care for two of Charles I’s seven children; the other five having been taken to safety in France by the queen, Henrietta Maria. (Laurie Benson and Ted Gott. NGV.)

WILLIAM LARKIN (early 1580s – 1619) was an English painter active from 1609 until his death in 1619, known for his iconic portraits of members of the Court of James I of England. William Larkin was one of the most accomplished portrait painters of Jacobean England, yet little is known of him.
He was born in London in the early 1580s, and lived in the parishes of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, Holborn, and St Anne, Blackfriars. He was a close neighbour of the eminent artist Robert Peake, portrait painter to Henry, Prince of Wales, and it well may have been Peake who introduced Larkin to painting. He became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers on 7 July 1606 under the patronage of Lady Arbella Stuart and Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford. Married before 1612, he buried a stillborn son in that year; a son, William, in 1613; and a daughter, Mary, in January 1614/15, all at St Anne Blackfriars. Another daughter called Mary was alive at the time of his death. He died sometime between the witnessing of his will on 10 April 1619 and its proving on 14 May. The date of his burial is unknown because the parish records were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

About 40 portraits by Larkin have been identified, of courtiers and gentry, but he seems never to have painted members of the royal family. Documentary evidence of Larkin's work is found in the Diary of Lady Anne Clifford, who sat for him in 1619; in the Rutland Papers for 1617 and 1619; and in a seventeenth-century inventory of paintings at Claydon House including a portrait of Frances Carr, Countess of Somerset.
Larkin's work marks the last stage in a tradition of English portraiture traceable from the later work of Hans Holbein the Younger through Nicholas Hilliard in which the sitter is painted in flat, lightly modelled fashion. The deaths of Hilliard, Larkin, and fellow-portraitist Robert Peake the Elder in 1619 mark the end of this insular tradition in British art.
SIZE: 35.5 x 31 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Irish country house collection.


Portrait of a Gentleman c.1695; Attributed to ...

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Oil on canvas now mounted on board in the original fine carved and giltwood 17th century frame.
This excellent portrait is typical of the height of the Baroque period; the handsome sitter relaxes in an expensive and fashionable silk 'tea gown', his costly wig flows over his shoulders as he surveys the viewer rather quizzically.

JOHN CLOSTERMAN (1660-1711) was born in Osnabruck, the son of an artist. His early training was from his father, but in 1679 he moved to Paris where for two years he studied under the portraitist Francois de Troy.
In 1681 Closterman came to England and entered into partnership with the established portrait painter John Riley.

By 1683 he had developed an independent practice; he was adept at baroque poses still with a slightly French influence, with rather flashily painted drapery

His clients were mainly from the intellectual and professional middle classes, and included some of the leading writers, artists, musicians and physicians of the day.
In the 1690's, as his reputation grew, he painted for more exalted and aristocratic patrons, like the Dukes of Somerset and Marlborough.
He lived in great splendour in his house in Covent Garden, London, with his wife Hannah.
In 1699, after a visit to Rome, he fell under the spell of the Antique and painted his famous full length portraits of the Earl of Shaftesbury in Classical pose.
Closterman's last documented portrait is 1704, and he devoted his last years to dealing in Old Master paintings.

An exhibition of his work was held by the National Portrait Gallery in 1981 under the title of 'Master of the Baroque Portrait'.
SIZE: 38.25 x 32.5 x 2.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: *Mrs R.D. Shafto, Bavington Hall, Capheaton, Northumberland.
*Sale, Christie's, London, 1994.
*Wood Dalling Hall, Norfolk (see image 7)


Portrait Of A Young Gentleman C.1620, Circle ...

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Oil on canvas in a reproduction frame of appropriate type.
This is a very fine quality painting, probably painted by one of the many talented artists who worked in van Miervelt's studio. The depiction of the lace collar is superb, and the features of the sitter are beautifully observed and painted, giving us a real insight into the character of the young man. He looks candidly at us, with a touch of humour to the eyes and mouth. His lace and the gold buttons on his doublet proclaim him as a person of considerable means.
MICHIEL JANSZOON VAN MIEREVELT, often abbreviated as Michiel Jansz. and the surname also spelled Miereveld or Miereveldt, (1566 – 1641) was a Dutch Golden Age painter.
He registered as a member of the Guild of St. Luke in The Hague in 1625. Devoting himself first to still lives, he eventually took up portraiture, in which he achieved such success that the many commissions entrusted to him necessitated the employment of numerous assistants, by whom hundreds of portraits were turned out in factory fashion. Today over 500 paintings are or have been attributed to him. The works that can with certainty be ascribed to his own brush are remarkable for their sincerity, severe drawing and harmonious colour, but comparatively few of the two thousand or more portraits that bear his name are wholly his own handiwork. So great was his reputation that he was patronised by royalty in many countries and acquired great wealth. The king of Sweden and the count palatine of Neuburg presented him with golden chains; Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, at whose court he lived in Delft, gave him a pension; and Charles I vainly endeavoured to induce him to visit the English court.
Many of his pupils and assistants rose to fame. The most gifted of them were Paulus Moreelse, Jan Antonisz. van Ravesteyn, Daniel Mijtens, Anthonie Palamedesz, Johan van Nes, and Hendrick Cornelisz. van Vliet. His sons Pieter (1596–1623) and Jan (died 1633), and his son-in-law Jacob Delff, probably painted many of the pictures which go under his name. His portrait was painted by Anthony van Dyck and engraved by Jacob Delff.
SIZE: 27 x 23.5 x 1.25 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE:* Formerly the property of the Raymond-Barker family late of Fairford Park, Gloucestershire.
*Gloucestershire Private Collection.
Verso: Framer's label.

Portrait of a Young Boy and his ...

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Oil on canvas now in a 19th c. gilt frame.

A pleasing Georgian portrait of a young boy still 'unbreeched'.
Breeching was the occasion when a small boy was first dressed in breeches or trousers. From the mid-16th century until the late 19th or early 20th century, young boys in the Western world were unbreeched and wore gowns or dresses until the age of seven or eight. Breeching was an important rite of passage in the life of a boy, looked forward to with much excitement. It often marked the point at which the father became more involved with the raising of a boy.

The signs that the sitter is a boy and not a girl are the short hair and the dog being active rather than docile by the side of the sitter.
The rose buds are a symbol for youth and its fleeting nature and the dog, although probably a pet, also represents fidelity and trustworthiness.

The artist is at yet not known, but he seems to have been influenced by the work of Thomas Beach (1738-1806) who was the favourite pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Beach was based in Bath but travelled round Dorset and Somerset painting portraits.

SIZE: 28.5 x 24.5 inches inc. frame.

Private Collection, Sussex.