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SOLD....Portrait of a gentleman of the Pett or Rolt family c.1680; English School.
Oil on canvas in carved and giltwood 17th c. frame.

This charming naive portrait of a young gentleman and a warship poses some intriguing questions.
It dates from the end of the 17th century as is shown by the gentleman's clothing and the style of the stern of the vessel.
Painted on the stern, amongst the carved gilt 'gingerbreading', can be seen the coat of arms of the Rolt family.

The sitter gestures towards a pair of shipbuilder's dividers, a globe in the background.
The Pett family of Kent were famous shipbuilders for centuries and were cousins of the Rolt family of Bedfordshire, who were related to the Orlebars of Hinwick House, Bedfordshire.

This portrait hung for many years at Hinwick, but its true date, sitter and the name of the ship of the line depicted were all lost, and curiously it was said in the Hinwick House guide that the ship was Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind and that the sitter was Sir Peter Pett, Master Shipwright to Elizabeth I.
There were four families of Petts involved with shipbuilding and sailing.
In the 17th century it was said of the family that they were "so knit together that the Devil himself could not discover them". 'The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815' by N.A.M. Rodger.

Could this portrait commemorate the building of a ship of the line by a Pett for a Rolt? The vessel does carry the Rolt arms on its stern and it flies the long red pendant of a private ship of the Red Squadron of the Battle Fleet that was used in the second half of the 17th century, and the sitter points towards shipwright's dividers.

The painting hung at the time the guide was written in the Staircase Hall then, in recent times, on the west wall by the turret door.

VERSO: a fragmentary handwritten label in copperplate script:-

SIZE: 51 25 x 41.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Hinwick House, Bedfordshire.

Ref: 8656
This item has been sold

SOLD....Portrait of Sir Nathaniel Johnson c.1680, later Governor of Carolina: Attributed to John Riley.
Oil on canvas in original high quality carved and giltwood 17th c. frame.

SIR NATHANIEL JOHNSON (C.1645-1714) was the eldest son of William Johnson, merchant, of Newcastle by Margaret, daughter of William Sherwood, merchant, of Newcastle. Johnson was knighted on 28 Dec. 1680, which is probably when this fine portrait was painted.

Deputy Treasurer of Barbados by 1668; Committee for hearth-tax 1679-84; Governor of the Leeward Isles 1686-9, Governor of Carolina 1702-8.

Member of Eastland co. Newcastle 1668, Merchant Adventurers 1669, Freeman 1673; J.P. County Durham 1674-?86, Collector of hearth-tax, Cumberland., Westmoreland, Northumberland and County Durham by 1675; Commissioner for Assessment, Co. Durham 1677-9, Newcastle 1679-80, carriage of coals, Newcastle 1679; Captain of Militia Foot, Newcastle by 1680-?Feb. 1688; Member, Hon. Artillery Co. 1681; mayor, Newcastle 1681-2, alderman 1682-June 1688.

Nathaniel Johnson had become a prominent merchant by 1686, when the Lords Proprietors made him a Cassique of South Carolina, and he received appointment as governor of the Leeward Islands. Resigning that post in 1689, Johnson moved to Carolina and he was commissioned governor of the colony in June 1702. Taking over from deputy governor James Moore in March 1703, Johnson quickly moved to limit the rights of Dissenters. After the proprietors disallowed the Exclusion and Church acts of 1704, the Establishment Act of 1706 became law and controlled South Carolina’s government until the Revolution.

The colonists' constant fear of attack from Spanish Florida sharpened when England declared war against Spain. A wall along the eastern edge of Charles Town had been planned since 1694, but construction had been sporadic. In late 1704 governor Johnson reported that the project remained incomplete, and pushed for funding a new plan: a ring of fortifications around the town, with a curtain wall connecting the defensive works. The fortified city was tested in August, 1706, when a French and Spanish fleet appeared in Charleston Harbour. With Governor Johnson leading the courageous defence, the invasion was repelled.

Carolina politics, however, remained tumultuous. In December 1708, the proprietors appointed Edward Tynte to replace governor Nathaniel Johnson. Johnson remained in office until his successor arrived in Charles Town in November 1709.

Sir Nathaniel Johnson retired to his Silk Hope plantation, granted to him in 1696 as 1,940 acres; he died here in 1712 and was buried there. Among South Carolina’s later governors were his son, Robert Johnson, and Thomas Broughton, the husband of his daughter Anne Johnson.

Johnson's Fort at Windmill Point on James Island was named for Governor Johnson.

JOHN RILEY (1646 - 1691) was born in London where his father was Lancaster Herald; he built a thriving portrait painting practice with the middle classes. In December 1688 he and Sir Godfrey Kneller were jointly appointed Principal Painter to the King. Riley was an outstanding portraitist catching much of the character of his sitters, as is clearly shown in this excellent quality portrait of Johnson.

SIZE:37 x 33 inc. frame
*A Southern English Private Collection.
*With Roy Precious Fine Art.
*Warwickshire Private Collection from 2004.

Verso: a 19th c. handwritten label 'Governor Johnson an ancestor of the Bonner family. Governor of Jamaica. Sir Godfrey Kneller.' and an old storage label 'E. Judge. 8, East Cross, Tenterden'
Ref: 8769
This item has been sold

Portrait of a Lady c.1710; Attributed to Michael Dahl.
Oil on canvas in period carved giltwood frame.
The frame bears the attribution 'Sir G. Kneller' although this is more likely a work by Michael Dahl.

The unknown sitter, an attractive young woman, looks our at the viewer with an aristocratic hauteur.

This is the age of the 'Augustan' portrait (1690-1744) when the sitter expected to be 'elevated'...an expression of gravitas behind which was culture and intelligence. This was the English way...not for them the smiling, sometimes simpering, expressions painted by the French.

Joseph Addison, famous essayist, poet, playwright and politician and a man of letters sneeringly described French portraits as "very remarkable for their smiles and a certain smirking Air...bestowed indifferently on every Age and Degree of either sex. The Toujours Gai appeared even in Judges, Bishops and Privy Counsellors...every part of the Dress was in a Flutter, and endeavoured to distinguish itself above the rest."

MICHAEL DAHL (1659 - 1743).
Dahl 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, 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.

Our thanks to James Mulraine, art historian.

SIZE: 37 x 32 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Sussex Private Collection.
Ref: 8677
This item has been sold

Portrait of a Lady of the Popham family c.1670; Circle of Wissing.
An attractive and colourful image of a young lady of fashion.
The first Littlecote House was built during the 13th century. A medieval mansion, it was inhabited by the de Calstone family from around 1290. When William Darrell married Elizabeth de Calstone in 1415, he inherited the house. His family went on to build the Tudor mansion in the mid-16th century. Henry VIII courted Jane Seymour at the house; her grandmother was Elizabeth Darrell.
Sir John Popham bought the reversion of Littlecote, and succeeded to it in 1589; he built the present Elizabethan brick mansion, which was completed in 1592.
Elizabeth I, James I, Charles II, and William of Orange stayed there, William on his march from Torbay to London in the Glorious Revolution. Popham's descendants, the Pophams and (from 1762) the Leyborne Pophams owned the house until the 1920s. The Leyborne Pophams refurbished much of the house in 1810. They retained it until 1929, when the house was purchased by Sir Ernest Wills, 3rd Baronet.
In 1985 the house was sold to Peter de Savary and the house contents, including this portrait of a Popham lady, were sold by Sotheby's at a three day sale.

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 Capell, 2nd Earl of Essex outside of London.
He was buried in St Martin's Church, Stamford, Lincolnshire.

SIZE: 37.5 x 32 inches inc. frame.

*By descent in the Popham family.
*Sotheby's sale, The Contents of Littlecote House, Wiltshire, 20-23 November 1985.
*Private Collection.
Ref: 8649
This item has been sold

Portrait of Catherine, Lady Copley c.1680; Circle of Caspar Netscher.
Oil on canvas in carved and giltwood 17th c. frame.
This 'portrait de cabinet', probably painted at the time of Catherine's marriage, is a characteristic example of the international baroque style of which Netscher was a prime proponent; it elegantly exemplifies the artist's interest in depicting the luxurious.
(A 'portrait de cabinet' was a painting for a small intimate room known as a cabinet)

CATHERINE PURCELL (c.1657-1699) was the daughter of John Purcell; she married Sir Godfrey Copley, 2nd Bt., son of Sir Godfrey Copley, 1st Bt. and Eleanor Walmesley in 1681.
They had a daughter, also called Catherine.
After his wife's death in 1699 Copley married Gertrude Carew in 1700; he died in 1709 without surviving male issue.
He had succeeded to the title of 2nd Baronet Copley of Sprotborough, Yorkshire in 1677/8 and built a new mansion house at Sprotborough. He was an M.P. and a Fellow of the Royal Society and founder of the Copley Medal. On his death his baronetcy became extinct.

The great mansion of Sprotborough Hall , near Doncaster (see image 7) was demolished in 1923. The family had lost three sons in the First World War...death duties were crippling and the industrial sprawl of Doncaster grew closer.

CASPAR NETSCHER(1639-84) was a Dutch portraitist of Holland's Golden Age of painting. In his early career at The Hague, where he settled in 1651, he also painted genre and religious scenes; but from c.1670 onwards he devoted himself exclusively to the portrait, often of Court members in The Hague, earning a considerable fortune. His reputation was so highly regarded that he was invited to England by King Charles II.

Netscher worked elegantly and with a slight French influence, his paintings exquisitely finished and influencing Dutch portraiture into the 18th century.

SIZE: 19.75 x 17.25 inches inc. frame.
*By descent in the family to
*Capt. Rt. Hon. Robert Godfrey Wolesley Bewicke-Copley, 5th Baron Cromwell, M.C., D.S.O, of Sprotborough Hall, Yorkshire.
*Christie's, London, 20 November 1925, lot 133.
*English Private Collection

Ref: 8759
This item has been sold

Portrait of a Young Lady c. 1660: Attributed to Gerard Soest.
Oil on canvas in a later ebonised oval frame.

The young lady looks out at the viewer with a thoughtful expression, typical of Soest's work. He was a painter of exceptional distinction, and with sitters whose introspection matched perhaps his own, as here, could achieve a degree of sensitivity that eluded Lely.
Vertue thought that, unlike Lely, he refused to flatter his female sitters into a fashionable sameness. Waterhouse thought him to be perhaps the most sensitive of Lely's rivals. John Riley was a pupil.

GERARD SOEST (Zoust)(c.1600 - 1681), portrait-painter, is usually stated to have been born in Westphalia. It is more probable that he was, like Sir Peter Lely, a native of Soest, near Utrecht, as his portraits have some affinity to those of the Utrecht school. He appears to have been born early in the century, but nothing is known of him until 1656, when he came to London, already in some repute as a painter, and quickly obtained employment with the nobility and gentry after the Restoration. His portraits are carefully and strongly painted, the character of the sitter being well preserved, but his somewhat uncompromising style was tempered by a study of the works of Vandyck in order to suit the English taste.

SIZE:31 x 25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Dorset.
Ref: 8912
This item has been sold

Portrait of Julia Floyd, later Lady Peel c.1820; Circle of Sir Thomas Lawrence.
Oil on canvas in gilt frame.

An enchanting portrait of a young lady traditionally said to be Julia Floyd.

Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850) was a British Conservative statesman, who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 December 1834 to 8 April 1835, and again from 30 August 1841 to 29 June 1846.

Peel married JULIA FLOYD (1795-1859), youngest daughter of General Sir John Floyd, 1st Baronet of Clanfield, Hampshire in 1820. They had five sons and two daughters. Four of their sons gained distinction in their own right. The eldest son Sir Robert Peel, 3rd Baronet, served as Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1861 to 1865. The second son Sir Frederick Peel was a politician and railway commissioner. The third son Sir William Peel was a naval commander and recipient of the Victoria Cross. The fifth son Arthur Wellesley Peel was Speaker of the House of Commons and created Viscount Peel in 1895. Their daughter Julia married the 6th Earl of Jersey.
Julia, Lady Peel, died in 1859. Some of their direct descendants now reside in South Africa, the Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania, and in various parts of the United States and Canada.
Image 6 shows Lady Peel in 1827, painted by Lawrence; image 7 shows Lady Barrow by Lawrence in a very similar pose to our Julia Peel portrait.

Sir Thomas Lawrence PRA FRS (13 April 1769 – 7 January 1830) was a leading English portrait painter and President of the Royal Academy.

SIZE: 36.5 x 31.5 inches inc.frame.
PROVENANCE:Private Collection, London for many years.
Ref: 8887
This item has been sold

Portrait of Harriet Prestian 1793, by Nathan Fielding.
Oil on canvas in original Georgian giltwood frame.

A charming portrait of a lovely young girl; the sitter, Harriet Prestian, was seven years old at the time of her portrait.
Verso: a label (Image 5) "Harriet ..restian /born Feb21:1786:London/
Painted by Mr. Fielding/Stamford 1793".

NATHAN THEODORE FIELDING 1747-c.1814. Born in Sowerby, near Halifax, Yorkshire.
He painted portraits which earned him the title of 'The English Denner' {Balthasar Denner (1685 – 1749) was a German painter, highly regarded as a portraitist}.
Fielding painted mostly half-length and head-and-shoulders portraits but also painted landscapes and was the teacher of four watercolour painter sons - notably Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding and Thales Fielding.
He settled in London in 1788 and exhibited portraits and a landscape at The Society of Artists of Great Britain in 1791. Also exhibited at The Free Society of Artists.
By 1804 he was living in Keswick and was in Liverpool 1807-9. He exhibited at the British Institute 1812-14.
His work is in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

SIZE: 19.75 x 17 inches canvas
25 x 22 inches framed.
PROVENANCE: *Monson Family Collection
*The 10th Baron Monson's Residuary Trust
*John Monson, 11th Baron Monson
*Nicholas John Monson 12th Baron Monson
The Monson Barons are one of England's most prominent aristocratic families.
Ref: 8879
This item has been sold

Portrait of a Lady c.1720; Attributed to Jonathan Richardson
Oil on canvas in giltwood frame.

Painted in the reign of George I, the sitter, wearing a striking red mantle, looks out from an unusual feigned stone diamond; the common practice was for this to be an oval. She has an air of quiet confidence.

JONATHAN RICHARDSON (1665–1745) sometimes called "the Elder" to distinguish him from his son) was an English artist, collector of drawings, and writer on art, working almost entirely as a portrait-painter in London.
Richardson was born in 1666, but when he was about seven his father died and his mother married again. Richardson became a scrivener's apprentice, but he was released early when his master retired. Richardson was lucky enough to be taken on as a painting apprentice by John Riley. He learnt the art of portraiture from Riley whilst living at his master's house. Richardson's wife was Riley's niece.

Richardson was even more influential as a writer than as a painter according to Samuel Johnson. He is credited with inspiring Joshua Reynolds to paint and theorise with his 1715 book 'An Essay on the Theory of Painting'.

In 1731 he was considered by some art-critics as one of the three foremost painters of his time with Charles Jervas and Michael Dahl. He was the master of Thomas Hudson and George Knapton.

SIZE: 37 x 31.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Wiltshire.
Handwritten; 'Capt. Francis'
Another old label, handwritten in copperplate script 'No.4'
Ref: 8599
This item has been sold

Portrait of Prince Virginio Orsini; Follower of Jacob Ferdinand Voet
Oil on canvas; Prince VIRGINIO ORSINI, Knight of Malta,of the ducal family of Bracciano, born 1615; died 21 August, 1676. He renounced his birthright in his youth, entered the military order of the Knights of Malta, (in the portrait he wears their symbol, the Maltese Cross), and more than once distinguished himself in the war against the Turks by his reckless bravery.
In December, 1641, Pope Urban VIII raised him to the dignity of Cardinal, and appointed him Protector of the Polish as well as of the Portuguese Orient. He was commissioned to direct the building of the new fortifications with which Urban VIII enclosed the Leonine City and a quarter of Trastevere, and which are still in existence. In 1675 he became Cardinal Bishop of Frascati, but died the following year.

The ORSINIS were one of the most ancient and distinguished families of the Roman nobility, whose members often played an important rôle in the history of Italy, particularly in that of Rome and of the Papal States.
They had large possessions in Italy and were the rulers of numerous and important dominions, fortified towns, and strongholds. In Rome, the Orsini were the hereditary enemies of the equally distinguished Colonna: in the great medieval conflict between papacy and empire, the latter were for the most part on the side of the emperor and the leaders of the Ghibelline party, while the Orsini were ordinarily champions of the papacy and leaders of the Guelph party. The Orsini gave three popes to the Church -- Celestine III, Nicholas III, and Benedict XIII -- as well as many cardinals and numerous bishops and prelates. Other members of the family distinguished themselves in political history as warriors or statesmen, and others won renown in the fields of art and science. They influenced in a very prominent manner the general historical development of that time.

JACOB FERDINAND VOET (1639 - c.1700) was a Flemish painter who made his career in Rome in the second half of the 17th century.
He was an expert portrait painter who combined solid Flemish professionalism with stylistic features from French and Italian Baroque portraiture.
Little is known of Voet's early life in Antwerp. He arrived in Rome in 1663, probably via France. Voet became a much sought-after portrait painter to the Papal court and the Roman aristocracy. Certain Englishmen who visited Rome on their Grand Tour, also commissioned Voet to paint their portraits. Voet specialized in half-length portraits, in which all attention is concentrated on the subject, who emerges from a neutral, dark background. He was a sophisticated master of his medium, painting with an effortless accuracy and a fluid ease. Voet's subjects tend to have a reflective expression. Usually they have very striking, memorable eyes, always large and evocative.
SIZE: canvas 25.75 x 21.25 inches
PROVENANCE: Italian Private Collection
Ref: 8481
This item has been sold

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