SOLD...Portrait of Thomas Cookson c.1735, by Jonathan ...

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Oil on canvas in 18th c. giltwood frame.

The sitter was a member of the Cookson family of Cumberland and Yorkshire; he died in 1773.
Thomas's father William (died 1743) was a wealthy merchant and pewterer in Penrith. He married Susannah Idle in 1701.
The Cooksons also owned ironworks and colleries. Thomas's uncle was the Reverend Joseph Cookson, Vicar of Leeds.
The poet William Wordsworth's mother was a Cookson.

This portrait, with seven others of the Cooksons hung in Keith Hall, Aberdeenshire, home of the Earls of Kintore. It can only be presumed that there was some marital conection between the families, as why else would a powerful aristocratic Scottish family dating back to the 12th century have eight portraits of an English mercantile middle-class family hanging in their ancestral home?

The sitter, Thomas Cookson, expensively bewigged and wearing the fashionable silk wrap of a gentleman at leisure, looks rather inquiringly at the viewer. He seems at ease, and his build and ruddy complexion indicate a man who enjoyed good living.
The face is beautifully painted and a strong sense of the character of the sitter is present; absolutely typical of Richardson's mature English style.

JONATHAN RICHARDSON c.1665 - 1745 was the leading native born painter of the first forty years of the century, also a writer on art and literary topics. He was a pupil of Riley 1688-91 and helped found the 1711 Academy; he and Jervas were the busiest English portrait painters in rivalry with Kneller and Dahl. Jervas excelled with women's portraits and Richardson with men.
His works, like the example here, are solid, sound, good likenesses, and unpretentious.

SIZE: 39 x 32 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: By descent to the 14th Earl of Kintore of Keith Hall, Aberdenshire.

(The fourth photograph shows Keith Hall as it is today.)

Portrait of a Lady of the Popham ...

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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.

SOLD....Portrait of a Young Midshipman c.1790; Circle ...

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Oil on canvas in Georgian giltwood frame.

A charming small scale portrait of a young midshipman in the Royal Navy at the end of the 18th century, probably painted for the boy's parents before he joined his ship.
England was engaged in a long and bloody war with France and the navy was our first line of defence.
The life of a midshipman on a man-of-war could be very short indeed. As an apprentice officer the youth was expected to be able to climb the riggiing to act as a lookout, learn navigation and seamanship, command one of the ship's boats and in action he would command a group of the ship's guns, or take charge of signals or act as a messenger for the captain.
A lot of responsibility and risk at a very young age, but if he lived and rose through merit he could achieve high rank.
The good-looking sitter, sensitively painted, looks out at the viewer, his pensive gaze encouraging thoughts of his extreme youth and vulnerability on active service at sea, but the boy also projects an air of quiet determination and confidence.

LEWIS VASLET (VASLETTE) 1742-1808. Born in York, he became a lieutenant in the 25th Regiment of Foot. Leaving the army, he travelled to Italy. He exhibited ten times at the Royal Academy between 1770 and 1782. He worked from York in 1770, 1771 and 1778, Bath 1787, Norwich 1793 and Oxford1780, 1790 and 1796 where he advertised himself as an 'artist in miniature and likenesses' working in oils and pastels. He married a lady of means. Buried at St. Michael's, Bath in 1808.
"His style is usually accomplished, charmingly naive with pleasantly subdued colouring" (The Dictionary of Portrait Painters in Britain).

SIZE: 11 x 9 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Somerset Private Collection

SOLD...Portrait of a Lady in White; Studio ...

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Oil on canvas mounted on board in a magnificent 'Duveen' Louis XV style 19th c. carved and giltwood frame of great quality.
(Frame bears an old plaque incorrectly attributing the portrait to Reynolds).

With Gainsborough and Reynolds, JOHN HOPPNER (1758 - 1810) was one of the leading portrait painters in late eighteenth-century Britain. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1775, where he won a Gold Medal in 1782. His rapid rise was accompanied by rumours (never denied by Hoppner) that he was the illegitimate son of the future King George III, and it is true that in his education and early career Hoppner benefited from a considerable degree of royal sponsorship. He was brought up as a child of the Chapel Royal, tutored in the Royal Library where King George paid great attention to his progress, and finally presented him with an allowance in order that he might establish himself as a painter.

By the late 1780s Hoppner was a regular contributor to the Royal Academy exhibitions and quickly established himself as a fashionable portrait painter. In 1789 he succeeded Reynolds in his appointment as painter to the Prince of Wales in 1789, many of whose circle he painted.

Though his early works display a great debt to Reynolds, Hoppner soon developed an individual style that is distinguished by bravura and vivacity, combined with a strong feeling of character. These works show a deliberate move away from the classicism of Reynolds, towards a more emotionally engaging and naturalistic image. Hoppner’s success is evident by the fact that he became the only serious rival to Lawrence, and with him was responsible for painting the finest Romantic portraits of the Regency period.

Although this portrait is by an artist painting in the style of Hoppner (rather than by Hoppner himself) he has captured precisely the bravura technique, the bold brushwork, the painterly delight in using the medium and the sense of harmonious feeling which were characteristic of the artist.
While Reynolds’ advised his pupils to rely upon academic study, preparation and drawing, Hoppner preferred to begin working immediately with oils on the canvas. It was precisely this free and fluid approach that allowed Hoppner to capture character, emotion and presence.

SIZE: 56.5 x 46 inches inc. frame
43 x 35 inches canvas size
PROVENANCE: From the London apartment of Laurence Kane, the noted New York decorator.


Portrait of a Gentleman c.1685; Attributed to ...

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Oil on canvas in 'cassetta' frame.

The fashionable and expensively dressed sitter looks confidently out of the frame as if surveying his extensive lands.
His high wig (from which fashion came the expression 'big-wig' for someone important), his silks, his sword and particularly his stance, all make this the archetypal Baroque swagger portrait.

The pose and treatment of the material are typical of Kerseboom.

JOHN (JOHANN) KERSEBOOM (working 1680s - 1708) Born in Solingen, the Rhineland; came to England in the 1680s he quickly acquired a large portrait clientele. His patterns derive from Lely and Kneller, but his heads have recognisable individuality. He charged £16 10s for a framed 50 x 40 in 1694.

SIZE:48 x 39 inches canvas size.
57 x 47 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: Private collection in an East Anglian Elizabethan country house.


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(ONE OF THE PAIR OF THE BABINGTON PORTRAITS). Oil on canvas of Mathew Babington of Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, painted in 1645 during the Civil War (1642–1651).
Inscription bottom right 'Aet 32. Ao 1645' (Aged 32 in 1645), also bears intitials 'DMf' ("Daniel Mytens fecit" i.e. Daniel Mytens made this).
Upper left the Babington coat of arms with the motto "Foy est Tout" (Faith is All) a phrase reputedly said to Henry V on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt in 1431 by Thomas Babington, a squire in the King's personal retinue.
The sitter is expensively and fashionably dressed with much play of silk, lace and silver; in the background the formal gardens of Rothley Temple.
The house still stands; now known as Rothley Court, it has been an hotel since 1960. (See image 5).
Rothley Temple originally belonged to the Knights Templar from 1203, then the Knights Hospitaller until their supression in the 1560s, when it was acquired by the Babingtons.

MATTHEW BABINGTON, Lord of the Manor and Soke of Rothley (1612-1669) son of Thomas Babington and Catherine, daughter of George Kendall of Smithsby, Derbyshire. He was educated at Queens College, Cambridge, then the Inner Temple in 1631, called to the Bar in 1640.
He had married (with £2000) Anne Hopkins in 1634.
Babington was a Justice of the Peace 1657-9 and Commissioner for Militia in 1660.
The Babingtons had moved into the East Midlands early in the 15th century, one of them sitting for Nottinghamshire in 1426. Matthew's father was a member of the County Committee and his brother Thomas was a Captain of Horse for Parliament during the Civil War and was involved in Booth's Rising in 1659.
Matthew himself was a Royalist who was imprisoned in Lambeth House on a charge of levying war against Parliament and corresponding with the enemy.
On the Accession of Charles II in 1660 Babington became M.P. for Leicester and used his Royalist service to the King to get his brother, Thomas, pardoned and, in fact, advanced to be a Major in the Royal Service!
Two years after Matthew's death in 1669 King Charles II obtained a Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, for his younger son, also Matthew, in consideration of Babington's "eminent loyalty...both to the hazard of his life and the impairing of his estate".

SIZE: canvas 44 x 39 inches.
PROVENANCE: by descent through the Babington family.


SOLD....Portrait of Miss Harriet Tatnall "The Primrose ...

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Oil on canvas in superbly carved giltwood frame bearing plaque "The Primrose Girl. Miss Harriet Tatnall circa 1780. Sir William Beechey 1753-1839".

The little girl, dressed very fashionably, is out gathering primroses; in the background is a medieaval fortified manor house. This may represent Harriet's ancestral home as the Tatnalls were an ancient family. First found in Cheshire, they were Lords of the Manor of Tattenhall before and after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

SIR WILLIAM BEECHEY RA FSA (1753-1839). He was born in Burford, Oxfordshire; he entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1774. Many of his earlier portraits (c.1776-1786) are, like this one, small scale full-lengths and show a debt to his teacher, Zoffany.
After some years in London he moved to Norwich, then a very important city, where he enjoyed a good practice painting conversation pieces, and life size portraits from c.1783. He retiuned to London in 1787 and worked from Brook Street. he became extremely successful and moved to Hill Street, Berkeley Square, the to Hanover Square and ultimately to Harley Street.
He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1793, then RA in 1798 and was knighted in 1798 (the first artist to receive this honour since Reynolds).
Beechey was appointed Portrait Painter to Queen Charlotte in 1793 and by 1814 Portrait Painter to Her Majesty and to HRH the Duke of Gloucester.

SIZE: 38.5 x 32.75 inches inc. frame
canvas size 30 x 25 inches.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection.


Portrait of Sir John Percival, Bart. (1629-86) ...

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The sitter is Sir John Percival, Bart. of Lohort Castle, Cork. Son of Sir Phillip Percival and Catherine Usher, he was born in 1629 into a wealthy English family who settled in Ireland during the reign of Elizabeth I. The Percivals had been richly rewarded by Elizabeth with estates in Ireland as a result of the work of Sir John's grandfather, Richard Percival, who had played a pivotal role in decoding documents captured from the Spanish which subsequently proved to be the invasion plans for the Armada.

Sir John Percival inherited Lohort Castle on his father,s death in 1653, but also built another magnificent house Burton Park, at Churchtown, in 1676. He married Katherine Dering, sister to Mary, Lady Knatchbull, an ancestor of the Brabourne family of Kent.

Sir John Percival died in 1686. Tragically his great work Burton Park was plundered and ruinated in 1694 by repparees, retreating from their defeat by William of Orange at the Battle of Boyle. The house stood a ruin until it was rebuilt by one of Percivals decendents, now the Earls of Egmont, in 1790.

Records show that Percival was painted by both Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller, the most eminent royal portraitists of the time. This picture, painted circa 1680, reveals a close knowledge of the work of Lely. The depiction of the costume is typical of Lely and the Restoration in its flamboyance, but the handling of the paint and softer modelling suggest the hand of Henry Tilson, a pupil and later assistant of Lely's, and a painter of great charm in his own right.

SIZE:Oil on canvas 50 x 40 ins
In carved and gilded frame 57 x 47 ins
Inscribed, upper right,
'Sir John Percivele Bart.'

By direct descent from the Brabourne family, descendants of Lord Mountbatten
This portrait of Sir John Percival hung in the collection of Patricia, Countess of Burma, Lady Brabourne, wife of Sir John Brabourne and daughter of Lord Mountbatten.
An old label on the reverse records the location: 'Lady Brabourne, 1st Landing, 66' where it hung next to the portrait of his wife Katherine, at the family seat of Mersham Le Hatch, Kent.

Latterly in a private collection in an Elizabethan country house in East Anglia.


Portrait of a Nobleman 1696, by Joseph-Guillaume ...

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Oil on canvas in well carved and giltwood frame. Signed and dated 1696 lower left.
Verso, a fragmentary handwritten label. (see Image 5).

A charming small scale portrait of a French nobleman, his books prominently shown to his left; above his right hand can be seen a sphinx, a symbol of arcane wisdom and knowledge.
The point is clearly that this young man is not merely a fashionably dressed aristocrat but a man of culture and learning.

This type of portrait was usually on a larger scale e.g. 50 x 40 inches; the fact that this is 'in small' suggests that it was for the 'cabinet'...the intimate room for favoured possessions that was so fashionable during the Baroque period. Perhaps painted for a wife or lover?

SIZE: 30 x 26.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of a Fellow of a Cambridge college.

SOLD....Portrait of 'Miss Penelope Johnson' c. 1775, ...

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Oil on canvas in 18th c carved and giltwood frame

An excellent portrait of Penelope Johnson, an attractive and fashionably dressed young lady, painted c.1775 by Thomas Hickey.
The sitter is within a feigned oval and in the background is a large country house in its estate; an elaborate bridge is visible to the foreground.

THOMAS HICKEY (1741 - 1824) was born in Dublin, he studied under Benjamin West at Dublin Society Schools 1753-6, winning prizes.
He travelled to Italy c.1760-6, returning to Dublin in 1767 where he exhibited 1768-70.
He moved to London and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1771, exhibiting at the RA 16 times between 1772 and 1792.

In 1778 Hickey was working in Bath then embarked for India in 1780, but the ship was captured by the French en route and he was released at Cadiz. He proceeded by land to Lisbon, where he worked successfully 1782-4 before continuing on to India, arriving in Bengal in 1784. He took a large, handsome house in the most fashionable part of Calcutta and established a thriving business.

Hickey returned to England in June 1791; he was portrait painter to Lord Macartney's expedition to China 1792-4. Probably in Dublin in 1796, returning to India in 1798, where he had a successful portrait practice until his death; he was buried in Madras 20 May 1824.

Examples of Hickey's work are in the major public collections.

SIZE: 37 x 32 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE: a London Private Collection

SOLD...Portrait of John Campbell, Duke of Argyll ...

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JOHN CAMBELL, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Duke of Greenwich (1680-1743) was a statesman and soldier, he served under the Duke of Marlborough at the Battle of Malplaquet in 1709, becoming Commander-in-Chief in Spain in 1711.
He suppressed the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, resisting the Earl of Mar's forces at Sherrifmuir, but was then replaced for taking too lenient an attitude to the rebels. He was one of the mainstays of government policy in Scotland until his final dismissal in 1740.

WILLIAM AIKMAN (1682-1731) was a Scottish portrait painter, only son of the Laird of Cairney, Forfar where he was born. He developed a passion for painting and studied under Medina, sold the family estate and went to Rome in 1707 for three years.
He settled in Edinburgh in 1712 and was an excellent taker of likenesses, the best Edinburgh portraitist of his time, painting most of the nobility, gentry and lawyers.
In 1723, encouraged by the Duke of Argyll, he moved to London where he was not only patronised by Scots, but became well known in literary circles and the friend of Pope, Gray, Thomson and others. He is buried in Grey Friars Church, Edinburgh.

This painting is a good example of Aikman's accomplished mature style when he was emulating Sir Godfrey Kneller, Principal Painter to the King, in the hope of succeeding him.

SIZE:38 x 33 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: by descent, Scottish private collection. Verso: early 20th c. trade label: 'Doic, Wilson & Wheatley. Picture Restorers to His Majesty the King. 90 George Street, Edinburgh.'


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Pair of oils on canvas in elaborate gilded frames.

John Brickdale was the son of Matthew Brickdale M.P. (see portrait 8576), he was born c.1760 in West Monkton, Somerset. His grandfather, also John, and his father had a very successful drapers in High Street, Bristol. On the death of his grandfather in 1765, his father Matthew inherited the enormous sum of £100,000 and, abandoning trade, turned to politics.
John followed his footsteps.

Although the family was wealthy and his father now an MP, John wished to distance himself even further from the then perceived stigma of being in trade. Accordingly he married Anne Inglett Fortescue on 20 February 1787 in St. Gregory's Church, Dawlish, Devon. The Fortescues were an ancient landed gentry family, socially superior to the Brickdales.
The union resulted in six children.

(Interestingly, a later descendent, Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale (1871-1945) was a noted Pre-Raphaelite artist; she was so admired by the famous painter George Frederick Watts that he claimed her work to be so fine it made him want to throw away his brushes and paint no more.)

John became an MP and Deputy Lieutenant for Somerset and Devon.
In his will he left £200 to the Bristol Infirmary and £100 to that of Shrewsbury.

As he rose socially John's father Matthew had bought the manors of East and West Stoodleigh about the year 1779.
Stoodleigh Manor, the family home, lay in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South Molton, about seven miles from Tiverton.

John sold these estates, in 1819, to John Nicholas Fazakerly, Esq., M. P.
The ancient house was demolished in 1881 and replaced by the Victorian Gothic Stoodleigh Court, now an hotel.

HENRY SINGLETON (1766 - 1839) was born in London, England on 19 October 1766. He died in London, at the house of a friend at 7 Kensington Gore, on 15 September 1839, and was buried in the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

Singleton exhibited at the Royal Academy, between 1784 and 1839, approximately 300 works, a large proportion of which were portraits, He was for many years the oldest living exhibitor at the Royal Academy. His works were also exhibited at the British Institution from 1806 and at the Society of British Artists from 1824 until his death in 1839.

From the age of sixteen, Henry Singleton worked as a professional portraitist. He attended the Royal Academy Schools from the age of seventeen and won the silver medal in 1784. His painting from John Dryden’s ode Alexander’s Feast won the gold medal in 1788. In 1793, he was commissioned by the Royal Academy to paint a group portrait of forty of the academicians.
His portrait work was always in demand... Lord Nelson, Admiral Vernon, Lord Howe, John 'Mad Jack' Fuller,Sir W. Chambers, James Northcote, Thomas Sandby, Richard Cosway and Johann Zoffany are among his portrait sitters.

In 1807 he married his cousin, William Singleton’s only daughter; the mariage was of short duration as she died in 1811.
Henry Singleton’s works are currently in the collections of: The British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery (London), the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, the Ulster Museum, and the Brighton Art Gallery.

SIZE (of each portrait) 40 x 35 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: by descent.
Verso; old inscriptions. 'John Brickdale of Stoodleigh, Devon by Singleton. Painted in 1814' and 'Anne Fortescue Wife of John Brickdale by Singleton. Painted in 1814'