Portrait of a Boy and his Parrot ...

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Oil on canvas in the original fine carved and giltwood frame.

This is a charming and good quality portrait of a wealthy boy.The sitter, fashionably draped in silk, holds his hand towards a parrot; these were expensive and exotic birds, thus displaying the wealth of the family. Also, in portraiture and contemporary literature, parrots, which could be trained to speak and perform tricks, were used as examples of the love of learning to which children should aspire.

EDWARD BYNG (c. 1676 – 1753). Thought to be a native of Wiltshire, Byng trained as an artist and became an assistant to Godfrey Kneller about 1693. Another pupil of Kneller, Robert Byng (fl. 1697-1720) was a brother. At the time of Kneller's death in 1723 Byng was his chief assistant and lived with him at a house in Great Queen Street. Kneller's will recorded that Byng had "for many years faithfully served me", gave him a pension of £100 a year and entrusted him with seeing that Kneller's unfinished work was completed, for which he would receive the outstanding payments. Byng also inherited drawings in Kneller's studio, many now in the British Museum. He later lived at Potterne, near Devizes, where he died in 1753 and was buried.

The British Museum holds a large collection of Byng's sketchbooks and drawings. Like John James Backer he was a drapery painter for Kneller.

SIZE: 37.5 x 32.75 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Surrey.


Portrait of a Gentleman c.1680; Follower of ...

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Oil on canvas within a modern, but appropriate, frame.

The sitter, depicted within a feigned oval, wears a faux Roman military tunic and cloak; this was called 'elevating the sitter' and was intended to give the portrait a timeless Classical quality.... despite his fashionable full wig and cravat. This was characteristic of the period.
He is shown as if lost in thought, not looking at the viewer, but to one side; a pose favoured by those of a poetic or sensitive disposition.

JOHN MICHAEL WRIGHT (May 1617 - July 1694) Described variously as English and Scottish, Wright trained in Edinburgh under the Scots painter George Jamesone, and acquired a considerable reputation as an artist and scholar during a long sojourn in Rome. There he was admitted to the Accademia di San Luca. He took up permanent residence in England from 1656, and served as Court Painter before and after the English Restoration. A convert to Roman Catholicism, he was a favourite of the restored Stuart court, a client of both Charles II and James II. In the final years of the Stuart monarchy he returned to Rome.
Wright is currently rated as one of the leading indigenous British painters of his generation. Perhaps due to the unusually cosmopolitan nature of his experience, he was favoured by patrons at the highest level of society in an age in which foreign artists were usually preferred. Wright's paintings of royalty and aristocracy are included amongst the collections of many leading galleries today.

SIZE: 34.50 x 29.25 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1740; by John ...

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Oil on canvas in a fine carved and giltwood 18th century frame.

The sitter is almost certainly a member of the wealthy mercantile or professional classes of Norwich and surrounding area; Heins was their chosen artist, he made a good living and had been accepted into their social circle. His style was influenced by that of Thomas Hudson, and is a frank and honest representation of the sitter, their character astutely observed and depicted.

JOHN THEODORE HEINS (1697-1756), also known as Dietrich or Dirk, was born in Germany. He settled in Norwich (at that time a city second in importance only to London) in 1720. As well as his portraits of merchants and professional men, in 1732 he was commissioned to execute the first of a number of portraits of Norwich civic dignitaries which can now be seen at Saint Andrew's Hall in the city. He monopolised civic portraiture in Norwich until 1746, when Thomas Bardwell was commissioned by the city's artillery company to paint a portrait of William Crowe, who became mayor the following year.
Heins painted two portraits of the Hanoverian composer and emigre to England, Handel.
Many of his finer works were commissioned by the Astley family of Melton Constable, including one of a Musical Party, and a double portrait of Edward and Blanche Astley, the children of Sir Jacob Astley, 3rd Bt. (1692 – 1760).
In October 1745, the Gentleman's Magazine published a poem called "Lines on seeing some portraits of the celebrated Mr. Heyns of Norwich".
Heins died in Norwich and his will was proved 30 August 1756 by his widow, Abigail.
His son, also called John Theodore Heins was also a portraitist but lacked his father's talent.
Heins senior's work is in Norwich Castle Museum, Felbrigg Hall (National Trust), the National Portrait Gallery, Cambridge University and others.

SIZE: 37.75 x 32.50 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Buckinhamshire, deceased estate.

Pair of Portraits of Sir Neville and ...

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A pair of oils on canvas in good carved and giltwood frames. These were probably the marriage portraits of Sir Neville and his first wife Dorothea.
Sir Nevill(e) Catlin, sometimes written Catlyn or Catelyn or Catline, was an English landowner and politician from a Norfolk family long active in local and national affairs. Baptised on 3 March 1634, he was the eldest surviving son of landowner and politician Richard Catlin (1583 – 1662) of Kirby Cane and his second wife Dorothy (1605 – 1672), daughter of landowner and politician Sir Henry Nevill of Billingbear and his wife Anne, daughter of Henry Killigrew. His father, who supported the King in the English Civil War, had been disabled from sitting in Parliament in 1644 and suffered sequestration of his estate, but was discharged without fine in 1647. His older half-brother Thomas Catlin died fighting for the Royalist side in the Second Battle of Newbury in 1644 . In 1650, he entered King's College, Cambridge.

In 1658 in London he married his first wife Dorothea, daughter of the judge and politician Sir Thomas Bedingfield and his wife Elizabeth. After her early death he married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Houghton of Ranworth and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Corbet, 1st Baronet, of Sprowston, but she died in 1681. His third marriage was to Mary, sister of Sir Charles Blois, 1st Baronet and daughter of Sir William Blois of Grundisburgh and his first wife Martha. In the first two marriages there were three sons and a daughter, but none lived long.

At the Restoration in 1660 he joined the Norfolk militia, initially as a captain of cavalry and rising later to major. In 1661 he was appointed a commissioner for tax assessment for both Norfolk and Suffolk and in 1662 when he inherited the estates of Kirby Cane and Wingfield Castle on the death of his father, he was knighted. In 1668 he was appointed Justice of the Peace for Norfolk and in 1680 for Suffolk as well, adding the rank of Deputy Lieutenant for Norfolk in 1676 and Suffolk in 1680.

In the 1685 general election he was unopposed as one of the two members for the city of Norwich and was listed among the opposition to the supporters of the Catholic King, James II. Unsympathetic to the political ambitions of the Catholic party, he opposed the repeal of the penal laws against Catholics and dissenters but was not against some relaxation. As an opponent of the King's absolute rule, he was stripped of his local offices, and when these were restored in October 1688 he refused to sit next to Catholic office holders. In the Convention Parliament of 1689 he was fairly active, being appointed to 15 committees.

He did not stand in the 1690 general election, retiring from national politics. Dying in July 1702, at Wingfield Castle, he was buried at Kirby Cane and succeeded by his younger brother Richard Catlin V.

JOHN HAYLS (1600-1679) also Hailes, was an English Baroque-era portrait painter, principally known for his portrait of Samuel Pepys. Hayls was a contemporary and rival of Sir Peter Lely and Samuel Cooper.
Pepys was so pleased with his wife's portrait, that he commissioned a portrait of himself and also persuaded his father Thomas Pepys to sit for the artist. Pepys also mentioned that Hayls painted the actor Joseph Harris as Henry V.
Hayls also painted portraits of Colonel John Russell (third son of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford), Lady Diana Russell, and the poet Thomas Flatman. He was known as a good copyist of the works of Van Dyck. He lived in Southampton Street, Bloomsbury, London, for some years, but then moved to a house in Long Acre, where he died suddenly in 1679.

SIZE: 35.5 x 30.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Wingfield Castle, Sussex, then by descent to the Lords Berners of Ashwellthorpe Hall, thence to Faringdon House. (see last image).

Portrait of Captain Henry Withypoll, 1637; Studio ...

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This is a high quality portrait, oil on canvas, in a fine carved and giltwood 18th century frame. The painting bears the inscription "Capitaie Henerij Whitipol . Major(?) An. 1637"
The inscription has been examined under UV light and, although strengthened, looks original.
The fashionably moustached sitter looks out at us proudly, wearing an officer's silk sash of rank over his armour.

The WITHYPOLLs were a family of very rich merchant adventurers with interests in Bristol and Genoa. Based in Ipswich, owning Christchurch Mansion, now the art gallery.

Sir Edmund Withypoll married Frances, daughter of Sir William Cornwallis of Broke.
Eldest son Sir William (about whom much online); younger son Henry or Harry, baptised Brome 26 Aug 1602.
Between 1646 and 1652 Henry married Mary, daughter of Sir Robert Carey.
His wife's family were much involved in the Netherlands on behalf of the States General.
A letter survives dated 10 Jan 1638, Breda, endorsing Capt. Withypoll.
And in 1646 he was described as "residing mostly in Holland where he has a company of soldiers under him". In 1648 he was elevated to the rank of Major in the English regiments in the service of the Dutch States General.

He had died by 1670.

GERRIT VAN HONTHORST (1592 – 1656) was a Dutch Golden Age painter; born in Utrecht,
He built a considerable reputation both in the Dutch Republic and abroad. Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, mother of Prince Rupert, sister of Charles I of England, then in exile in the Netherlands, commissioned Honthorst as a painter. Through her he became known to King Charles, who invited him to England in 1628.
After his return to Utrecht, Honthorst retained the patronage of the English monarch, painting for him, in 1631, a large picture of the king and queen of Bohemia and all their children. His popularity in the Netherlands was such that he opened a second studio in the Hague, where he painted portraits of members of the court. These were large studios, where the work of his assistants included making replicas of Honthorst's royal portraits.

SIZE: 37.50inch framed height 3.25inch framed width (95.25 cm framed height 8.25 cm framed width)
PROVENANCE: Collection of Lord Berners, Faringdon House, Oxfordshire. (See last 3 images).

Portrait of William Clayton, 1st Baron Sundon ...

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Oil on canvas in a period carved and giltwood frame.

This charming portrait, so typical of its period, bears the conjoined arms of the Clayton and Dive families; also the inscription "Wm. Clayton, Baron Sundon of Ardagh. G Kneller Pinxt".
This is a bust length studio version of the original three quarter length which descended through the family and was sold at Christies in 2009. It was common practice for a sitter to commission a large portrait from a fashionable artist and a smaller copy to be made by his Studio. (Image 8 shows the large portrait).

WILLIAM CLAYTON, first Baron Sundon of Ardagh (1671-1752) entered the Exchequer as Clerk of Receipts in 1688 and was Deputy Auditor of Receipts by 1714. Between 1715-1718 he was paymaster of the Kings private pension. In 1718 he was made Lord of the Treasury in Woodstock, the constituency for which he served as MP from 1716-1722. He was also a member of Parliament for St. Albans from 1722-1727, Westminster from 1727-1741, Plympton Erle from 1742-1747 and St Mawes from 1747-1751.
Clayton was elevated to the Peerage of Ireland in June 1735 as Baron Sundon of Ardagh in the County of Longford. His wife Charlotte, daughter of John Dyve (or Dive), Clerk of the Privy Council was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Caroline. Clayton died childless in April 1752 and the peerage became extinct.
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: 37 x 32.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE - By direct descent from the Clayton family of Adlington Hall, Lancashire. (The hall was demolished in the 1960s and the site is now occupied by a poultry farm.)

Sir Walter Scott c.1830; After Raeburn.

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Oil on canvas in a reproduction frame.

A powerful portrait of the famed writer Sir Walter Scott, a period copy after Sir Henry Raeburn. The original, now in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, was painted in 1822; this excellent copy bears the trade label of H. Paton, Edinburgh, of the type he used between 1829 to 1839.

SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771 - 1832) novelist and poet; his historical novels were read and admired throughout Europe. Those which dealt with Scottish themes, like Heart of Midlothian and Waverley, have had a major influence on how Scots see their own past and on how Scotland is viewed from outside. This portrait was one of the last Raeburn ever worked on, the artist dying only days after its completion. Scott, however, is shown at the peak of his career. Within four years he was bankrupt, and his health was destroyed from the need to write his way out of debt.

SIR HENRY RAEBURN 1756-1823. For several decades, Sir Henry Raeburn occupied an unrivalled position as the leading portrait painter in Scotland, leaving us a remarkable gallery of images of the most notable personalities of his day. Given Raeburn’s status and reputation it is surprising that he and Walter Scott (1771–1832), by far his most famous contemporary, were merely acquaintances. It was only at the very end of Raeburn’s life, when this portrait was painted, that the relationship between the painter and the writer developed into a friendship. Scott was neither an admirer of Raeburn’s work nor an enthusiastic sitter for portraits, commenting on one occasion: ‘Not only myself but my very dog growls when he observes a painter preparing his palette.’ However, Scott was very pleased with this picture and, when it was finished, he told Raeburn that he wished that ‘none but your portraits of me were in existence’.

SIZE: 35.5 x 30.25 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: By family descent from the former family home, Skeabost House, Isle of Skye. The eighteen bedroom Skeabost was remodelled by the MacDonalds of Skye in 1870/1 to use as a hunting lodge, but there has been a house there since Viking times; the name Skeabost is of Norse origin, meaning 'The Sheltered House' It is now run as a high quality hotel.

Verso: Early 19th century trade label for Paton of Edinburgh; and labels for W. Freeman & Son, Albemarle Street, London, who cleaned and lined the portrait and supplied the frame c.1970.

Portrait of Charles Louis (Karl Ludwig), Prince ...

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Oil on oak panel.

CHARLES LOUIS, (German: Karl I. Ludwig), Elector Palatine KG (22 December 1617 – 28 August 1680) was the second son of German elector Frederick V of the Palatinate, the "Winter King" of Bohemia, and his wife, Elizabeth of England. He is shown here wearing the sash and insignia of the Order of the Garter given to him by Charles I.

After the death of his older brother, Henry Frederick, in 1629, and of his father in 1632, Charles Louis inherited his exiled father's possessions in the Electorate of the Palatinate. Along with his younger brother Rupert, he spent much of the 1630s at the court of his maternal uncle, Charles I of England, hoping to enlist English support for his cause. The young Elector Palatine was largely unsuccessful in this, and became gradually estranged from the King, who feared that Charles Louis might become a focus for opposition forces in England. Indeed, in the English crisis leading up to the outbreak of the English Civil War, Charles Louis had considerable sympathy for the parliamentary leaders, especially the Earl of Essex, feeling them more likely to come to the aid of the Palatinate on the continent. Although Charles Louis was involved in the early stages of the Civil War with his uncle, he was mistrusted for his parliamentary sympathies, and soon returned to his mother in The Hague. There he distanced himself from the royalist cause in the Civil War, fearing that Charles would sell him out for Spanish support.
In 1644, Charles Louis returned to England at the invitation of Parliament. He took the Solemn League and Covenant, even though his brothers, Rupert and Maurice, were Royalist generals. Contemporaries (including King Charles) believed that Charles Louis' motive in visiting Roundhead London was that he hoped that Parliament would enthrone him in place of his uncle. Charles Louis' endorsement of the Parliamentary party was a cause of enmity between uncle and nephew, and when a captive Charles I met his nephew once again in 1647, the elder Charles accused the Prince of angling for the English throne. Charles Louis was still in England in October 1648 when the Peace of Westphalia restored the Lower Palatinate to him. He remained in England long enough to see the execution of his uncle in January 1649, which appears to have come as a shock. The two had not reconciled prior to the King's death – Charles refused to see his nephew before his execution.
After this unhappy dénouement to Charles Louis's participation in English politics, he at last returned to the now devastated Electorate of the Palatinate in the autumn of 1649. Over the more than thirty years of his reign there, he strove with some success to rebuild his shattered territory. In foreign affairs, he pursued a pro-French course, marrying his daughter Elizabeth Charlotte to Philip I, Duke of Orléans, Louis XIV's brother, in 1671. After his restoration, his relations with his relatives continued to deteriorate – his British relations never forgave him for his course in the Civil War, while his mother and siblings resented his parsimony.

GERRIT VAN HONTHORST (1592 – 1656) was a Dutch Golden Age painter; born in Utrecht,
He built a considerable reputation both in the Dutch Republic and abroad. Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, mother of Prince Rupert, sister of Charles I of England, then in exile in the Netherlands, commissioned Honthorst as a painter. Through her he became known to King Charles, who invited him to England in 1628. After his return to Utrecht, Honthorst retained the patronage of the English monarch.

SIZE: 35 .5 x 29.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of Lord Berners, Faringdon House, Oxfordshire. (See last 3 images).