Bristol delft bianco supra bianco plate c.1760-70 ...

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A rare large , multicoloured, Bristol delft plate, with scalloped edge, the centre delicately painted with a lakeside scene and two figures conversing. This is the highly fashionable Chinoiserie taste which swept the country at this time. Bianco supra bianco was probably introduced into England by Magnus Lundburg, an artisan from the Rorstrand factory in Sweden, in the 1750s, who was likely employed at the Redcliff Back Pottery in Bristol.
As is usual with delftware there are some nibbles to the edge.
SIZE: 12 inches diameter.
PROVENANCE: The Collection of Sir William Whitfield CBE, St Helen Hall, County Durham. (Image 4)

Triple Portrait of a Dutch Family c.1635; ...

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This charming portrait is "an example of a new type of portrait that Thomas de Keyser had been developing since 1620; small, full-length portraits were an innovation in Amsterdam portraiture. These polished and elegant portraits, which make such a powerful impact despite their relatively small size are the highlight of de Keyser's oeuvre and help to explain his great success in Amsterdam." (Dutch Portraits. Published by The National Gallery)
This prosperous family are all fashionably and expensively dressed and it seems as if the painting carries a message, not known to us. They stand, the little girl looking up at her mother, as if they have just exited a cave behind them. The lady looks quietly content as her husband points the way past a ruinous building. Whatever the message was it seems to have been one of wealth, hope and confidence.

THOMAS DE KEYSER, (1596 - 1667) was the second son of Hendrick de Keyser (1565–1621), the famed Dutch architect, sculptor, and municipal stonemason of the city of Amsterdam, and his wife Beyken (Barbara) van Wildere, who hailed from Antwerp. Thomas de Keyser gained lasting renown for a significant innovation in Dutch portraiture. He began to paint the Dutch elite in full-length formal portraits, a format hitherto reserved for the aristocracy, but he drastically reduced the scale of such portraits to make them suitable for his patrons’ urban homes. Despite his fame as a portraitist, De Keyser produced slightly fewer than one hundred paintings. He created the bulk of his oeuvre in the period between 1624 and 1639, after which his primary focus shifted back to the lucrative international stone trade, yielding the Amsterdam portraiture market to Rembrandt, Govaert Flinck (Dutch, 1615 - 1660), and Bartholomeus van der Helst (1613–1670).

SIZE: 35.25 x 31.25 x 1.75 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: London Private Collection.

Pair of Portraits c.1850; French School.

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A charming pair of portraits of a good-looking French couple, almost certainly painted on the occasion of their marriage.
They are both very much in the fashion of the day; the lady has her hair in ringlets and the gentleman has his hair swept up in an elaborate quiff, doubtless held in place by macassar oil. This oil was used through the 1800s and early 1900s to style the hair, give it body and make it shine. His huge 'mutton-chop' side whiskers were also very 'a la mode'.
The identities of sitters and artist have been lost, but that in no way affects the attractiveness of these paintings, offered in excellent condition and ready to hang. The original frames are also in excellent condition.
SIZE: 27 x 23 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: From a West Country collector.

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.

Arts and Crafts armchair c.1890

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This is a rare Arts and Crafts chair, c1890, the 'Sussex' type with upright spindle back is much more common, Liberty produced large numbers. This seems to owe more to Yorkshire 'ladderback' chairs, only using horizontal spindles instead of laths. Made of beech and ash it has a glorious colour and patina. William Morris and his followers were very much influenced by 18th century vernacular chair design.
The chair is sound and fully usable, although there is an amateur repair (see image 4) which would be better done professionally.
DIMENSIONS: Height 36 inches; width 21 inches; depth 21 inches.
PROVENANCE: Yorkshire Private Collection for the last 25 years.

Bristol delft c1750

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A quite rare Bristol delft ‘bianco supra bianco’ scalloped edge dish, c.1750, in the fashionable Chinoiserie style; beautiful delicate brushwork. As usual with 18th century delftware there are some small ‘nibbles’ to the edge and a couple of kiln marks from its manufacture. A nice quality touch is that even the underside is decorated.
SIZE: 9 inches in diameter.
PROVENANCE: The Collection of Sir William Whitfield CBE, St Helen Hall, County Durham. (Image 4)

Portrait of Queen Marie of France c.1760; ...

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NOTE: the portrait is under glass, removed for the photographs, apart from image 4 which shows the portrait framed with, alas, some reflections showing.

This highly accomplished pastel portrait of the French queen in later life is typical of the style of de la Tour; by the standards of the day, relaxed and informal...despite the regal clothing ..the queen has a slight smile as she turns her head to regard the viewer.
It is within a replacement frame of the correct style and period.
The portrait is inscribed, lower left, 'Couvent de N D' (Convent of Notre Dame) and was probably created as a gift from the queen to accompany a bequest to the convent, using the famous pastel portrait of her by de la Tour, now in the Louvre, as a primary source but with more regal clothing.

MARIE LECZINSKA (1703-1768), princess of Poland, queen of France (1725-1768), daughter of King Stanislaw of Poland (later Duke of Lorraine) and Katarzyna Opalinska, born near Trzebnica, in Silesia.
Marie Leczinska and King Louis XV were married in Fontainebleau on the 5th of September 1725. She was no beauty and was 22, Louis was 15. However Marie spoke six languages, danced gracefully and had received a full education. The first years of the marriage were happy. Louis XV, when he was 23 years old, became bored of Marie who was exhausted from her many pregnancies (10). The king thus found his first mistress, the Countess of Mailly, who became the famous Marquise de Pompadour. Unfamiliar with the court etiquette Marie had also lacked an interest in politics, which did not please the King. Slowly, Louis XV who had sincerely loved his queen, neglected her completely. She remained however very attached to him.

Marie Leczinska lived in Versailles, surrounded by an intimate group of courtiers, with her own salon like those in fashion at the time, adapting to the morals and customs of the Court, playing her role and enjoying a degree of freedom unknown to any other Queen of France. . The people referred to her as the "good queen" because of her philanthropy, her goodness and her generosity towards the needy.

MAURICE QUENTIN DE LA TOUR (1704 - 1788) was initially apprenticed as a painter, but was attracted to the immediacy and rapid execution of pastel. By the late 1720s he had broken into the Parisian art market and in 1735, established his reputation as a portraitist with a pastel of Voltaire. This portrait announced the liveliness, informality, and virtuoso technique that would characterise his work. Two years later, La Tour made another splash with the only pastels exhibited at the Salon: a self-portrait and a portrait of artist François Boucher's wife.
Finished pastels emerged as a format for elite portraiture in France in the late 1600s. In the 1700s, Maurice-Quentin de La Tour was among the most celebrated and accomplished pastel portraitists. His success led to commissions from the royal family, the French court, the bourgeoisie, and artistic and intellectual circles.
Toward the end of his immensely successful career La Tour had amassed a substantial fortune and founded an art school and several charitable organisations.
SIZE: 39 x 34 inches framed; 31 x 25 inches unframed.
PROVENANCE: Welsh private collection.


Portrait of a Young Girl with a ...

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

This is an extremely charming portrait of a wealthy young girl. The sitter, fashionably and casually draped in what was known as 'undress', points her hand towards a parrot .. a cockatoo.. 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. The sitter holds cherries which were a symbol of future fruitfulness and and also associated with the Virgin Mary.

ROBERT BYNG (1666 - 1720) was born in Wiltshire, but is buried in Oxford where he died in 1720, having lived there since before 1714.
He was a pupil of, and very strongly influenced by, Sir Godfrey Kneller (Principal Painter to the King and the most distinguished Baroque portraitist in England). Byng was especially noted for his portraits of children.
Byng's earliest dated portraits are c.1697; one of his younger brothers, Edward, was drapery painter to Kneller and his principal assistant.

SIZE: 31.5 x 29 x 2 inches.
PROVENANCE: A long established Private Collection in the North of England (deceased estate)

Carved wood and gilt frame c.1750.

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This is fine quality hand-carved frame c.1750, recently sympathetically restored. English, but influenced by the French style; running pattern with small-scale foliage corners. A work of art in its own right.
This frame is for the classic portrait size, sight-line 30 x 25 inches. It would also make a splendid mirror frame.
SIZE: 38 x 32.5 x 2.5 inches.
PROVENANCE: Lord Berners, Faringdon House, Oxfordshire.

Bristol delft bowl c.1760.

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A unusual and attractive Bristol delft shallow bowl (or dish) c.1760, painted with a Chinoiserie river scene in shades of blue, manganese and green.
In excellent condition with only slight 'nibbles' to the rim.
SIZE: 8.75 inches diameter; 1.75 inches tall.
PROVENANCE: The Collection of Sir William Whitfield CBE, St Helen Hall, County Durham. (Image 4)

Bristol delft charger c.1760

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A good quality delft charger or large dished plate, c.1760, Bristol, painted in the highly fashionable Chinoiserie manner. As usual with delftware there is minor fritting to the edges.
SIZE: 14.5 inches in diameter.
PROVENANCE: The Collection of Sir William Whitfield CBE, St. Helen Hall, County Durham. (see image 5)

Portrait of Beatrice: Marble and Alabaster Bust ...

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A beautiful marble and alabaster bust of Beatrice by Giuseppe Bessi. The bust has an old restoration to the left nostril.

Giuseppe Bessi (1857-1922) was one of the most important representatives of Italian salon sculpture. In his work he combined forms of Neoclassicism and Art Nouveau . He learned his craft at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. He founded his own workshop in Volterra, Italy in 1879 where he worked in alabaster, marble and bronze. He exhibited at The World Exposition of Paris in 1889 and in Turin and St. Louis. Bessi was the Director of the Volterra School of Art from 1891 to 1910 and taught there until his death. This facility is considered the world's only art school for alabaster art. It was founded because natural alabaster near Volterra has been mined and processed since at least the sixth century BC. Some of his works are inscribed with Prof. before his name.This work is titled "Beatrice" after the character in Dante's Divine Comedy. Dante drew inspiration for the character from his acquaintance with Beatrice di Folco Portinari with whom he fell in love. The character, Beatrice, serves as a guide to the underworld in the Divine Comedy. The head of this bust was executed in alabaster, and the torso is carved from coloured marble. Her delicate, serene features plus the folds of her hair and headscarf convey the mastery of the artist.
SIZE: height 8.5 inches, width 8 inches, depth 4 inches.
PROVENANCE: In one family collection for over 100 years.