'The Monkey King'; needlework panel c.1750.

Item Number
9049

A good quality Georgian needlework, mid 18th century, in excellent condition; a rare item.
SIZE: 19.5 x 15.5 inches framed.
PROVENANCE: Sussex Private Collection.
Yorkshire Private Collection since 1996.
£985

Portrait of Prince Rupert, mid 17th century; ...

Item Number
9068

Oil on canvas in a magnificent carved and gilt frame. It shows Rupert at about the age of 14 when he first became a soldier. After a pattern favoured by van Honthorst who painted Rupert, at different ages, several times. His Studio and those of his Circle produced a number of versions of van Honthorst's portraits of the senior Royalists.
Difficult to date precisely, most of these copies were produced around the middle of the 17th century, particularly during the time of the English Civil War and the King's execution in 1649. They were much in demand to adorn the private walls of Royalist supporters.

Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Cumberland, Earl of Holderness, commonly called PRINCE RUPERT OF THE RHINE, KG, PC, FRS ( 1619 – 1682), was a noted German soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor and amateur artist during the 17th century. Rupert was a younger son of the German prince Frederick V, Elector Palatine and his wife Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of James I of England. Thus Rupert was the nephew of King Charles I of England, who made him Duke of Cumberland and Earl of Holderness, and the first cousin of King Charles II of England. His sister Electress Sophia was the mother of George I of Great Britain.
Prince Rupert had a varied career. He was a soldier from a young age, fighting against Spain in the Netherlands during the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648), and against the Holy Roman Emperor in Germany during the Thirty Years' War (1618–48). Aged 23, he was appointed commander of the Royalist cavalry during the English Civil War (1642–46), becoming the archetypal Cavalier of the war and ultimately the senior Royalist general. He surrendered after the fall of Bristol and was banished from England. He served under Louis XIV of France against Spain, and then as a Royalist privateer in the Caribbean. Following the Restoration, Rupert returned to England, becoming a senior British naval commander during the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch wars, engaging in scientific invention, art, and serving as the first Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. Rupert died in England in 1682, aged 62.
Rupert is considered to have been a quick-thinking and energetic cavalry general, but ultimately undermined by his youthful impatience in dealing with his peers during the Civil War. In the Interregnum, Rupert continued the conflict against Parliament by sea from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, showing considerable persistence in the face of adversity. As the head of the Royal Navy in his later years, he showed greater maturity and made impressive and long-lasting contributions to the Royal Navy's doctrine and development. As a colonial governor, Rupert shaped the political geography of modern Canada—Rupert's Land was named in his honour. Rupert's varied and numerous scientific and administrative interests combined with his considerable artistic skills made him one of the more colourful individuals of the Restoration period.

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: 32.5 x 28.5 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: Wiltshire Private Collection.
£12,950

Mary, Queen of Scots, early 17th century. ...

Item Number
9066

Small oil on panel in a late 18th century giltwood frame.

This is an exquisite image of Mary, only eleven and a quarter inches tall including the frame. Many posthumous images of Mary survive but this is a rare early one painted on an oak panel; originally rectangular, it was altered in the past to fit within this simple and elegant Georgian frame of c.1780.

This portrait was painted in the early 17th century, based on a miniature of 1578 by Nicholas Hilliard.
After the Stuarts came to power with the accession of Mary's son James I, a process of history rewriting took place, and continued almost to the present day. All through the 17th century, and later, portraits of Mary were created.
Mary had been called an adulteress and traitor by the English and was beheaded for plotting to assassinate her cousin Elizabeth I, but under the Stuarts she was presented as a beautiful and religious princess unjustly executed for her Catholic faith.
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (born as Mary Stewart and known in French as Marie Stuart; 1542 – 1587), was Scottish queen regnant from 14 December 1542 to 24 July 1567. In the lists of Scottish sovereigns, she is recognized as Mary I. (Not to be confused with Mary I of England.) Her great-great-granddaughter was Mary II of England.
She was the only surviving legitimate child of King James V. She was six days old when her father died and she was crowned nine months later. In 1558, she married Francis, Dauphin of France, who ascended the French throne as Francis II in 1559. Mary was not Queen of France for long; she was widowed on 5 December 1560. After her husband's death, Mary returned to Scotland, arriving in Leith on 19 August 1561. Four years later, she married her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Their union was unhappy and in February 1567, there was a huge explosion at their house, and Darnley was found dead, apparently strangled, in the garden.
She soon married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who was generally believed to be Darnley's murderer. Following an uprising against the couple, Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle on 15 June and forced to abdicate in favour of her one-year-old son, James VI. After an unsuccessful attempt to regain the throne, Mary fled to England seeking protection from her first cousin once removed, Queen Elizabeth I, whose kingdom she hoped to inherit. Elizabeth ordered her arrest because of the threat presented by Mary, who had previously claimed Elizabeth's throne as her own and was considered the legitimate sovereign of England by many English Catholics, including participants in the Rising of the North. After 19 years in custody in a number of castles and manor houses in England, she was tried and executed for treason for her involvement in three plots to assassinate Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth died childless in 1603, Mary's son James VI of Scotland became James I of England. (James was a descendant of Henry VII of England through his great-grandmother Margaret Tudor, older sister of Henry VIII.)

SIZE: 11.25 x 9.75 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: An old Buckinghamshire Private Collection.
£8,500

Portrait of Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland ...

Item Number
9073

Oil on canvas in a modern reproduction frame.

As the most notorious and most frequently painted of King Charles II's mistresses, Barbara Villiers Duchess of Cleveland remains one of the most enduring symbols of the indulgences and excesses of the Restoration Court. This portrait derives from a work by Sir Peter Lely painted c.1662.
A portrait, identical to this one, apart from being painted within a feigned cartouche, sold at Bonhams in December 2003 for £10,157 including buyer's premium.

At the Restoration Villiers was established as the king's favourite mistress and despite his marriage to Catherine of Braganza and the jealousy of other courtiers, she maintained a powerful influence at Court. At least three of her children were acknowledged as his by the king and by 1665 she was termed the 'maitresse en titre'. Among her various liaisons was one in 1668 with the actor Charles Hart in retaliation for the king's growing attraction for actresses such as Moll Davis and Nell Gwyn.

In 1670 she was created Baroness Nonsuch, Countess of Southampton and Duchess of Cleveland. This was a reward for her services but also a compensation for retirement. By the early 1670s her influence had been entirely supplanted by Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth. After this she spent some time in Paris before returning to England a few months before Charles II's death in 1685. On the death of her husband Roger, Earl of Castlemaine in 1705 she married Major-General Robert Fielding, a bigamist who was jailed for threatening and maltreating his wife. She died at Chiswick on 9th October 1709. Among her various illegitimate children by the King were the Duke of Grafton, the Duke of Southampton and Lady Charlotte Fitzroy, Countess of Lichfield.

Portraits of Villiers, and other of the king's mistresses, were much in demand and many copies were produced to satisfy this market. They were not cheap; Samuel Pepys could not afford one and had to settle for a print.

SIR PETER LELY (1618 - 1680) was the most important portraitist in the reign of Charles II, although he had painted portraits throughout the Commonwealth. Principal Painter to the King, he painted everyone of importance, maintaining a busy and active Studio to help with the huge demand for his portraits. Members of his Circle, and his Followers, many of them talented artists in their own right, emulated his style to supply this constant market.


SIZE: 35.25 x 30.75 x 2 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE:
*Derbyshire Private Collection. (Verso; a trade label for a now defunct Ticknall restoration studio).
*Sussex Private Collection.

£11,950

James II armchair c.1685.

Item Number
9065

An elegant armchair of the James II period, c.1685, tall and graceful, this was an important new stage in English chair design.
This style of cane backed and seated chairs had represented a revolution in seating comfort, but with the disadvantage of fragility.
A surprising number of these chairs still exist (they were made in their thousands) but many are now suitable only for decorative purposes as woodworm, frequent recaning, and damage to the joints and the tall backs have rendered them virtually unusable. This is not the case with this one. This chair, over 300 years old, with its glorious sculptural quality, is not just a joy to look at but also to use....when the seat is recaned, or a drop in one fitted. As usual with these chairs there are signs of old woodworm, but now defunct.
The crest rail is carved with the highly fashionable 'boyes and crown'. This, and the front rail, are deftly executed with bold cuts of the chisel. This is typical of the sort of carving performed by London chairmakers at this period, by which maximum effect is achieved with the minimum of work.

This chair, of glorious colour and patina, has clearly had a life of much use...but also it has been much loved, repaired several times so that it could continue in use.
As can be seen from the images there is a small damage area to the seat cane, on the reverse of the back strengthening wooden slats have been fitted; one side of the seat frame has broken/rotted away and has been mended with a 'blacksmith's repair' (a handmade bracket to take the strain, with a matching one at the other side); and the ends of both arms have been replaced .... all these repairs are themselves of considerable age.
The chair bears these marks of its past with pride as visible proof of over 300 years of service.

SIZE:43.5 inches tall, 23 inches wide, 23 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: Old Yorkshire Private Collection.

£495