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Portrait of Nell Gwyn c.1670; Circle or Studio of Lely (UK, c. 1670)
Oil on canvas in oval giltwood frame.
A beautiful painting of the famous actress and courtesan.
Inscribed upper left 'Mistress Eleanora Gwin'

The face is particularly sensitively painted in contrast to the rest of the body, and especially the drapery in which the paint is used with an artistic freedom and delight in the use of the medium. This works very well in drawing the attention of the viewer to the features of the sitter.
The historical importance and attractiveness of the sitter make this a most engaging portrait.

Portraits of prominent subjects of their day, especially Royal and Court sitters, were in much demand after the Restoration. Lely’s many talented studio assistants and members of his Circle were regularly occupied in making highly accomplished copies.

NELL GWYN (Gwin, Gwynn or Gwynne) was born Eleanor Gwyn (2 Feb. 1650 - 14 Nov. 1687).
Charles II's famous mistress ('pretty witty Nell' in Pepys's words) began life as an orange seller in the Theatre Royal, where she was befriended by Charles Hart and John Lacy, the players. In 1665 she appeared for the first time on the stage as Cydraria in Dryden's 'Indian Emperor'.
Pepys greatly admired her, and she continued in numerous roles by Dryden and others until she quitted the stage in 1682. Dryden wrote parts especially for her, taking advantage in particular of her gift for delivering prologues and epilogues. Nell became extremely famous and was much in favour with the public.

After she had recited an epilogue in a hat 'of the circumference of a large coach-wheel', Charles II approached her and took her back in his coach to supper. Much of her popularity as the King's mistress lay in the unpopularity of the Catholic Duchess of Portsmouth, her main rival. It is said that when mobbed in Oxford by a crowd who mistook her for her rival, Nell leant out of her coach and said: 'Pray good people be civil; I am the Protestant whore'.
Madame de Sevigne noted the rivalry and said of Nell Gwyn: 'She is young, indiscreet, confident, wild and of an agreeable humour: she sings, she dances, she acts her part with a good grace.'
She had two sons by the King and the eldest, Charles, was created Duke of St Albans. The King assigned Burford House in Windsor to her. She died aged 37 and is buried in the Church of St. Martin's in the Fields, at the corner of Trafalgar Square.

SIR PETER LELY (1618 - 1680) was the dominant Court and Society portraitist of the reign of Charles ll. He was made Principal Painter to the King in 1661, and knighted in 1680.

SIZE: 35 x 25 inches inc. frame.

PROVENANCE:
James Duff, 2nd Earl of Fife (1729-1809);
Rt. Hon. Lord Saltoun of Abernathy;
Christie's London, 13 October 1950 (lot 23);
The late Dr. William Lindsay Gordon.
Ref: 8515
This item has been sold




!8th century Catalan dish
A charming, typically heavily potted 18th century Catalan dish; the Spanish lady holding her fan is depicted with rapid brush strokes which give a sense of flamboyance to the piece.
The pitting to the surface is not uncommon.
This type of pottery is characteristic of Catalonia and Barcelona in particular.
The dish bears an old collection or inventory number on its edge.

SIZE:9 inches in diameter.
PROVENANCE:Yorkshire Private Collection.
Ref: 8891a
This item has been sold





17th century oak chest of drawers.
A good example of a William and Mary moulded front chest of drawers c.1690. Four drawers flanked by tapered columns with split-baluster detail, on the original feet, in two sections. Good colour and condition.

SIZE: 41 inches tall, 41.5 inches wide, 23 inches deep.
Ref: 8699
This item has been sold





A Riverside Town c. 1780; Dutch School.
Oil on canvas in the original giltwood frame.

A charming Dutch painting in the Italianate style that was fashionable with Dutch artists from the mid 17th century into the 19th. Inspired by the sophisticated compositions of the Italian masters this, as yet unknown, artist has filled his scene with warm, Mediterranean light.
Italianate landscapes were the most influential and highly regarded.
From the 17th century a trip to Italy was considered an important part of an artist's training. Dutch painters went there to study the landscape, ancient ruins and sculptures, and the unique light. On their return to the Netherlands, many of these artists continued to paint Italianate landscapes, others adapted what they had learnt to suit the Dutch taste for religious and secular paintings.

SIZE: 17.5 x 20.5 inches inc. frame.
canvas: 14 x 16.5 inches.
PROVENANCE:Private Collection, Oxford.
Ref: 8833
This item has been sold





A Squadron of Dutch Warships leaving Harbour c.1650; Attributed to Jan Peeters.
Oil on oak panel in finely carved giltwood frame.

The artist captures the beauty of these heavily gunned ships of the line as they sail with the shore wind, their sterns carved with the elaborate gilt 'gingerbreading' fashionable in the 17th century.
Large warships were the most powerful weapon on earth, with the fire power of an artillery regiment.

During the 17th century the Dutch Republic was involved in a number of wars, many of them at sea. The main goal of the Dutch navy was to protect shipping lanes all over the world and, if need be, to repel a naval invasion of Dutch territory; the Dutch fleet was the largest of the world at the time and was a formidable force.

JAN (orJohannes) PEETERS I (24 April 1624 – 1677) was a Flemish Baroque painter who specialized in seascapes and shipwrecks, known as Zeekens (small seascapes).
Peeters was born and died in Antwerp. He was taught to paint by his brothers Gillis Peeters (1612–1653) and Bonaventura Peeters (1614–1652). He became a master of Antwerp's Guild of St. Luke in 1645, and like his brother Bonaventura, he specialized in dramatic scenes with dark billowy clouds.
In 1654 he married Catherine Buseliers. In 1659 he spent several months touring the Netherlands. He had two children, Jan Frans and Isabella.

This painting belonged to SIR PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR, DSO, OBE (1915-2011) until his death aged 96.

Paddy, as he was always known,was a British author, scholar and soldier, who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Cretan Resistance during World War II.
He was widely regarded as "Britain's greatest living travel writer", with books including his classic 'A Time of Gifts' (1977). A BBC journalist once described him as "a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene."

During the German occupation, he returned to Crete three times, once by parachute. He was one of a small number of Special Operations Executive (SOE) officers posted to organise the island's resistance to German occupation. Disguised as a shepherd and nicknamed Michalis or Filedem, he lived for over two years in the mountains. With Captain Bill Stanley Moss as his second in command, Leigh Fermor led the party that in 1944 captured and evacuated the German Commander, General Heinrich Kreipe. The Cretans commemorate Kreipe's abduction near Archanes.

Moss featured the events in his book 'Ill Met by Moonlight: The Abduction of General Kreipe' (1950). It was later adapted as a film by the same name, directed/produced by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and released in 1957. In the film, Leigh Fermor was portrayed by Dirk Bogarde.

Leigh Fermor's funeral took place at St Peter's Church, Dumbleton, on 16 June 2011. A Guard of Honour was provided by serving and former members of the Intelligence Corps, and a bugler from the Irish Guards sounded the Last Post and Reveille. Leigh Fermor is buried next to his wife in the churchyard at Dumbleton.

SIZE: 25 x 42.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor DSO, OBE.
Ref: 8687
This item has been sold





British warships off a Mediterranean coast c.1675; Circle of Adriaen van Deest.
Oil on canvas in a reproduction 17th century style walnut frame.

A good seventeenth century marine painting of a group of British men-of-war of a rocky Mediterranean coast.
The artist captures the beauty of the heavily gunned ships of the line with their sterns carved with the elaborate gilt 'gingerbreading' fashionable at this time.
These warships were the most powerful weapon on earth, with the fire power of an artillery regiment.

ADRIAEN VAN DEEST (1655-1704) was born at the Hague, the son of Jeronymus van Diest, a painter of sea-pieces, by whom he was instructed in the art. When he was seventeen years old he moved to London, where he was employed by Granville, Earl of Bath, for whom he painted several views and ruins in the west of England.
He also painted portraits, but did not meet with much encouragement, although his pictures possess considerable merit; as a proof of which Horace Walpole states that there were seven pictures by Van Diest in Sir Peter Lely's collection. He etched several landscapes from his own designs, in a slight, masterly style. Van Diest died in London in 1704.

SIZE: 31 x 49.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Berkshire Private Collection.
Verso: framers's labels.
Ref: 8706
This item has been sold





Carved and inlaid oak coffer c.1630
An early 17th century coffer or chest of excellent colour and patination, well carved and with the front panels inlaid. The inlay, in the form of diamonds, is within Romayne or Romanesque arches; a good early sign.

The bottom rails to the front and sides are all fretted, which is a rare feature.
The decoration to the top rail is also continued round the sides; another sign of quality.

The planked top is not the original one but has clearly been in place, along with the strap hinges secured by clout nails, since the early 18th century. (The broken 17th c. iron 'ring and pin' hinges are still fixed to the carcass.)
The old keyhole was filled and an early 18th century brass escutcheon added at the same time.
Although these are not original features the alterations are themselves around 300 years old and are part of the history of this lovely piece.

SIZE: 54.65 inches wide; 21.25 inches deep; 27 inches tall.
CONDITION: Good; bottom boards original; good leg height; original till (small lidded compartment) inside; lock missing; lid and hinges early 18th c. replacement; very good colour and patina.
PROVENANCE: Old Hall School, Wellington, near Shrewsbury.
The Old Hall was built by the Forester family in the late 15th c. and extended in the following centuries.
When the line died out the Hall (with its contents) became a school in the first half of the 19th century.
It seems likely that this chest has been in the Hall since the 1630's when it was made, until 2007 when the school moved into a larger modern building.
(Within the till there still remains a photograph, dated July 1928, of the Old Hall Cricket XI and a boxed silver medal, inscribed 'OLD HALL SCHOOL. SET TROPHY 1924')
Ref: 8416
This item has been sold





Double Portrait of Eleanor and Margaret Little 1905, by Alexander MacDonald.
Oil on canvas in good quality carved and giltwood frame, signed and dated 1905 top left.

In this charming Edwardian portrait the two sisters, Eleanor and Margaret Little, are shown in the library of the Vicarage, Sampford Courtenay, near Okehampton, Devon, the house in which they were born.
As if interrupted in their painting of a toy cockerel they look steadily out at us.
In adulthood neither of them had children so this portrait passed to their nanny, the grandmother of the person from whom the previous owner purchased this painting in 2003.
Accompanying the portrait are some photographs of the family, the village and the Vicarage.

ALEXANDER MACDONALD (1839-1921)was a portrait painter. He exhibited 1 painting at the British Institute, 2 at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 11 at the Royal Academy and 1 at the Royal Scottish Academy.
MacDonald probably studied under the noted society portrait artist Sir Hubert von Herkomer RA, RWS, CVO.
Amongst MacDonald's sitters were Frederick Morris Fry, Master of the Merchant Taylors' Company, and the Earl of Lichfield.

SIZE: 31.5 x 37.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: see above. VERSO: Old label; 'The Reverend Little. Sampford Courtenay.'
Ref: 8899
This item has been sold




Double Portrait of Two Aristocratic Children c. 1620/30; English School.
Oil on canvas in walnut frame.

This is a rare, charming and intimate double portrait...its rather naive quality is particularly endearing. The children are clearly of noble birth and are dressed in extremely expensive clothing.
Quite what important event is recorded here is not known. It is possible that they are brother and sister but much more likely, despite their apparent facial similarity, that this is a marriage portrait commemorating the union of two powerful dynasties.
The conjoined hands state the chief message of this picture. The children's expressions show that they are aware of the solemnity and importance of the occasion being recorded.
The girl wears, suspended around her waist, a large piece of jewellery...rubies, emeralds and pearls set in gold. It is so large as to be almost out of scale for the little child; it is likely that this was a marriage gift from the boy and is of a size to be a brooch for an adult.
Sir Anthony van Dyck's marriage portrait of the ten year old Princess Mary of England and the fifteen year old William, Prince of Orange shows her wearing just such a jewel, a gift from her husband. Older and taller than our sitter, Mary wears her brooch at the neckline of her dress.

Marriages of children in order to secure unity and as a political move was quite common amongst the great and powerful. After the ceremony the children would go to their separate homes to meet again and live as a couple when mature.

SIZE:21.75 x 25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: The Melton Fisher Collection, Suffolk.
Ref: 8825
This item has been sold




Elm country armchair c.1785.
A George III elm country Hepplewhite shield back armchair of good colour; it would make an excellent and comfortable desk chair.
The chair is in sound condition, its legs were retipped
many years ago. Signs of old woodworm, now gone.

PROVENANCE: a Yorkshire Dales private collection for the last 25 years.
Ref: 6487
This item has been sold



 
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