'The Cardinal'; a pottery bust by John ...

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A superb, and rare, artwork by John Fortnum, with a very powerful presence, it is pottery, but simulating charred wood...as if the bust had been rescued from a fire, but had been subject to great heat. It is, in appearance, timeless; it could date from the Italian Renaissance and be of wood, perhaps once painted; it could be, as it is, 33 years old...it moves effortlessly through a 600 year time span. It is a free standing 'trompe l'oeil' in that it hides its true material and presents us with a wide range of perceptions.
This is a very evocative sculpture which can inspire many messages … on art, survival, religion, life, apparent damage as enhancement....truly a very thought provoking item, as well as being a glorious sculpture.

Signed and dated '86; this is number 7 of a limited edition of 8. How many others have survived the last 33 years is not known.
"My Sculpture can be seen in some of the wildest landscapes in Britain, from the North Atlantic seascapes of the Orkney Isles to the North York Moors, where I have used the wind, rain, and oxidation as natural elements in Landscape sculpture. In my smaller more intimate sculptures the human body, with its architectural and structural aspects, is an underlying theme. I am fascinated by the alchemy of heat on materials. I enjoy using different materials and experimenting with a wide range of sculptural possibilities." John Fortnum, born 1945.
SIZE: 25.5 inches tall, 20 inches wide, 12 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: London Private Collection.

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1750: Attributed to ...

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Oil on canvas later mounted on board, in ebonised and gilt frame.

ANDREA SOLDI (1703-1771) was an Italian portraitist active in Britain.
The only remaining source for this painter's early years is George Vertue, who in 1738 stated he was "about thirty-five or rather more", had been born in Florence and had come to England in about 1736 on the advice of British merchants belonging to the Levant Company, who had commissioned their portraits from him during his travels in the Middle East. From 1738 to 1744 he won much success in London's art market and among Italophile noblemen back from their Grand Tour, being preferred to both English portrait practice (fluctuating between Rococo and Kneller-like styles) and to other Italian portraitists in England at the time, such as the Cavaliere Rusca (worked in London 1738–39), and Andrea Casali (worked in London 1741–66). Beginning "above thirty portraits" from April to August 1738 alone (according to Vertue), Soldi's only serious rival was Jean-Baptiste van Loo (in London 1737–42). Particular patrons included the 2nd Duke of Manchester, 3rd Duke of Manchester, 3rd Duke of Beaufort and 4th Viscount Fauconberg. Soldi died in London.

SIZE:35 x 30 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:With Jess Aplin Antiques, Cambridge.
From where acquired by Christopher Hogwood CBE.

CHRISTOPHER JARVIS HALEY HOGWOOD, conductor, harpsichordist and musicologist, born 10 September 1941; died 24 September 2014 at home in Cambridge.
Founder of the early music ensemble the Academy of Ancient Music, he was an authority on historically informed performance and a leading figure in the early music revival of the late 20th century.
At the time of his death, Hogwood was Honorary Professor of Music in the University of Cambridge, Consultant Visiting Professor of historical performance in the Royal Academy of Music and visiting professor at King's College London. He was an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge and Pembroke College, Cambridge.
In 1989, Hogwood was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). He was the recipient of the Halle Handel Prize in 2008.

Portrait of Edward Bishop c1700, by Bartholomeus ...

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Oil on canvas in the original fine carved and giltwood frame.
Inscribed upper left 'Edward Bishop. Born 1687'. This is a charming portrait of a young Cornish gentleman, about 12-13 years old; his stance , hand on hip, and a silk cloak draped around him, was very fashionable.
The Bishops were a Cornish gentry family, possessed of several estates. However, when Anne Bishop, sole daughter and heiress of James Bishop Esq, of Lower Tre-Kyninge, married Hugh Rogers Esq, High Sheriff of Cornwall, in 1770, all Bishop possessions passed to the Rogers family.

In late 2018 Charles Rogers of Penrose House died, and in 2019 this portrait and others were sold.
This portrait is not signed by the artist, but others in the collection were, and it is obvious that the same hand was responsible. The signature was 'B. Burghende'. This was Bartholomeus van Burgindis, a Dutch artist, working from 1663-1703. He painted many of the Cornish gentry and one of his portraits is in The Royal Cornwall Museum; Dr. Nathaniel Spry, dated 1703.
SIZE: 34.5 x 29.75 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent through the Bishop and Rogers families of Penrose Estate, Porthleven, Cornwall.

Portrait of the Hon. Henry Arthur Cole ...

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Oil on panel in the original frame.
A small scale portrait of the Hon. HENRY ARTHUR COLE (1809-1890), half-length, standing beside a classical column with his arm resting on a plinth draped in red cloth, his gloves clasped in one hand and a fur collared cloak draped over one shoulder. A sensitive and insightful portrait of a sensitive looking young man, barely out of boyhood.
The sitter was the son of John Willoughby Cole, 2nd Earl of Enniskillen and Lady Charlotte Paget. He held the office of Member of Parliament for Enniskillen between 1844 and 1851 and Fermanagh between 1855 and 1880. He gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the 7th Hussars and in the 12th Foot.

WILLIAM ROBINSON (1799-1839) was born in Leeds, he studied under the landscape painter Rhodes there. He moved to London where Sir Thomas Lawrence took him as a pupil, and he continued his studies at the Royal Academy schools under Fuseli.
He returned to Leeds about 1823-4 where he enjoyed a successful portrait practice.
Robinson exhibited mostly portraits in the Lawrence manner .. 19 at the Royal Academy, 3 at the Society of British Artists from 1822-29. His work attracted the patronage of the Earl de Grey. Among his exhibited works were 'The Rt Hon Lord Grantham', 'The Earl of Enniskillen' and 'The Duke of Wellington'. He died in Leeds in August 1839, aged 39.

SIZE: 19 x 17 inches including the frame.
By descent to the sitter's niece, Lady Jane Evelyn Cole (1855-1941),
By whom given in 1919 to her nephew Lowry Arthur Casamaijor Cole (1878-1955)
Thence by descent to his son Reverend Arthur Lowry Frederick Cole (b.1911)
By whom bequeathed to the previous owner.

By family tradition this portrait believed to have been copied by the artist from the prime original still at Florence Court, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.


Portrait of a Young Gentleman, probably of ...

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Oil on canvas in a reproduction giltwood frame.

The sitter, a good looking young man, really not much more than a boy, wears his own hair rather than a wig, as was the custom for those of his age, but his velvet coat, waistcoat and cravat are completely in fashion.
This portrait came from the collection of the ancient Leader family, in their half timbered manor house, Monk's Hall, Syleham, Norfolk which stands in 450 acres.
The last owner was John Leader, who died unmarried in April 2016.

SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646-1723) was the most distinguished painter of baroque portraits in England.
Born in Lubeck, he trained with Bol and Rembrandt, coming to London in 1676.
By 1679 he had painted the King and remained the most famous and successful portrait painter in England until his death.
In 1688 he was made Principal Painter to the King and was knighted in 1692 and a made a baronet in 1715.
Those who emulated his fashionable were many, some more talented than others; his influence was great.

SIZE: 35 x 30 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Leader family collection: Monk's Hall, Syleham.

Portrait of a Member of the Cocks/Woodroffe ...

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Oil on canvas in a good early 19th century frame. In the background a faint rural scene of woodland.

This is a charming portrait of a young lady, painted in Hysing's direct but informal style, very similar to his master Michael Dahl.
The sitter has been called Margaret Woodroffe, nee Cocks, but the portrait style and clothing are too early for that. Margaret Cocks was born in 1739, married Solomon Woodroffe in 1757, and died in 1809. It is possible that this was her mother.
VERSO: a handwritten label by a member of the family that includes the words 'Her son, Thomas Woodroffe was Aunts Gilbert's Father. Aunt Gilbert was our great great Aunt."
This 'skipping' of a generation or two is quite common in family histories which are often passed on with no serious research.
Regardless of the sitter's exact identity, this is a good portrait, typical of the artist and of its time.

HANS HYSING or Huyssing (1678-1752/1753), born at Stockholm in Sweden. He came to England in 1700 as assistant to his fellow Swede Michael Dahl, the portrait-painter, with whom he lived for many years.
He succeeded after Dahl's death to his practice, and adopted his manner. He was patronised by the family of George II, and painted the queen, the three royal princesses, and George III as a boy.
Many of his portraits, including Sir Robert Walpole, the speaker Arthur Onslow, Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers, James Gibbs (the architect), were engraved in mezzotint by John Faber (1695-1756), and others. George Vertue describes portraits by him of the French engraver Joseph Goupy as 'well painted, much in Mr. Dahl's later manner.'

SIZE: 36 x 30.5 inches, including the frame.
PROVENANCE: By family descent, then to a private Westmoreland collection.

Portrait of the Trench sisters c.1720; Attributed ...

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This is a charming double portrait of the Trench sisters, they look out at the viewer, completely at ease. The subdued, almost pastel, colouring of their clothes and the youth of the attractive sitters, convey a sense of peace.
The elder holds some pearls, in addition to the ones she wears. The pearl is a symbol of perfection, virginity, and incorruptibility; it is a symbol of long life and fertility, and because of its lustre it is often considered a moon symbol. Buried within the oyster shell, the pearl represents hidden knowledge, and it is highly feminine.
The younger sister, also wearing pearls, holds a sprig of jasmine, which, in the language of flowers, symbolises amiability of character.
Both sisters wear flowers in their hair signifying their youth and future fertility.
The sitters are the daughters of Samuel Trench of Ducketts, one of whom, Susan (1713-1753) presumably the younger sister, married John Berney of Bracon Hall, Norfolk.
The manor of Ducketts had come into the possession of the Trench family in 1660, passing to Samuel who died in 1741, most of the estate then passed to Susan and her husband John Berney.

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's earliest dated portraits are c.1697; one of his younger brothers, Edward, was drapery painter to Kneller and his principal assistant.

SIZE: 51 x 44.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: by descent through the family.

A fine small silk needlework c.1660, in ...

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An enchanting small silk needlework panel, c.1660, depicting a lady seated by a well in a rural landscape, a camel by her side, and a castellated town beyond.
This is the story from the Old Testament
Rebecca went to the well outside her city and encountered a stranger who identified her as the answer to his prayers. The backstory, according to Genesis 24:11–22, is that the aged Abraham wanted a wife for his son Isaac and sent his senior steward to his homeland of Mesopotamia to find a suitable woman.

Set in an oval ribbon border with a gold velvet surround, in excellent condition.
Mounted within a parquetry walnut frame.

DIMENSIONS: Frame 11.75 x 10.5 inches.
Panel 6 x 4.5 inches.
PROVENANCE: Shropshire Private Collection.

Song Dynasty (960-1279) celadon bowl.

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A Chinese incised Qingbai Southern Song Dynasty bowl, of great beauty. It has clean and pure lines; the decorative features are minimalist, the craftsmanship is flawless, and the glaze is luminous. This bowl, with its carved peony design, is Jingdezhen ware, 1127-1279.
The secret of making porcelain was not known in Europe until the late 17th/early 18th century, centuries after this lovely dish had been created.

The Song Dynasty preference for monochrome wares with bold profiles and innovative forms is one we see revived by many ceramicists in the 21st century, It is extraordinary to think these ceramics potted nearly 1,000 years ago could so easily be mistaken for contemporary works.
Song Dynasty ceramics are characterised by their refined and elegant forms, their subtle, monochrome glazes and their simple yet impactful decorative motifs.

'Qingbai' meaning 'green-white' was produced under the Song and Yuan Dynasty. In addition to the advances in chemistry that allowed the production of thin-walled vessels, Qingbai is distinguished by its smooth, glassy glaze, achieved by using a small amount of iron in a reduction fired kiln. The result is the characteristic blue-green tinted finish.

SIZE: 8.25 x 3.25 inches.
CONDITION: The glaze is perfect, no abrasions, but there is a hair crack (see image 5)
PROVENANCE: Discovered in a tomb near Beijing and brought into this country in 1997, when China opened to the outside world, by the specialist antiquities dealer 'Ancient World' of York.
Then in a Yorkshire collection for the next 24 years.


Portrait of Susannah Earle c.1740, by Henry ...

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Portrait of Susannah Earle wearing a silk dress with lace collar and blue ribbons. Oil on canvas in the fine original carved and giltwood frame. Inscribed upper left 'Mrs Earle'.

Susannah Earle of Eastcourt House, Wiltshire (died 1796/1797) was the daughter of Alice White nee Hicks (born 1693) and therefore a first cousin of Sir Howe Hicks. She was born at Witcombe, Gloucestershire, and later was instrumental in introducing her Hicks cousins to the Beach family of Wiltshire paving the way for the creation of the Hicks Beach dynasty.
Her husband, William Rawlinson Earle (7 April 1702 - 10 August 1774), of Eastcourt House, Crudwell, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons for 40 years between 1727 and 1768.
He was the eldest son of Giles Earle and his wife Elizabeth Rawlinson, daughter of Sir William Rawlinson of Hendon House, Middlesex and widow of John Lowther of Lowther, Westmorland. He married, with £20,000, the heiress Susannah White, daughter of William White of Somerford, Wiltshire on 4 January 1731.

HENRY PICKERING (1720-circa 1775) was a fashionable and gifted portrait artist working in the style of the great Thomas Hudson. Hudson and Pickering were both known to use the famous drapery painter Joseph van Aken.
He travelled to Italy to learn from the old masters and seems to have returned to England, and London, by 1740. By the 1750s he seems to have worked as an itinerant portrait painter travelling around the country, eventually settling in Manchester in 1759.
SIZE: 37 x 32 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent.
LITERATURE 'A Cotswold Family: Hicks and Hicks Beach' published in 1909 by Mrs William Hicks Beach; it traces the Gloucestershire roots of the Hicks family back to the 14th century.
( From p.271 'She {Susannah} had twinkling pearl earrings and fashionable lace, and constantly reminded Witcombe, we may be sure, that Gloucestershire was not the universe')

Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams ...

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Oil on canvas in reproduction 18th c. style gilt frame.
Inscribed, upper right, 'Col.n Sam & Rose Adams'.

A pleasing double portrait of Colonel Samuel Adams and his wife Rose, to whom he offers his snuff box for her to take a pinch. This is most unusual in portraiture.
(Snuff is a product made from ground or pulverised tobacco leaves. It originated in the Americas and was in common use in Europe by the 17th century.
It was generally inhaled or "snuffed" through the nose, usually directly from the fingers.
By the 18th century, snuff had become the tobacco product of choice among the upper classes, both male and female. The taking of snuff helped to distinguish the elite members of society from the common populace, which generally smoked its tobacco.)

PHILIPPE MERCIER (also known as Philip Mercier; 1689 in Berlin – 18 July 1760 in London) was a French painter and etcher, who lived principally and was active in England. He was born in Berlin of French extraction, the son of a Huguenot tapestry-worker. He studied painting at the Akademie der Wissenschaften of Berlin and later under Antoine Pesne, who had arrived in Berlin in 1710. Later, he travelled in Italy and France before arriving in London—"recommended by the Court at Hannover"—probably in 1716. He married in London in 1719 and lived in Leicester Fields.
He was appointed Principal Painter and librarian to the Prince and Princess of Wales at their independent establishment in Leicester Fields, and while he was in favour he painted various portraits of the royals, and no doubt many of the nobility and gentry. Of the royal portraits, those of the Prince of Wales and of his three sisters, painted in 1728, were all engraved in mezzotint by Jean Pierre Simon, and that of the three elder children of the Prince of Wales by John Faber Junior in 1744.

Mercier became involved in a scandal of sorts and he lost favour. He left London around 1740 and settled in York, where he practiced portrait painting for over ten years, before returning to London in 1751. In 1752, Mercier went to Portugal at the request of several English merchants. He did not long remain there, however, but came back to London, where he died in 1760.

SIZE: 45 x 51.5 inches inc. frame.
*Edward Abadam, Middleton Hall, Carmarthenshire, thence by descent.
*Sold Christie's 1980.
*American Private Collection.
*With Roy Precious Fine Art.
* Collection of a Fellow of a Cambridge College.

Verso: old inventory number; old Christie's stencil; old handwritten label "Colonel Samuel & Mrs. Adams. P. Mercier. To Christie's York from Vaughn, 102 Westbourne Ave. Hull"

Portrait of a Lady c.1700, by John ...

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Oil on canvas within an appropriate reproduction frame.

This is a superb quality portrait of a lady; she wears none of the fashionable Baroque accessories...pearl necklaces or ear pendants...instead she is depicted natural and unadorned. Her clothing is discreet, the neckline modest at a time when plunging necklines were a la mode.
At this period many portraits were produced, a large number of them depicted the sitters in a sterotypical, stylised manner. That is not the case here; with a remarkably modern feel to it, this is an extremely sensitive and talented painting.
The sitter regards us, as she did the artist, with a frank and level gaze; this type of portrait usually signifies that the sitter is someone close to the artist, such as a family member.
The portrait has, at some time in the past, been reduced in size. However, this has not had an adverse effect on the image; on the contrary, as the sitter now fills her space within the frame it is as if she has moved closer to the viewer, creating a strong feeling of intimacy.

JOHN CLOSTERMAN (1660-1711) was born in Osnabruck, the son of an artist. His early training was from his father, but in 1679 he moved to Paris where for two years he studied under the portraitist Francois de Troy.
In 1681 Closterman came to England and entered into partnership with the established portrait painter John Riley.
By 1683 he had developed an independent practice; he was adept at baroque poses still with a slightly French influence, with rather flashily painted drapery
His clients were mainly from the intellectual and professional middle classes, and included some of the leading writers, artists, musicians and physicians of the day.
In the 1690's, as his reputation grew, he painted for more exalted and aristocratic patrons, like the Dukes of Somerset and Marlborough.
He lived in great splendour in his house in Covent Garden, London, with his wife Hannah.
In 1699, after a visit to Rome, he fell under the spell of the Antique and painted his famous full length portraits of the Earl of Shaftesbury in Classical pose.
Closterman's last documented portrait is 1704, and he devoted his last years to dealing in Old Master paintings.
An exhibition of his work was held by the National Portrait Gallery in 1981 under the title of 'Master of the Baroque Portrait'.
SIZE: 26 x 21.25 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Berkshire Private Collection. Verso: an old, incorrect, handwritten label attributing the portrait to Allan Ramsay.