Pair of Chinese porcelain jars, Qing Dynasty. ...

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A fine pair of blue and white porcelain jars and covers, Qing Dynasty, reign of Emperor Guangxu, with six character mark of Guangxu to the base and of the period. Tall ovoid form covered in a peony decoration with domed covers with finials. The Kangxi era porcelain revival was still in full swing at this time and these jars are typical of this beautiful style.

Excellent condition apart from damage to one of the covers.

Emperor Guangxu (14 August 1871 – 14 November 1908), personal name Zaitian, was the tenth Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the ninth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. His reign lasted from 1875 to 1908, but in practice he ruled, without Empress Dowager Cixi's influence, only from 1889 to 1898. He initiated the Hundred Days' Reform, but was abruptly stopped when the Empress Dowager launched a coup in 1898, after which he became powerless and was held under house arrest until his death. His era name, "Guangxu", means "glorious succession".

The emperor died in 1908 and it was widely suspected at the time that he had been poisoned. A forensic examination on his remains confirmed in 2008 that the cause of death was arsenic poisoning. The level of arsenic in his remains was 2,000 times higher than normal.

SIZE: 13.5 inches tall.
PROVENANCE: Private collection, Bath.

Chinese Lacquered Leather Document Box, Shanxi Province, ...

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This handsome Qing Dynasty document box, from the Shanxi region of China, has an aesthetically outstanding form. The domed rectangular shape has almost architectural characteristics defined by its refinement of line, proportion and curvilinear shaping.

This beautifully worn patination of the tightly stretched lacquered leather domed top has an elegant refinement. The vellum interior remains well preserved. After about 150 years of use inevitably there are some small damages to the leather top and one corner (both illustrated). The box remains completely unrestored in original state.

The stitching and metal ware are pared to a decorative and functional minimum, to enhance the elegantly simple lines. On the front is a cloud shaped lock with pin sets on a round metal plate.
Functionality is an imperative in Chinese antiques: these boxes were practical and decorative pieces for storage of valuables and documents, and they are equally suited for this today, being displayed on desks, mantelpieces and tables. Their simplicity of shape and lustre of mellowed leather finish complements both Asian and Western interior design.
The box also represents a good example of how lacquer finish was used to preserve and decorate accessories. Most Qing dynasty lacquered antiques were either red, which was made by adding cinnabar to the almost transparent lacquer, or black , made by the addition of iron oxide to lacquer.

These type of boxes have their origins with the pillow boxes: unlike the West hard pillows were used...over time Chinese pillows have been made of wood, jade porcelain, bamboo and lacquered-leather, and were originally concave or dome shaped. This shape both cradled the neck and protected the elaborate arrangements of hair in both men and women of high rank. As an added benefit they could contain small valuables while their owner slept, providing an element of peace of mind regarding security.

SIZE: 16.5 wide x 5 tall x 5.5 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: From a deceased Hampshire collection, brought from China by the collector in person about 20 years ago.


Portrait of the Reverend William Jones of ...

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Oil on canvas in the original gilded frame.

A powerful and penetrating portrait of the Reverend William Jones of Nayland, Essex. (1726-1800). He was an important churchman who became the inspiration of the High Church Movement of the early 19th century. He was also a prolific and entertaining writer and composer.
The eighteenth century produced a vintage crop of eccentrics who were also men of letters. Several of these were clerics. An age that can boast Swift, Pope, Walpole and Doctor Johnson takes a lot of beating, but William Jones of Nayland fits neatly, if more modestly, into the pattern.

Jones was born at Lowick, Northamptonshire, on the 30th July 1726, to Morgan Jones and his wife, Sarah Lettin. He was a descendant of Colonel John Jones, the regicide, and throughout his life paid penance for the crime of his ancestor, spending each anniversary of King Charles' execution on January 30th in fasting and prayer. After an education which included Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, where he was awarded his B.A. in 1749, Jones was ordained deacon in the same year by the Bishop of Peterborough. Two years later he became a priest. As well as being a Theologian and Latin scholar, Jones was an accomplished musician.

In 1754 he was given the curacy of Wadenhoe in Northants, where he married Elizabeth Bridges, his vicar’s daughter. During the ensuing twenty years he held two livings in Kent before returning to his native county and the vicarage of Paston.
Authorities differ as to the date of Jones’ appointment to the perpetual curacy of Nayland. The Dictionary of National Biography plumps for 1777, but Grove and other reference books prefer the previous year. Jones’ own biographer, the Reverend W. Stevens, who was also a close friend, gives 1776 as the date, which may be said to settle the matter.

While at Nayland he composed works for the organ which he had caused to be built by Samuel Green of Isleworth in 1787, to encourage the choir. The instrument became known as the Jones Organ and he became known as Jones of Nayland.
W.J. as he was also affectionately known to his friends, died on the 6th January 1800. He is buried in the vault he prepared for his family beneath the Vestry, close to that of Thomas and Martha (Patty) Smith, Constable’s aunt, which was constructed in 1783.

SIR WILLIAM BEECHEY RA FSA (1753-1839). He was born in Burford, Oxfordshire and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1774.
After some years in London he moved to Norwich, then a very important city, where he enjoyed a good practice painting conversation pieces and life size portraits from c.1783. He returned to London in 1787 and worked from Brook Street; he became extremely successful and moved to Hill Street, Berkeley Square, then to Hanover Square and ultimately to Harley Street.
He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1793, then RA in 1798 and was knighted in 1798 (the first artist to receive this honour since Reynolds).
Beechey was appointed Portrait Painter to Queen Charlotte in 1793 and by 1814 Portrait Painter to Her Majesty and to HRH the Duke of Gloucester.

SIZE: 42 x 34 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: 50 years in an Essex private collection.


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).

Indian casket, 19th century.

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A 19th century Indian casket, brass bound and finely decorated with 'pen-work', probably a Rajasthan dowry box. A superior example of the type.
Size: 8 inches tall, 12 inches wide, 9 inches deep.


Portrait of George Lee c.1700, by Robert ...

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Oil on canvas in a very fine carved and giltwood frame; this is the original frame and is a work of art in its own right.
Verso: old label identifying the sitter.
This is an extremely charming portrait of a wealthy young boy.
As well as his fashionable cravat, George wears fanciful garments intended to invoke the Classic tradition. This was called 'raising the sitter' and the idea was that the image would not date so quickly and become old fashioned in appearance.
George is standing in a landscape, probably the mythical Land of Arcady, or Arcadia, (a rustic paradise where beauty, love and truth reigned). This was a fashionable conceit of the time. Thus his bow and arrows seem likely to relate to Cupid, God of Love, rather than for hunting.

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: 38 x 32 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of R.M. Chambers, Harley Street, London.
The Simon Carter Gallery, Woodbridge, Suffolk.
Bought by M.R. Soames, Carton, Suffolk, in July 1985 for £985.


Portrait of a Lady 1631, by Jan ...

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Oil on marouflaged panel in good quality 18th century carved and giltwood frame.
Signed with initials and dated 'Anno. 1631. JVR" upper right.

A superb portrait of a gently smiling young woman; she wears a pearl necklace, the essential accessory of the period, but modestly conceals it beneath her fine muslin. No such modesty however, for the magnificent jewellery she wears across her bosom.
Her black clothing, fashionably slashed, is of the finest quality, beautifully decorated and contrasting with the exquisite white lace spread across her shoulders. In the work of great portraitists black is never dull, its pictorial potential is fully utilised. 
Black is an ideal background against which gold can stand out to dramatic effect and to contrast with the crisp white linen and lace. This extreme opposition between black and white is both austere and exciting, and is a characteristic feature of the 17th century Dutch portrait.

The theory has been put forward that the sitter is Amalia van Solms, wife of the Dutch Stadtholder (and grandmother of England's William III), who was painted many times by many different artists.
However, we consider this unlikely, as does Fred Meijer, curator at RKD, Netherlands Institute for Art History, at The Hague. 'While it is totally conceivable that Amalia van Solms sat for van Ravesteyn, I do not see any striking resemblance. Otherwise this appears to be a fully characteristic work by the artist.'
Regardless of the identity of the sitter this is a superb and sensitive portrait by a famous artist from the Netherland's Golden Age of painting.

(c. 1572-1657) was one of the most important and successful Northern Netherlandish portrait painters of the first half of the seventeenth century, and the leading portraitist of the government centre, The Hague. He was working there for the Stadholder's Court, for local patricians and for the upper classes of other cities in the Southern part of Holland and in Zeeland. 
His sitters are often depicted with rich costumes in the latest fashion, intentionally alluding to their wealth and status.
His earliest signed work is the well-known tondo portrait of the young Hugo Grotius, dated 1599 (Fondation Custodia, Paris). 
As early as 1604 Karel van Mander mentioned the artist as one of the most competent portraitists of his time. A large number of signed and dated works from the next decades - especially from the year 1611 - are known, including several group portraits of the Hague civic guard. 
The last dated portraits are from 1641, leading to the conclusion that the painter produced little, if anything, in the last fifteen years of his life. The general style of his work is closely related to that of the Delft portraitist Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt (1567-1641), but is generally less dry and often more flattering than the latter’s.
SIZE: 28 x 24.25 inches panel size.
34.5 x 31.5 inches inc. frame.
*Collection of Alfred Morrisson M.P. of Fonthill House, Tisbury, Wiltshire. (see image 10). Alfred Morrisson (1821-1887) was an outstanding collector of fine and rare items.
*Latterly in the Private Collection of a Lady.
VERSO: two Victorian printed labels bearing much information of "M & B Bartington; Est. 1836. No. 58 Wardour Street, Soho" framer and restorer.
Victorian handwritten label "Alfred Morrisson Esq. No. 106. Three quarter picture of Dutch Lady by Jan van Ravesteyn. 20/12/87".

Portrait of Mary Dodding 1677, by John ...

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Oil on canvas in a gilt reproduction frame of correct type.
This is a very high quality portrait typical of Wright's fine and sensitive work, with the haunting sense of character that Wright conveys. He would appear to have been far more interested in conveying intelligence than rivals such as Lely, and here, as always, we sense that the sitter is of an alert and enquiring mind.
Inscribed upper left "Mary, Daughter of George Dodding Esq. A.D. 1677."
This is almost certainly a portrait painted to mark Mary's marriage to Thomas Preston.

The surname Dodding was first found in Somerset at Doddington, which predates the Norman Conquest dating back to c. 975 when it was first listed as Dundingtune. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the village was known as Dodington.
There are other places similarly named in the Domesday Book but this is the only pre-Conquest village making it of Saxon origin. In early days, some of the family were found much further north in Cumberland at Kirk-Oswald where the estates of Kirk-Oswald were granted by Elizabeth I to the Dodding family.

MARY DODDING was the daughter of George Dodding Esq. of Conishead Priory; he was the son of Colonel George Dodding, (who had raised and commanded one of the Lancashire Regiments of Foot for Parliament during the Civil War, mainly recruited around Cartmel and Grange-over-Sands)
Colonel Dodding was the son of Miles Dodding Esq, of Conishead Priory, Lancashire.

Mary married Thomas Preston M.P. for Lancaster in, it is thought, 1677. Thomas was born in 1646 and died in 1697. He is buried at Cartmel, Cumbria. Mary's birth and death dates are not known, but the marriage was brief as Thomas married again and had two children from that union. There were no offspring from his earlier marriage, so it is very probable that Mary died in childbirth as was very common.

JOHN MICHAEL WRIGHT (May 1617 – July 1694) was a portrait painter in the Baroque style. 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, and was associated with some of the leading artists of his generation. He was engaged by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, the governor of the Spanish Netherlands, to acquire artworks in Oliver Cromwell's England in 1655. He took up permanent residence in England from 1656, and served as Court Painter before and after the English Restoration. He was a favourite of the restored Stuart court, a client of both Charles II and James II, and was a witness to many of the political manoeuvres of the era.
Wright is currently rated as one of the leading indigenous British painters of his generation, largely for the distinctive realism in his portraiture. 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, aristocracy and gentry are included amongst the collections of many leading galleries today.

SIZE: 35.25 x 30.25 inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: latterly in a private collection in Sidmouth, Devon.


Portrait of a Gentleman and his Greyhound ...

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Small scale oil on canvas in the original carved and giltwood frame. Signed with initials and dated '58' lower right.

EDWARD ALCOCK (fl. 1745–1778) was an English painter of portraits and miniatures.
Alcock lived in a variety of towns around England and was described by the poet William Shenstone as "the most volatile of all creatures that have not wings". He is first recorded living with his mother in 1745 in Liverpool, where he went into partnership with a carver-and-gilder in 1747. He was recorded in Bath in 1757 and was living in Birmingham between 1759 and 1760, where he painted a full-length portrait of Shenstone now in the National Portrait Gallery. He was described as "Mr Alcock of Bristol" in 1769, and by 1778 was living in London and exhibiting at the Royal Academy and Free Society of Artists, while retaining strong links with Birmingham. Shenstone described him as "an excellent miniature painter" and the poet Chatterton penned fulsome verses in his praise in 1769. Alcock's small full lengths are very much in the style of Devis.

SIZE: 16.75 x 11 inches canvas.
22 x 16.5 inches framed.
PROVENANCE: Collection of the late Peter Walwyn MBE. (1933-2017)
Peter Walwyn MBE, a giant of the turf, will forever be associated with the great champion Grundy. Walwyn, who was based for the majority of his training career at Seven Barrows in Lambourn, was champion trainer in Britain on two occasions in 1974 and 1975, the same year Grundy enjoyed his splendid campaign that saw the colt win the G1 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. That King George win, when he prevailed after a terrific tussle with Bustino, has been ranked as one of the most iconic races of the century. Walwyn retired from training in 1999 after saddling 1,900 winners and was appointed an honorary member of the Jockey Club. He was also awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2012 for his services to racing.


17th c. studded leather bound chest on ...

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An impressive Spanish leather bound and brass studded domed chest on stand.
This highly decorative and rare 17th century coffer has the original iron carrying handles, ring and pin hinges and hasp and lock plate. The two piece stand was to keep the bottom of the chest off damp stone floors.
Usually dome-topped chests need to stand well away from a wall to open, but this one is hinged two thirds of the way across the dome top and thus can stand flush with a wall.
The sides and back are covered in plain, thick hide.
This is an item that would protect its contents when travelling...the curved leather top shedding any rain water, yet clearly was highly decorated to use as a functional ornament in a great house, probably in the hall.

SIZE: 50 inches wide, 22 inches deep, 33.5 inches tall (on stands), 26 inches tall off stands.
PROVENANCE: A Northern England private collection.

Portrait of a Member of the Haworth ...

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Oil on canvas in a good period carved and giltwood frame.

Thought to be a member of the Haworth family of Yorkshire, the young sitter is depicted in a rakish and stylish pose, his blue garments extremely fashionable in colour and cut.
The artist, as yet unidentified, clearly had great painterly pleasure in the use of the medium. The brush strokes have a real bravura quality which brings the material to life. Strongly influenced by Jonathan Richardson, the artist is not slavish in his style, but brings to it his own powerful presence.

The Haworths were an old and influential Yorkshire family of Haworth Hall, Dunswell, Hull, Yorkshire. They were timber merchants and extensive landowners, some of them Baronets.
The Blaydes and the Booths were rich and powerful merchant families who had married into the Haworths. Like the aristocracy these wealthy merchants married within their peers, always with an eye on increasing their wealth and power.

JONATHAN RICHARDSON Snr (c1665 - 1745) was the leading native-born portrait painter of the first forty years of the century. He and Jervas were in rivalry with Kneller and Dahl. Jervas excelled with women's portraits Richardson was best with men, working almost entirely as a portrait-painter in London.
Richardson was born in 1666, but when he was about seven his father died and his mother married again. Richardson became a scrivener's apprentice, but he was released early when his master retired. Richardson was lucky enough to be taken on as a painting apprentice by John Riley. He learnt the art of portraiture from Riley whilst living at his master's house. Richardson's wife was Riley's niece.
In 1731 he was considered by some art-critics as one of the three foremost painters of his time with Charles Jervas and Michael Dahl. He was the master of Thomas Hudson and George Knapton.

SIZE: 43.5 x 35 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Haworth Hall, then by descent in the family to a branch which settled in Oxfordshire. Deceased estate.

Miniature 19th century Kingwood chest of drawers. ...

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A rare miniature piece of furniture, probably Maltese, kingwood veneered and inlaid, in excellent condition. Some old worm holes, but inactive.

DIMENSIONS: 11.25 inches tall, 11 inches wide, 7.75 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: from the longstanding collection of a French family now resident in Oxford.