Early 17th century miniature table cabinet.

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This is an extremely rare piece of furniture of great quality, it is dated 1623 beneath the image of the lady, and the initials (partly erased) HM beneath the man.
These initials are repeated above the central drawer.

The doors, top and sides all with ivory line inlaid panels of stylised flowers, the doors enclosing an arrangement of panelled small drawers, the central deep drawers with ivory inlaid urn of flowers and portico cresting to the drawer above, the inside of the doors inlaid in ivory with a full length portrait of a man and a lady within arched surround.
Continental, most likely Flemish, it is almost certain that this masterpiece was made to commemorate the wedding of the two people depicted on the doors and as a gift to the bride.

The large central drawer has a secret sliding compartment, which when opened contains a mother of pearl gaming token.

DIMENSIONS: 8 inches wide (closed) 16 inches wide (open), 6 inches tall, 4.75 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: a long standing French Collection.

Portrait of Thomas Selkeld 1836, by William ...

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Oil on canvas in original gilded frame.

A good portrait of the William IV period; Thomas Selkeld, elegantly dressed, regards the viewer with a direct, slightly quizzical, look.

The SALKELDS are an ancient and notable family who have occupied all levels of society.
The Salkeld name is a locative one derived from Great and Little Salkeld, two villages situated in the Eden valley in Cumberland between Carlisle and Penrith. Like a number of Lakeland names Salkeld comes from the Old Norse and means ‘Willow wood’. There were early Salkelds settled in Addingham, near Little Salkeld in the Eden valley by the 13th century.

Among the many mistranscriptions there are five variant spellings which are notable for their consistency and number of occurrences. These are: Salkield; Salkilld; Sawkill; Soakell and Sokell. The closer you get to Cumberland, the less variations there are, and of the above, Salkield is principally in County Durham, Sawkill equally divided between Durham and Yorkshire, Sokell mainly in Yorkshire and Salkilld in London. It is not uncommon however to find Salkeld and one or more variants in the same parish.

Gifts from the King saw the Salkelds settled in Corby Castle on the river Eden. Sir Richard Salkeld, Lord of Corby married Jane Vaux of Catterlen in the mid 15th century. Their effigies are in Wetheral church, opposite Corby Castle. They had no male heirs, but the two eldest daughters married male cousins and kept the noble line going.
In the early 17th century Lord William Howard, son of the 4th Duke of Norfolk had made over to him Corby Castle from the Salkelds, in settlement of a debt.
Lancelot Salkeld was the first Dean of Carlisle cathedral and erected the Salkeld screen, which you can see in the cathedral to this day.

THOMAS SALKELD was the son of Thomas Salkend (born 1778), a farmer of 35 acres, and Hannah Nicholson (born 1775), and he was born in 1803, making him 33 at the time of the portrait.
Thomas was a solicitor and lived in Appleby in a large Victorian house which is now the HSBC. He was a Town Councillor in 1849.
The family maintained an apartment in this building to the present day, and this portrait came from there.

Our thanks to Keith Salkeld for his help.

WILLIAM BELL SCOTT 1811-1890 was a Scottish artist and poet, but little else is known of him at this time. Clearly he was a talented and perceptive artist and is worthy of more research.

SIZE:42.5 x 37.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent.

Portrait of Mr. Dennis c.1695, by Sir ...

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Oil on canvas in a fine period carved and giltwood frame.
A remarkably insightful portrait in which a real sense of the character of the sitter is shown; not a mere fashionable cypher..."A Whig in a Wig"..this is a real person.

Verso; an old handwritten label "Mr. Dennis who married a Daughter of Sir John Houblon".

John Houblon was born in 1632 to a strictly Protestant family, and raised into the family business of merchant shipping. Samuel Pepys made frequent references to the Houblon family, most notably when they bailed him out of imprisonment in the Tower of London.

John later married Marie, the daughter of a Flemish refugee and acquired the lease on a house in Threadneedle Street in 1671. As a prominent merchant, he became renowned in London for his fair business dealings and generous public spirit, and his standing in the community grew, resulting in a knighthood in 1689.

Sir John then became Lord Mayor of London in 1695 and was a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty between 1693 and 1699. When the Bill for the foundation of a national Bank was approved in Parliament, Sir John was instrumental in both financial investment and creating the managing structure, taking up his position as the first ever Governor of the Bank of England on Tuesday 10th July 1694.

After the death of Lady Houblon in 1732 Sir John Houblon’s house and gardens became the site of the Bank of England, and remains so to this day. A portrait of Sir John was on the £50 note for 20 years until 2014. The design on the back of the Houblon note even featured an image of his original house in Threadneedle Street.

SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646-1723) studied under Ferdinand Bol, and perhaps Rembrandt himself in the 1660s. He was in Rome and Venice between 1672 and 1675, settling in England in 1676 for life. He was soon employed at Court and became the most successful portraitist of the generation following Lely. He enjoyed the office of Principal Painter, at first jointly with John Riley (d.1691), from shortly after the accession of William and Mary in 1688 until his death. He was knighted in 1692 and became a baronet in 1715.
His work fully expresses the spirit of the English Baroque, and includes penetrating studies of many of the leading figures of Whig Society such as the famous Kit-Kat portraits now in the National Portrait Gallery (Beningborough Hall, Yorkshire), which include the likenesses of Sir John Vanbrugh, Charles 3rd Earl of Carlisle, and others.

SIZE: 37 x 32 x 2.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of a deceased Professor of an Oxford College.

Fine needlework cushion c.1920 in Jacobean style. ...

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An exquisitely crafted needlework cushion, silk on linen, feather filled. Made almost 100 years ago in the 17th century style the colours are still bright, and represent the Tree of Life.
The needlewoman who created this was truly an artist, and one with great patience as well as skill.

There are two small repairs to the linen backing.

SIZE: 18 x 18 inches.
PROVENANCE: One Yorkshire family since created by a member of that family.

Eight day longcase clock c.1770, by Henry ...

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Black lacquer and chinoiserie decorated eight day longcase clock, striking the hour, the 12" brass arched dial signed Henry Baker, Malling, on a silvered boss to the arch over a silvered chapter ring enclosing a matted centre with subsidiary seconds dial and calendar aperture; the case with long moulded arched door decorated overall with figures in pagoda landscapes; the hood with a rounded moulded cornice surmounted by three ball and eagle brass finials, 86" high (pendulum, two weights and door key and winding key).
The hood has glass panels in each side so the 5 pillar movement may be seen; these are signs of a quality clock.

The case has beautiful raised Chinoiserie work, completely unrestored, and thus distressed in part. The clock can be accurately described as in 'country house condition', with an excellent subdued patina, unlike some which have been garishly 'restored'.
There is a small piece of moulding missing from the door, next to the escutcheon, and there is a 19th century strengthening addition of a small plinth at the very foot of the clock.
The movement is in perfect working order, keeping good time and striking the hour.

{Loomes' 'Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World' lists;
BAKER, Henry. Maidstone (Kent) c.1720-c.1730. Malling (otherwise known as West Malling in Kent) c.1730-77.}

SIZE: 86 inches tall, 18.5 inches wide, 8.75 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: Dorset country house collection, until bought about 25 years ago by the previous owner. He had the movement and face restored but left the case in original condition.

Oak court cupboard c.1740

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This Welsh court cupboard, also known as a press cupboard, didarn or cwpwrrd deuddarn (Welsh for two-part cupboard) is stylistically characteristic of those made in Denbighshire. It is of outstanding colour and patination.

To quote from 'Oak Furniture, The British Tradition' by Victor Chinnery :-
"Apart from the tester bedstead, the great press cupboard was the most important and prestigious piece of furniture many small households could boast.
As a type, they first appeared in the second half of the 16th century, and continued to be made in North Wales and some other remote areas until the beginning of the 19th century."

The ovolo mouldings seen on the top doors of this piece are fine examples of this type of decoration which became very popular after c.1680, particularly in North Wales.
As Chinnery says "This late type of fielded panel is usually considered as sufficient decoration on its own, supplemented with the usual simple edge moulding and a heavy cornice."

SIZE: 59 inches wide, 71.5 inches tall, 22.5 inches deep.
CONDITION: superb colour and a rich patina, fine largely original condition (handles old but later).
Interestingly, on the side of the piece are the small branded initials 'EW'. A candle burn on the right hand upper door reminds us of the lighting in use in the 18th century and its attendant fire risks.
'Such marks are often found on period oak furniture and are ownership initials. It seems most likely that the marks were applied by branding irons in the course of taking an inventory.' (Victor Chinnery "Oak Furniture: The British Tradition").

PROVENANCE: Denbighshire Private Collection.

Portrait of Mrs Christian c1780; Attributed to ...

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Oil on canvas in reproduction frame.
A charming portrait of this atractive young lady, seemingly lost in thought. She is dressed in the height of fashion of the time, her wig lightly powdered and a silk shawl draped negligently over her arm.

JOHN FOLDSONE (FOLDSTONE) fl.1769-1784. He was a portrait and history painter but only portraits are known.
He enjoyed success from 1769, living in London, in Little Castle Street, and later in Newman Street, but died young in 1784 leaving a wife and children.
He was the father of the miniature painter Mrs. Anne Mee.
Foldsone exhibited at the Society of Artists of Great Britain 1769-70 and the Royal Academy 1771-83. His speciality was small portraits such as this one which he painted at the sitter's home. This portrait, like much of his work, shows the influence of Reynolds and Romney.
His pair of portraits showing Elizabeth Haffey, and her brother, John Burges Haffey, as children, were engraved in mezzotint by Robert Laurie.
Foldsone's work can be seen at the National Trust property Stouhead and at Grimsthorpe Castle.

SIZE: 26 x 22 inches inc. frame.
VERSO: partial old handwritten label "Mrs. Christian, mother of Harriet, afterwards Mrs. Norman Co..."
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection.

SOLD....Portrait of a Young Gentleman c.1645; attributed ...

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Oil on oak panel in fine period carved auricular frame.
(The auricular style flowered in the 1640s and 1650s, and subsequently in the form of the Sunderland frame. Auricular, meaning literally 'of the ear', was a highly stylised free-flowing interpretation of organic forms, usually animal or marine in nature and was fashionable from the 1630s to the 1680s for pictures of all sizes).

A very sensitive and high quality portrait of a young man, hardly more than a boy, his fashionable moustache barely showing, painted at the time of the English Civil War.
Armour was very expensive and was often used in portraiture to depict the wealth and gentlemanly status of the sitter.
However, as this was a deeply troubled time it is likely that the sitter would have been involved in the armed conflict between the King and Parliament.
Which cause he favoured and whether he survived or not is unknown.

Aliases: Theodore Rousel; Theodore Rousseel; Theodore Roussel; Theodore Russel.
Born in London, his father, Nicasius, was a goldsmith and jeweller, who left Bruges for England about 1573 and settled in the parish of St Anne, Blackfriars, London; his second wife, Theodore’s mother, was the sister of Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen.
The Russells were connected with the Gheeraerts, de Critz and Oliver families. Theodore’s son, Anthony Russell, who provided George Vertue with information concerning 17th-century artists, stated that Theodore had studied under Jonson and van Dyck, had been employed by such patrons as the 3rd Earl of Essex and the 1st Earl of Holland, and ‘was a lover of ease & his Bottle’.
Signed portraits by him are rare. A set of five bust-length portraits at Knebworth House, Herts, includes a male portrait, signed and dated 1644. They are sensitive works in the manner of Jonson.

SIZE: 21.5 x 17 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent through a family of Worcestershire landed gentry.

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady 1601; Circle of ...

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Oil on panel in 'cassetta' frame.

The portrait is inscribed upper right "Ao Stilo Veteri D. 11.7 bris. ADAMO Aet 23" The inscription translates: "In the year 1601, Old Style, on the 11th day of September, MY TRULY BELOVED aged 23".

(Protestants throughout Europe flatly refused to adopt the new Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582; it would still have been a sensitive issue in 1601. The inscription is all early modern Latin rather than Italian and the Protestant sitter, and her husband, wished to stress their relgious identity; hence the use of 'old style' as 'new style' was Catholic.)

The sitter is contained within a feigned stone oval with the spandrels painted as if carved.

This beautiful portrait was painted to commemorate the marriage of this young lady; she proudly holds her right hand in a prominent position so the viewer may admire her large diamond engagement ring and her gold marriage band. (At this time wedding rings were worn on any finger on either hand.) The pearls on the sitter's wrist signify purity and innocence.
Her hairline is fashionably plucked to increase the size of her forehead, this was considered to enhance female beauty.

This painting is an excellent example of the portraits popular with wealthy Dutch burghers.
The sitter is soberly but richly dressed in a cap trimmed with fashionable and expensive reticella lace, starched millstone ruff, richly silver embroidered sleeves, and a long black 'vlieger' overgown. The latter denotes that she is a married woman and was worn with great pride.

Clothes and accessories were of enormous importance. Often immense sums were spent on them, and sitters were justifiably proud and anxious to show them off. Their clothes and accessories also carried strong social connotations.

The artist invests the portrait with a joyous dignity, the beautifuly painted face seems to glow with life.
He subtly evokes the textures of her costume, underlining their costliness: the translucent material of the ruff; the intricate lace; the complex silver stitches which create the patterns on her sleeves.
Black was the high fashion of that era and the artist rises to the challenge of painting black on black to depict the subtleties of the garments.

Beautifully moulded by light and colour, this portrait has the lively human presence of a happy young woman that reaches across the four centuries since her marriage.

After training in Antwerp, first with Frans Francken and later with Frans Pourbus, he became court painter to Charles of Aragon, Duke of Terranova. In 1604 he went with the Duke to Cologne, where he remained for the rest of his life, working primarily as a portrait painter for the well-to-do. Most of his 70 works are painted on panel. Nine examples of his work are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The sitters were painted either three-quarter-length, half-length or head and shoulders, they are traditional in style but painted in a smoother manne than portraits by the old Cologne masters.

SIZE: 29 x 21 inches panel size
34.5 x 25.75 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Huntingdon since c.1780.
Verso, pencil inscription 'Breakfast Room. No. 4'

Mary, Queen of Scots, 17th century.

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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 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.

SOLD....Portrait of Mary Dowdeswell c.1695; by Michael ...

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Oil on canvas in feigned oval within rare William Kent architectural carved and gilt frame c.1740, the sides decorated with finely carved oakleaves and acorns. The reverse of the frame bears old dealer's labels with the name of the sitter, the provenance and an erroneous attribution to Highmore.

The DOWDESWELLS are an old Gloucestershire family where they lived at Pull Court near Tewksbury from the 15th to the 19th century.
In the 19th c. the house was sold and is now a school.

MICHAEL DAHL (1659-1743) was born in Stockholm; after studying in Paris, Rome and Frankfurt he settled in London in 1689. He soon became the best patronised portrait painter in England after Kneller. He was much employed at the Court painting many portraits; a great patron of the 1690s was the Duke of Somerset, for whom he painted the series of portraits of Court ladies known as the 'Petworth Beauties'.

His style is extremely close to Kneller but his interpretation of character is less brash and more human. He has a quieter but somehow more understanding appeal to character which relies on its own integrity to make its impact; his works are of a real distinction.
At his best he was a finer portraitist than any of his contemporaries, with a softer and more gentle technique than Kneller's, which was especially suitable for his portraits of women.
This painting is absolutely typical of Dahl's highly skilled sensitive portraiture and is of great quality, allowing one to gain an insight into the character of the sitter; here Mary looks out at the viewer with a quiet and intelligent good humour...in every way this is a superb painting.

Size: 35.25 x 26.75 inches canvas size.
43 x 34.75 inches inc. frame.

Provenance: by descent through the Dowdeswell family of Pull Court.
with Frost and Reed of St. James's, London.
with Anderson Galleries, Chicago.
American Private Collection.
(Verso: old dealer's labels).


SOLD....Portrait of a Gentleman c.1770; Circle of ...

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Oil on canvas in a late 18th century giltwood frame.

The handsome young man sits pensive, his thoughts far away, probably concerning the letter he holds in his right hand...a letter from his beloved?
The portrait is painted with great sensitivity and demonstrates the chiaroscuro that was a characteristic of Wright.
The typical traits of Wright’s portraiture are apparent – an easy handling of the fall of light that diffuses over the sitter’s face, and along the shoulders of his coat to give the soft appearance almost of pastel – a reminder that Wright was also an accomplished painter in chalks and pastels.

JOSEPH WRIGHT (1734 – 1797), styled Wright of Derby, was an English landscape and portrait painter.
Wright is notable for his use of Chiaroscuro effect, which emphasises the contrast of light and dark, and for his paintings of candle-lit subjects. His paintings of the birth of science out of alchemy, often based on the meetings of the Lunar Society, a group of very influential scientists and industrialists living in the English Midlands, are a significant record of the struggle of science against religious values in the period known as the Age of Enlightenment.
Joseph Wright was born in Irongate, Derby. Deciding to become a painter, he went to London in 1751 and for two years studied under Thomas Hudson, the master of Joshua Reynolds. After painting portraits for a while at Derby, Wright again worked as an assistant to Hudson for fifteen months.
In 1753 he returned to and settled in Derby; he also spent a productive period in Liverpool, from 1768 to 1771, painting portraits. These included pictures of a number of prominent citizens and their families.
Wright married Ann (also known as Hannah) Swift on 28 July 1773.
Wright and his wife had six children, three of whom died in infancy. He established himself at Bath as a portrait-painter, but meeting with little encouragement he returned to Derby in 1777, where he spent the rest of his life. Ann Wright died on 17 August 1790. On 29 August 1797 Wright died at his new home at No. 28 Queen Street, Derby, where he had spent his final months with his two daughters.[
Wright was a frequent contributor to the exhibitions of the Society of Artists, and to those of the Royal Academy, of which he was elected an associate in 1781 and a full member in 1784. He, however, declined the latter honour on account of a slight which he believed that he had received, and severed his official connection with the Academy, though he continued to contribute to the exhibitions from 1783 until 1794.

SIZE:37.25 x 32.25 inches inc. frame.
European Private Collection.
Private Collection, London.