Enfilade

This Week at Auction

Posted in Art Market by Editor on October 27, 2009

A sample of images from the upcoming sale at Sotheby’s, London (with a nod here toward All Hallows’ Eve); from Sotheby’s website:

Sotheby’s, ‘Old Master & Early British Paintings’
London, Thursday, 29 October 2009

1Spanish

Lot 97: Spanish School, 19th Century. Six Vanitas Still Lifes — A set of six, all oil on zinc, octagonal (two illustrated out of six). Each: 23 by 24 cm cm.; 9 by 91/2 in. Estimate 5,000 – 7,000 GBP

1Romeo

Lot 137: James Northcote, R.A., Plymouth (1746 – 1831) London, Friar Lawrence at Capulet’s Tomb, Romeo and Juliet, Act V, Scene 3, oil on canvas, 274 by 334.5 cm., 108 by 131 3/4 in. Estimate 10,000 – 15,000 GBP. Provenance: Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery; Christie’s London, Boydell Gallery sale, 3rd day, 20th May 1805, lot 51, sold to G. Stainforth Esq for £210; Lord Northbrook, Stratton Park; Stratton Park sale, 27 November 1929, lot 492. Exhibited: Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Parma, Italy, Fuseli and Shakespeare. Painting and Theatre 1775-1825, 6 September 7 December 1997; Heim Gallery, The Painted Word, British History Painting 1750-1830, 1991, no. 66. Literature: S. Gwynn, Memories of an 18th Century Painter, 1898, p. 273, no. 254; W. M. Merchant, Shakespeare and the Artist, 1959, p. 238; W. H Friedman, Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery, New York (Garland). The image was engraved P. Simon and J. Heath for J. Boydell’s collection.

3Wright2WrightLot 135: Joseph Wright of Derby, A.R.A. (1734-1797), Portrait of John Mason of Morton Hall, Retford, later inscribed verso: Mr John Mason of Retford, oil on canvas, 75 by 62 cm., 291/2 by 241/2 in. Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 GBP. Provenance: Commissioned by the sitter’s family; thence by descent. Literature: Benedict Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby, Painter of Light, 1968, Vol.I, p. 2 and pp.212-13, no.104.

Lot 136: Joseph Wright of Derby, A.R.A. (1734-1797), Portrait of Catherine, Mrs John Mason of Morton Hall, Retford, later inscribed verso: Catherine wife of Mr John Mason of Retford, oil on canvas, in a painted oval, 75 by 63 cm., 291/2 by 243/4 in. Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 GBP. Provenance: Commissioned by the sitter’s family; thence by descent. Literature: Benedict Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby, Painter of Light, 1968, Vol.I, p. 2 and pp.212-13, no.105.

Catalogue Note: Wright of Derby and the Mason of Morton Hall

The Masons were a prominent Nottinghamshire family in the later 17th and early 18th Century. They settled at Eaton, south of Retford where they had estates and were involved in the local leather trade. They also had considerable political power being one of the eight families who controlled the voting of the rotten borough of East Retford which returned two MPs to Westminster. The family acquired additional estates including the Manor of Morton in 1746. They continued to prosper and it was typical that they should sit for their portraits to the most famous of all Midland artists, Joseph Wright of Derby. Having established himself in his native Derby as a portrait painter in the 1750s, in 1760 Wright had sufficient confidence in himself to embark on a protracted tour of his neighbouring Midland towns. Offering his service as portrait painted to local middle-class families, he was in Retford, Nottinghamshire and then Lincoln in March. By April he had returned to Retford whilst also visiting Newark, Boston, Thorne and Doncaster in that same year. During one of these frequent visits to Retford Wright painted the present three portraits of members of the Mason family of Morton Hall.