Enfilade

Reynolds at Auction?

Posted in Art Market by Editor on January 29, 2012

On 11 December 2011 (Sale 131), Grogan and Company Fine Art Auctioneers and Appraisers sold a portrait of Captain Benjamin Davies by Joshua Reynolds, along with an unattributed portrait of the captain’s wife, Elisabeth Viscount Davies, for $8470 (surpassing the estimate of $3000-5000). With the paintings having been handed down within the family from generation to generation, this was the first time they were offered on the open market. The following description comes from ArtDaily:

Sir Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Captain Benjamin Davies
with unattributed Portrait of Elisabeth Viscount Davies, 1761-72

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Benjamin Davies was born in 1728 in Bristol, England and immigrated to New York in 1750. His seafaring career began with a voyage to China, as an apprentice to Captain William Sedgwick, Commander of the London East India Company Service. He also accompanied Captain George Jackson to India before taking passage to New York in 1850 aboard the Neptune. In 1753 he married Elizabeth Viscount, a recent widow of Dutch descent. The next 13 years was spent in the seafaring trade with many partners, much of which is documented in his Diaries, currently located in the Colgate papers at Yale University Library.

In 1765, when the Stamp Act was to be established in the Colonies, Davies took command of the ship Hope and sailed to England with his wife Elisabeth to secure items for his mercantile business. While there, he had a pendant portrait made of his wife with the ship Hope in the background to match the earlier portrait he commissioned from Sir Joshua Reynolds. The Beekman Mercantile Papers at the New York Historical Society contains references to Benjamin Davies making multiple voyages as Captain of the ship Hope between England and American between 1765-1771. . . .

The full article at ArtDaily is available here»

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