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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 6333
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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S I have tried again to get better pictures on

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I have tried again to get better pictures on the panel but because of the varnish and the light is not brilliant they are no better than the last ones personally I have 'gone off' this picture I think the drawing is rather hesitant but will need to pass on so would just like a rough second opinion from you? But I enclose pictures of a much more interesting painting that is mine which I have got stuck on i bought it in a sale locally filthy dirty and falling off it's stretchers so rather had to get it cleaned I have typed up all I know about it and who I think it is by but would LOVE a second opinion and if you agree with my ideas perhaps you know who I should get in touch with over this?
I researched the Christies marks on the back for a sale in 1956 by this time the picture belonged to a Mr Lancaster and it was it didn't sellThe painting which is most attractive was originally the property of the Earls of Lonsdale and was put in the Christies sale by Mr Lancaster in 1956 this didn’t sell. Somehow it managed to get to the Isle of Man with 2 other pictures both with Christies stencil marks on the back both had been in the same sale put in by a Mr Lancaster who had I suspect bought them from a sale in Cumberland when the off was taken off the house of the Lonsdales I think this was around 1948.Date wise I think it is around 1760 the first Earl married a Chrichton Stewart but this is not her
BUT It could possibly be most favourite mistress of the First Earl of Lonsdale, she was a local farmers daughter and he was very fond of her, and lavished expensive presents on her. The silk dress with ermine collar would have been very expensive. When she died he refused to have her buried but when she became very smelly she was put in a glass cabinet ,and then finally in a cupboard. Some years later she was buried properly. This first Earl and his wife had no children so the family past sideways. This would make sense as to why it might have been sold in the 1940’s.. The artist that comes to mind is Anthony Devis, who worked painting portraits of the gentry in the North before he went to London. He Worked round Cumberland and Lancashire so the Lonsdales would not have been that far. It had been relined but a very long time ago and she has a stencil mark on the back of the canvas which I think is a reliners mark not the Christies marks which are on both of them.The portrait has a stocknumber 938LD,
which is for a sale on 9 November 1956, the property of W.A. Lancaster (lots 1-12 in this sale)
lot 5 Hogarth
Portrait of a Lady (said to be Peg Woffington), in blue dress trimmed with ermine - in painted oval -
29 by 24 in.
From the collection of Lord Lonsdale
It didn't sell, the bidding stopped at 14 guineasFromCustomer
PS are you in UK or America as when I have my voice back I might ring you on one of these items (apparently is is swine fever)!
What a fascinating (and grisly) story of the Earl of Lonsdale and his smelly dead mistress. The eccentricities of the aristocracy surpass even the most unbelievable stories of fiction.That's great that you managed to trace the stock number of the painting to the 9th Nov 1956 Christie's sale ("said to be Peg Woffington"). However, I don't think that's Peg Woffington (1718 - 1760), the famous Irish London actress, one time mistress of the great Garrick. Those prim lips are very different from the lips portrayed in portraits of her at the time.The connection may have been assumed because there was indeed a portrait of the great actress in the collection of the Earl of Lonsdale, this one of Peg Woffington painted when she would have been in her twenties in the 1740s, by John Eccardt and also mis-attributed as being by William Hogarth.As for the artist, I presume you mean Arthur Devis (1712 -1787) (Anthony Devis was a landscape painter and Arthur's half brother). That's going to be a hard one to prove or disprove without a signature. I could well be.It is certainly of the right date. That lace cap with choker ribbon and bow was all the rage in the 1740s & 1750s which was the height of Arthur Devis's portrait painting career. The only negative is that he did not paint many half portraits such as this one. Most were full length in a landscape setting in the Gainsborough style or as conversation pieces. It was his son, Arthur William Devis, the flamboyant Regency portraitist and "Death of Nelson" fame, who did more of these half portraits and kit-kats. Your artist certainly had ability. It's not easy to paint ermine fur convincingly, yet he's done so here, and the lace appears to be carefully drawn too. The photos aren't good enough to see the brushwork, so it's difficult to say anything definitive, but I always say, if you throw enough of the opposite of mud at a painting, some of it will stick. And I would have no problem with you calling this "attributed to Arthur Devis (1712 -1787)". It certainly has all the provenance and content to be so. Being formerly from the collection of the Earl of Lonsdale should be enough.At the very least you have every right to call it "circle of Arthur Devis".Whether it depicts the unfortunate mistress before putrefaction in the cupboard is also impossible to say without a name, but by golly it adds great color and life to what's otherwise a very traditional C18th portrait.As for value, 14 guineas in 1956 would be the equivalent of about £350 today which I would say is a little on the low side. In it's current condition, and without a frame, I would put an auction value on it in the range of £1200 - £1800.Full retail value at least £3000.Hope this is helpful information.Best wishes,Robert. PS Sorry to hear you have swine fever! That doesn't sound very nice. I'm on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, USA, but no need to call, it's always difficult to matching time differences. R.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes dyslexia with name from me.
At One point I looked up and found he was painting in Cumberland around this date?, before he got to London I think. But you and I know the sale rooms these days are very negative about putting on POSITIVE names ( terrified of being sued I would think !) and I don't want this to go in the sale room to begin with say C and S or even Tennants saying 'bring it in we think 3 to 4 thousand then just when the catalogue is about to come out they then say well actually we think 1000,/ 1500 is more realistic with a 10% discrection so then it arrives and they sell it for for 900 and then they take their enormous charges off it and when the cheque arrives for 720 or what ever one realises that one has actually lost money! Of course we all know who I should go too. But to many people who have been there AND have been badly burnt by one or other brother! So I really could do with either the name of an indpendant historian, on this artist, or a reliable dealer. The trouble is I am out of all loops, as I live in Isle of Man, and seldom get to London these days, and elderly large rather untidy woman lugging pictures into dealers sort of puts you at a disadvantage! runners are meant to be young lith handsome young men.
I am doing two country house invitation only up market car booters in early May BUT I think this picture is too grand for that
I do so sympathize with you on selling through the major auction houses. But what a great word picture you painted, I can see it all so perfectly, that's just how it goes! I recently sold a Frank Brangwyn painting, it was unsigned, and consequently I was given just the same miserable runaround. It was the real thing. I should have kept it.But then what do some of these experts know? Once upon a time, Graham Greene thought it would be amusing to submit an entry -anonymously- in the Daily Mail's "Write a Graham Greene short story" competition. He came fourth.Will have something on the scarab for you as soon as I can.Best wishes,Robert
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Robert the fair well lunch for friends going back to live in Ireland ended in disaster I managed to fall flat on my face -no I wasn't drunk- on the pavement rushing to get to PO before it shut and am in hospital so working on mobile I am waiting for brain scan as I take a blood thinners I always said give me a leach cheaper and just as effective! Anyway limited accessential here so will give you stars etc when I get out of here. SO pleased to have mobile as ward is filled with old ladies who either think I know them through the WI which is just so not me or bore me to death with their families and various illnesses so I am very happy typing away and not looking up to get pounced uponCustomer Frank Bragnwyn wonderful artist
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just thought we need to be Duchess of Devonshire and sell.our Christmas cards what ever for thousands. SO like that story of yours about Graham Green everything these days has to be designer labels
So sorry to hear you took a tumble. But sounds like the brain is working perfectly and nothing broken, I trust. If the worst of it is warding off the jam & Jerusalem set, then you are doing just fine.Please take your time to recover fully, there's nothing spoiling this end!Best wishes,Robert
Robert S. and other Antiques Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
my son sprung me this evening and before they had time to change their minds again I was gone will deal with everything to morrow do you need more pics of the scrabe?
Wonderful news that you've been sprung from the medicos.Hope you have a speedy recovery, meanwhile, thanks so much for the rating and bonus, much appreciated.Left an answer for you on the scarab on the other thread. Hope you were able to see it. Have a great weekend,Robert
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
been unable to get the icon up to give you a tip but I have made a note of this and when I have discovered more from the leads you have given me and hopefully got it into a sale will see you get a decent one! By the way I don't suppose you managed to find me an 'Expert on Devis' have you that would be SO usefulCustomer
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
by the way this has just come up on my email as if I hadn't answered it ? I see it says you have 18 hits? which can't be right as I have done mine and given you 5 stars written up glowing reports at least 6 times?
Everything just fine on this thread. I see the nice stars etc, thanks for those. And for all the glowing reports. Very sweet of you.Not sure what "18 hits" means but then JustAnswer tells me very little and I've no idea what you see on your screen since I work "on" but not "for" the site as an independent agent.Hopefully, this should settle this thread now.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As this is a different as you call them' threads' I will slightly explain my relutance to go down the line over the' Devis' that you suggested. A friend of mine was very nearly reduced to take his own life by tother brother Grim, a very unpleasant story, and I hear a lot of amusing but not flattering things of course some of it will be jealousy BUT the only time I had dealings with mouldycheese A I found it left an unpleasant taste in my mouth. a pity so I think I will just wait till a new regent lights up the sky possibly B en d'or famous London square leading into Bond Street if you get my gist ? eat the other mackeral but had rather put my self off it by think radio activity!
Got your drift perfectly! I had not heard anything other than occasional sour grapes to go with the mouldycheese but I'm out of that particular loop now here in the US.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was just re reading this and I think I am going to suggest to my friend who lives in Budapest who had the problems with brothers Grim, that he might look for advice from you ( finds very nice unusual things) rather than mouldy cheese A1 who I think last heard had very reluctantly paid up, so if you get interesting leads from Budapest it will probably be him!