James Maubert (Ireland 1666-1746 London) A portrait group of the Aynscombe children, 155.5 x 175.5 c
Lot 32
James Maubert (Ireland 1666-1746 London) A portrait group of the Smith children, 155.5 x 175.5 cm. (61¼ x 69 1/8 in.)
Sold for £17,925 (US$ 29,789) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
James Maubert (Ireland 1666-1746 London)
A portrait group of the Smith children, full-lengths on a terrace with a spaniel, basket of flowers and a parakeet
signed 'J:Maubert pinx.' (lower left)
oil on canvas
155.5 x 175.5 cm. (61¼ x 69 1/8 in.)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Robert and Ann Smith
    Their daughter, Lydia Challoner
    Her niece, Katherine Bisse
    Katherine’s son, Thomas Chaloner Bisse Challoner of Portnall Park, Egham
    Henry Jerome de Salis, brother-in-law of the above through Thomas’s second wife, Henrietta de Salis
    Thence by descent through the de Salis family

    This painting portrays four of the daughters and the one son of Robert Smith and his wife Ann (Lillie). It may posibly have been commissioned to celebrate the arrival of a son and heir after four daughters. Robert Smith (1672-1747) is believed to have been a London merchant. As parish records are somewhat incomplete, we do not know when Robert and Ann were married but it is likely to have been around 1705, and they would have produced their family over the next ten to fifteen years. The present portrait would date from about 1718.

    The five daughters (including one who was born after the picture was painted) were: Ann, who married William Townsend and through whose daughter Catherine the picture descends; Lydia (1714-1803) who in 1748 married George Challoner (d.1770) - they were without issue. Their seat was Hales, near Cheadle; Catherine, who married the Revd ffraignean; Phoebe who married a Mr McPhedris; Jane who married the Revd Dr Henry Stebbings (1716-1787) and by whom she had two children, Henry and Ann (Duval).

    The Smiths' son, named Lillie after his mother's maiden name, was born in 1715. Around 1749 he married Valentina Aynscombe, and took her surname pursuant to the will of her father, Thomas, thus becoming Lillie Smith Aynscombe. Of their five children only three daughters, Charlotte Anne, Mary and Valentina, survived, so the Smith Aynscombe name died out. In 1750 Lillie bought and rebuilt a house near Winkfield, then called the Hermitage and latterly called St Leonards, which he sold to the Duke of Gloucester, brother of King George III in 1773. Lillie died around 1790.

    James Maubert is recorded as having first studied under Gaspar Smitz in Dublin, but the chief influences on his style are clearly Sir Godfrey Kneller and Michael Dahl. In the present lot, Maubert's favourite flower can be seen - the honeysuckle. The artist introduced this flower into two other large portrait groups; that at Cirencester Park, and the group portrait of Edward Bathhurst and family, sold at Sotheby's, London, 23 June, 1971, lot 90.
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