English School, A Lady, possibly Nell Gwyn (1651-87), wearing blue dress with white underslip and striped shawl, an array of flowers before an open window behind her
Lot 206
English School, A Lady, possibly Nell Gwyn (1651-87), wearing blue dress with white underslip and striped shawl, an array of flowers before an open window behind her
Sold for £2,400 (US$ 3,921) inc. premium

Lot Details
English School (circa 1670,
A Lady, possibly Nell Gwyn (1651-87), wearing blue dress with white underslip and striped shawl, an array of flowers before an open window behind her.

oil on copper, , gilt-metal frame with pierced spiral cresting and pendant pearl.
Oval, 50mm (2in) high

Footnotes

  • 'Pretty witty Nell', as Pepys called her, came to London as an orange-seller and rose to become one of the leading comic actresses of the day, and mistress to the King, Charles II. The playwright Dryden supplied her with a series of saucy, bustling parts, ideally suited to her talents. She had two sons by the King, the elder of whom was created Duke of St Albans, and she was said to have been remembered by Charles on his deathbed with the words 'Let not poor Nelly starve'.

    The present lot shows the same, heavy-lidded eyes, upturned mouth and slightly bulbous nose seen in engravings of Nell by Gerard Valck, after Sir Peter Lely. The prototype for these engravings is lost, but is thought to have been painted about 1670, with the engravings having been made circa 1673 when Valck arrived in England. As the present lot shows the same hairstyle of curls going right over the top of the head, one can assume that it dates from the same period.
Auction information

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