After Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, 18th Century Sir Francis Blake Delaval KB (1727-1771), wearing red coatee, white chemise, stock and lace cravat, a brown buckled riband across his left shoulder, his hair powdered and worn en queue beneath a black tricorn hat
Lot 203
After Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, 18th Century Sir Francis Blake Delaval KB (1727-1771), wearing red coatee, white chemise, stock and lace cravat, a brown buckled riband across his left shoulder, his hair powdered and worn en queue beneath a black tricorn hat
Sold for £525 (US$ 827) inc. premium

Lot Details
After Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, 18th Century Sir Francis Blake Delaval KB (1727-1771), wearing red coatee, white chemise, stock and lace cravat, a brown buckled riband across his left shoulder, his hair powdered and worn en queue beneath a black tricorn hat
After Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, 18th Century
Sir Francis Blake Delaval KB (1727-1771), wearing red coatee, white chemise, stock and lace cravat, a brown buckled riband across his left shoulder, his hair powdered and worn en queue beneath a black tricorn hat.
Oil on metal, rectangular carved gilt-wood frame.
Oval, 97mm (3 13/16in) high

Footnotes

  • Francis was the eldest son of the naval officer Captain Francis Blake Delaval (1692-1752) of Seaton Delaval Hall, and succeeded to the estate upon his father's death in 1752.

    A consummate thespian, Francis fell in with a group of London-based actors led by theatre manager Samuel Foote (1720-1777). The Delaval living could not sustain Francis' penchant for gambling and other cosmopolitan vices, leading Foote to promote a match with the wealthy Isabella Tufton (d.1764), widow of Lord Nassau Powlett. Unsurprisingly, the union was not a happy one and the couple had no surviving children. In 1755, Isabella filed a lawsuit against her husband on the grounds of adultery with a 'Miss La Roche' who, according to the poet Christopher Smart (1722-1771), played the part of Emilia to Francis' Othello in a production at the Drury Lane Theatre. Unbeknownst to her, the £1500 hire fee was footed by Lady Delaval, whose pockets were consistently deeper than those of her husband.

    Francis' army career, celebrated in the Reynolds portrait from which this miniature derives, was also shortlived. Reynolds depicted Francis during the seige of St Malo; first to storm the Brittany beach, Francis received a knighthood from George III for his valour. Seemingly, the King was unaware that there had been no French force awaiting the disembarking English hero.

    Finally succumbing to 'an apoplectic fit at Lord Mexborough's', Francis' obituarist describes the deceased Knight of the Bath as 'the very soul of frolic and amusement' who 'overbalanced a few foibles by a thousand amiable qualities'.
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