A large George III carved giltwood picture frame in the manner of Thomas Chippendale
Lot 39
A large George III carved giltwood picture frame
in the manner of Thomas Chippendale
Sold for £ 34,850 (US$ 48,685) inc. premium

Lot Details
A large George III carved giltwood picture frame in the manner of Thomas Chippendale
A large George III carved giltwood picture frame
in the manner of Thomas Chippendale
The rectangular portrait aperture flanked by moulded scrolling leaf carved shaped sides with intertwined foliate branches with berries and flowerheads, the shaped scroll carved cresting centred by a galleon on waves above an anchor, with in a scrolled leaf cartouche flanked by protruding ships mast and rigging with flags, a fascais and globe decoration, surmounted by shell carved corners, the apron below centred by a foliate 'C' scroll cartouche with further ornate carved shell, 149cm wide, 204cm high (59in wide, 80.5in high).


  • Provenance: Richard, Earl Howe, 1st Baron House (1726-1799) and thence by family descent at Gopsall Hall, Leicestershire. Gopsall Hall was sold by the Howe family in 1919 and then removed to Penn House, Buckinghamshire and thence by family descent.

    The frame originally housed one of the autograph copies of Pompeo Batoni's 1764 portrait of Edward Augustus, Duke of York (1739-67) gifted by the sitter to Earl Howe. The Batoni portrait was removed from the frame at some point in the 20th century and offered at Chrisite's Monaco, 7 December 1990, lot 328 and then sold Sotheby's 12 June 2003, lot 12.

    It is not clear as to whether the frame was acquired by Earl Howe or was gifted by the Duke of York. The frame would certainly fit into the tradition of heavily ornamented symbolic frames favoured by the Duke of York's father Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales (1707-51) who patronised the carved and gilder Paul Petit (1724-57) who was responsible for the painting and gilding of William Kent's Royal Barge (1732). Petit frames housed the John Wotton portrait of Frederick, Prince of Wales with John Spencer and Charles Douglas, third Duke of Queensberry, 1740 (The Royal Collection), the Thomas Hudson portrait of Frederick, Prince of Wales circa 1745 (Trinity College, Dublin), and the Jonathan Richardson the Elder, portrait of Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1736 (Warwick Castle) all of which employed decoration which alluded to the subject of the painting.

    The frame offered here reflects elements of two designs for 'Picture Frame' reproduced in Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman & Cabinet-Maker's Director, Third Edition, 1762, pl. CLXXXVI and CLXXXVII.

    Four autograph versions of the painting were undertaken. Two of which are housed within the Royal Collection although (notably within more simple Carlo Marratta type frames) and one which was given to Earl Howe as a mark of respect and friendship. Their friendship was the result of both men's ambitions at sea. The Young Duke of York showed great interest from an early age in naval affairs. On jointing the Royal Navy as a young Midshipman the prince by order of his father the King, boarded His Majesties ship Essex in the expedition to Cherbourg on the 25th July 1758 commanded by Captain, later Lord Viscount Richard Howe. This was the first time both men had met and from this a friendship was formed. As mentioned by Sir John Barrow in this book; The Life of Richard, Earl Howe, K. G. "it was a marked proof of the confidence and high estimation in which the King held Captain Howe" Prince Edward Augustus rose through the service to become Captain in 1759 and later Vice Admiral of the Blue in 1762. He is remembered best for his involvement in the American wars of Independence when along with his brother General Sir William Howe the pair commanded both naval and land forces thought the campaign.

    Pompeo Batoni's career began when he moved to Rome as a young man gaining an apprenticeship with Sebastiano Conca in 1727. Batoni's first commission in 1732 came after a chance encounter with Count Baccaresa who was so impressed with Batoni's style and purity of design that he was asked to paint an alter piece Madonna on a throne with child and four Saints and Blesseds of the Gabrielli family. It was from this work that his name became known and he received much general admiration throughout the 1730s and 40's. From this more independent commissions followed and his celebrated painting, The ecstasy of Saint Catherine of Siena and Fall of Simon Magus, showed his talent and skill, especially in his refinement in the Baroque painting style. Batoni became one of the highly fashionable painters in Rome and was closely associated with the restrained classicism of painters like Poussin and Raphael.
    He became greatly in demand for portraits as his classical refined style suited the European and British taste of the time. He gained as many as two hundred portrait commissions from travelling British patrons who made a visit to his studio whilst on the" grand tour".It was at this time the painter Benjamin West remarked whilst visiting Rome in 1760, that Italian artists; "talked of nothing, looked at nothing but the works of Pompeo Batoni".

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that extensive detached elements were temporarily re-applied for the catalogue illustration.
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  1. Fine Furniture (UK)
    Auction administration - English Furniture and Works of Art
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