R. E. HillPortrait of Countess Lovelace
Lot 595
R. E. Hill
Portrait of Countess Lovelace
AU$ 2,000 - 3,000
US$ 1,900 - 2,800
Lot Details
R. E. Hill
Portrait of Countess Lovelace
watercolour
signed lower right
inscribed on reverse 'Left to Lady Waldegrave by the Rev. H.E.E. Nelson Ward, who died in Bath, Summer 1953'
30 x 21cm

Footnotes

  • BYRON, (AUGUSTA) ADA, COUNTESS OF LOVELACE, 1815-1852 - Portrait of Countess Lovelace, by R.E. Hill

    Daughter, and the only child, of George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron the poet, and his wife Anne Isabella, Ada was born on 10 December 1815. Shortly after her birth and the subsequent break-up of her parents' marriage she became famous through the lines of Byron's poem 'Childe Harold' (canto 3, lines 1-5):

    "Is thy face like thy mother's, my fair child
    Ada! sole daughter of my house and of my heart?
    When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smiled,
    And then we parted, - not as now we part,
    But with a hope"

    He also wrote of her as
    "The child of Love! though born in bitterness
    And nurtured in Convulsion! Of thy sire
    These were the elements..."

    When Ada was 20 she married William King, eighth Baron King and Baron Ockham, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, who was created Earl of Lovelace in 1838. She was an expert horsewoman and a talented mathematician. She met Charles Babbage, the computer pioneer, and in 1843 translated a paper by General Menabrea, later prime minister of Italy, describing Babbage's Analytical Engine, a prototype of the modern computer. Closely supervised by Babbage she made extensive supplementary notes which constitute the best description of Babbage's views on the attributes of his engines. She is considered by some to be the world's first programmer. Separated from her by her mother's influence, Byron often thought of his daughter and was always concerned for her well-being. She was on Byron's mind during his last lucid moments before his death in Missolonghi. Knowledge of her father, and his picture, had been kept from her in her childhood, but due greatly to her husband Lord King, she came to revere her father's poetry and his memory. In 1850 she discovered that she had cancer of the uterus. She died on 27th November 1852 at her house in London and, by her own desire, she was buried beside her father in the family vault at Hucknall Torkard.

    The present portrait is one of only a few of Lady Lovelace as an adult, and is accompanied by a letter from the National Portrait Gallery, London, to the present vendor, referring to this portrait, 'George Scharf, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, in 1872, made a sketch of a drawing by Elizabeth Hill of the Countess of Lovelace (which must be after Chalon [who painted 2 portraits of Lady Lovelace in 1833 and circa 1842])'. The present portrait is undated but probably painted circa 1860.

    LITERATURE:
    Doris Langley Moore: Ada, Countess of Lovelace, 1977
    Leslie Marchand: Byron, a portrait, 1971
    Anthony Hyman: Charles Babbage, Pioneer of the Computer, 1982

    PROVENANCE:
    Rev. H.E.E. Nelson Ward
    Lady Waldegrave, who consigned it to a Conservative Party Fundraising sale held in the Octagon Hall of the Pump Room, Bath, 1970, when it was acquired by the present owners father (deceased).
Activities
Contacts
  1. Customer Services (Australia)
    Customer Services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +61 2 8412 2222
    FaxFax: +61 2 9475 4110
  2. Yvett Klein
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    76 Paddington Street
    Sydney, 2021
    Australia
    Work +61 2 8412 2231
    FaxFax: +61 2 9475 4110
  3. James Hendy
    Specialist - Australian Colonial Furniture and Australiana
    Bonhams
    Work
    220 San Bruno Avenue
    San Francisco, 94103
    United States
    Work +1 415 503 3202
    FaxFax: +1 415 861 8951
Similar items
Rare Fossil Dolphin Skull A silver mounted Viola Bow by W.E. Hill & Sons, London (1) A fine English Viola by Joseph Hill, London (2) A Violin of the Vienese School circa 1800 (2) no image A silver and ivory mounted Cello Bow by W.E.Hill and Sons, London circa 1930 (1)