James Fellowes (British, active 1735-1751) Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), wearing brown coat, white jabot, black cloak and long curled wig

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Lot 47*
James Fellowes
(British, active 1735-1751)
Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), wearing brown coat, white jabot, black cloak and long curled wig

Sold for £ 4,800 (US$ 6,403) inc. premium
James Fellowes (British, active 1735-1751)
Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), wearing brown coat, white jabot, black cloak and long curled wig.
Oil on copper, signed on the obverse and dated J. Fellowes/ pinxit/ 1718, turned black wood frame.
Oval, 52mm (2 1/16in) high
Provenance: Limner Antiques, November 1985

Footnotes

  • Sloane was born in County Down, Ireland. As a youth he collected objects of natural history and other curiosities. This led him to study medicine in London. After four years he travelled through France, spending time at Paris and Montpellier, and taking his Masters degree at the University of Orange in 1683. He returned to London with a considerable collection of plants and was elected into the Royal Society.

    In 1687, he became fellow of the College of Physicians, and went to Jamaica as physician to the Duke of Albemarle. The duke died soon after landing, and Sloane's visit lasted only fifteen months. During his time there he noted about 800 new species of plants and discovered cocoa, which the locals drank mixed with water. He devised a means of mixing it with milk to make it more pleasant and when he returned to England, he brought his chocolate recipe with him. Initially, it was manufactured and sold by apothecaries as a medicine; though, by the nineteenth century, the Cadbury Brothers sold tins of Sloane's drinking chocolate.

    His purchase of the manor of Chelsea, London in 1712, provided the grounds for the Chelsea Physic Garden as well as perpetuating his memory in the names of Sloane Street and Sloane Square. In 1716, Sloane was created a baronet and in 1719 he became president of the College of Physicians. In 1722, he was appointed physician-general to the army, and in 1727 first physician to George II. The same year, he succeeded Sir Isaac Newton as president of the Royal Society.

    On his death he bequeathed his books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, flora, fauna, medals, coins, seals, cameos and other curiosities to the nation, on condition that parliament should pay his executors £20,000, which was a good deal less than the value of the collection. The bequest was accepted and the collection, together with George II's royal library, etc., was opened to the public at Bloomsbury as the British Museum in 1759. A significant proportion of this collection was later to become the foundation for the Natural History Museum.
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