A fine and exceptional leather-cased four-person picnic set with gold-plated accessories, by Rendall & Co, Paris, 1904, specially commissioned for Sir Coleridge 'Roy' Kennard,

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Lot 92
A fine and exceptional leather-cased four-person picnic set with gold-plated accessories, by Rendall & Co, Paris, 1904,
specially commissioned for Sir Coleridge 'Roy' Kennard,

Sold for £ 18,750 (US$ 23,302) inc. premium
A fine and exceptional leather-cased four-person picnic set with gold-plated accessories, by Rendall & Co, Paris, 1904,specially commissioned for Sir Coleridge 'Roy' Kennard,
the honey leather case with brass catches, single leather carrying strap and branded to lid 'Sir Coleridge Kennard', the fall front and lid opening to reveal dark green leather lined interior fitted with unusual cantilever-operated gold-plated wicker-handled kettle with burner, allowing minimal effort for 'tea-pouring services' and contained in gold-plated central compartment, the lower compartment with pull-put leather drawer containing gold-plated cocktail shaker fitted with set of four nickel-plated stacking tumblers, a wicker-cased drinks bottle, a smaller drinks bottle and condiments jars, each with gold-plated caps, spirit flask, funnel and vesta case all contained behind leather straps, other accessories comprise a further drinks bottle, two enamelled sandwich boxes with gold-plated lids, three gold-plated food tins, a further drinks bottle with gold-plated cap, set of four bone china cups with gilt handles and stacked within a gold-plated framework, saucers and enamelled rectangular plates, and ceramic butter jar, with set of gold-plated and bone-handled forks, knives and tea-spoons housed behind leather straps in the lid, the knives further held in gilt clasps, measuring 48cm wide, 25cm deep, and 37cm high.


  • It is believed that this picnic set was specially commissioned for Sir Coleridge 'Roy' Kennard (1885-1948) who was immortalised in a portrait by Jacques-Emile Blanche painted in 1904 which captures him at the age of 19 as a young dandy, as he was renowned in fashionable society for his good looks. His French mother who was a friend of Oscar Wilde disapproved of the portrait and therefore it was exhibited anonymously as a portrait of Dorian Gray. He went on to become a distinguished diplomat and mostly lived in Paris.
    Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Baronet. was born on 12 May 1885. He was the son of Hugh Coleridge Downing Kennard and Helen Wyllie. He married, firstly, Dorothy Katherine Barclay, daughter of Sir George Head Barclay, on 5 April 1911. He and Dorothy Katherine Barclay were divorced in 1918. He married, secondly, Mary Graham Orr-Lewis, daughter of Sir Frederick Orr-Lewis, 1st Bt. and Maude Helen Mary Booth, on 21 July 1924.
    He was created 1st Baronet Kennard, of Fernhill, Southampton on 11 February 1891. He was with the Diplomatic Service between 1908 and 1919. He died on 7 October 1948 at age 63.
    'The Picture of Dorian Gray', sometimes referred to as The Portrait of Dorian Gray, is the only published novel by Oscar Wilde, appearing as the lead story in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine on 20 June 1890, printed as the July 1890 issue of this magazine. Wilde later revised this edition, making several alterations, and adding new chapters; the amended version was published by Ward, Lock and Company in April 1891.
    The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfilment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than he. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging.
    'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is considered a work of classic gothic fiction with a strong Faustian theme.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) is now widely recognized not only as one of the most representative figures of the British fin de siecle, but as one of the most influential Anglophone authors of the nineteenth century. In Britain Wilde suffered a long period of comparative neglect following the scandal of his conviction for 'gross indecency' in 1895 and it is only recently that his works have been thoroughly reassessed. But while Wilde was subjected to silence in Britain, he became a European phenomenon. His famous dandyism, his witticisms, paradoxes and provocations became the object of imitation and parody. His controversial aesthetic doctrines were a strong influence on Decadent writers and on the development of Symbolist and Modernist cultures.
    This collection of essays by leading international scholars and translators traces the cultural impact of Oscar Wilde's work across Europe, from the earliest translations and performances of his works in the 1890s to the present day.
    The homosexual associations of Dorian Gray's name are anchored in French culture, as is illustrated in the title of Jacques-Emile Blanche's portrait of Sir Coleridge Kennard, It was commissioned by the model's mother- Mrs Carew. The portrait of the tall, slender 'Roy' Kennard with his long tapered fingers caused a life- long rift between Mrs Carew and Blanche, as it revealed his sexual proclivities to her.
    Roy Kennard agreed to exhibit the painting on condition that his name was not disclosed, which led the organiser of an exhibition of Blanche's work in 1924 to present it under the title - Le portrait de Dorian Gray. A French artist's portrait of a peer of the realm is thus known under the French title of Wilde's novel, and serves as proof of how 'Dorian Gray' circulated in initiated circles as a code name for homosexuality.

    Jacques-Émile Blanche
    Jacques-Émile Blanche (1 January 1861 – 20 September 1942) was a French artist born in Paris. His father was a successful psychiatrist who ran a fashionable clinic, and Blanche was brought up in the rich Parisian neighbourhood of Passy in a house that had belonged to the Princesse de Lamballe.
    Although he received some instruction in painting from Henri Gervex, he may be regarded as self-taught. He became a very successful portrait painter, with a style derived from 18th-century English painters such as Thomas Gainsborough as well as Édouard Manet and John Singer Sargent. He worked in London, where he spent time from 1870 on, as well as Paris, where he exhibited at the Salon and the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. One of his closest friends was Marcel Proust, who helped edit several of Blanche's publications. He also knew Henry James and is mentioned in Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
    Among the painter's most famous works are portraits of his father, Marcel Proust (private collection, Paris), the poet Pierre Louÿs, the Thaulow family (Musée d'Orsay, Paris), Aubrey Beardsley (National Portrait Gallery, London), and Yvette Guilbert.
    He was the author of Portraits of a Lifetime: the late Victorian era: the Edwardian pageant: 1870–1914 (London: J.M. Dent, 1937) and More Portraits of a Lifetime, 1918–1938 (London: J.M. Dent, 1939.
    He trained under Henri Gervex and was closely associated with Manet and Degas. From the early 1880s Blanche had been a frequent visitor to London, where he spent a formative period working closely with Whistler and Sickert, and exhibiting with the New English Art Club from 1887. During the 1890s he became a successful portrait painter of fashionable society, exhibiting with the Société Nationals and winning a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1900. Blanche first met Wilde in Paris in 1883, while Wilde was trying to gain a footing in the French capital, after his tour of America. He became one of the first admirers of Wilde in the Parisian artistic circle and produced a painting of a young woman reading Wilde's Poems (location unknown). Blanche was an important Parisian contact for Wilde, through whom he met Marcel Proust in 1891. Wilde and Blanche shared many friends, including Beardsley, Conder, Sickert and Rothenstein.
    A regular visitor to Dieppe where his family had a villa, Blanche entertained and painted many of his friends. Beardsley sat as a dandy on the occasion of his stay in Dieppe with Conder, Arthur Symons, Ernest Dowson and Leonard Smithers during the summer of 1895. Two years later in Dieppe, Blanche had chance meetings with Wilde, who had recently been released from prison, but, like Beardsley, Conder and Sickert, lie rather ignored Wilde out of embarrassment.

    The sitter, better known as Roy Kennard, was the son of Mrs Carew, a great friend of Wilde's, who instigated the commission of the Wilde memorial by Jacob Epstein with her donation to Robert Ross in 1909, Roy Kennard, renowned for his good looks in the fashionable societies of Paris and London, is captured here as a young dandy, who would exemplify the image of the English aristocracy. His elegance, luxurious taste and good breed are eloquently depicted in Blanche's 'English-style' free, fluid brushwork, influenced by Gainsborough. However, his mother strongly disapproved of this portrait, and it was not exhibited between 1908 and 1924. When it was shown in an exhibition at Jean Charpentier's galley in Paris in 1924, it was conditioned that the sitter's name should not appear in the catalogue.
    Charpentier, therefore, simply invented the title 'The Portrait of Dorian Gray' for the exhibition, without thinking how curiously the image of Wilde's hero would correspond to that evoked by this portrait.
A fine and exceptional leather-cased four-person picnic set with gold-plated accessories, by Rendall & Co, Paris, 1904, specially commissioned for Sir Coleridge 'Roy' Kennard,
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