|Portrait of Mrs. Letitia Sparrow (née Popham) 1746-1838|
painted in 1766
In original carved and gilded wood frame. Sir Joshua Reynolds P.R.A. 1723 Plympton - 1792 London
|Lot ID: 44|
|Low Estimate: GBP 32,000|
|High Estimate: GBP 40,000|
|Next Bid: GBP 16,000|
|Sale ID: 1|
|Sale Date: July 14, 2016|
|Sale Location: Virtual Live Auction|
|Sale Sponsor: British Antique Dealers Association|
|Sale Terms: View here|
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|Location of Origin: England|
|Medium/Materials: Oil on Canvas|
|Dimensions: 29 ½ x 24 ins, 75 x 61 cms.|
|Primary Classification: Fine Art : European Art|
|The sitter is painted half-length, in a trompe l’oeil oval, wearing a blue gown trimmed with ermine over a chemise with a lace collar.|
Reynolds’ pocket books record five appointments in May 1766 for sittings with Mrs. Sparrow for this portrait. They took place on 14th May (at nine o’clock) 15th (at 3) 16th, 17th and 19th (all at 9). A payment of 35 guineas is recorded in the ledger on 6th June 1767. This accords with the price Reynolds was charging for portraits of this size as noted in the front of a pocket book for 1764.
Another of her family appears to have been painted by Reynolds the previous year. There is an appointment with a Mrs. Popham recorded for May 1765.
Letitia Popham was the only daughter of Thomas Popham of Bagborough House, West Bagborough, Somerset and his wife Sara. They were part of the Popham family who had long been wealthy West Country landowners, their apogee probably being the appointment of Sir John Popham as Lord Chief Justice of England in 1592.
Letitia married James Sparrow (1742-1804) sole surviving son of Francis Sparrow of Flax Bourton, Somerset, and his wife Sarah Smith of London whom he had married in 1730. James and Letitia had two sons and eight daughters. She died in 1838 aged 92 and is buried at Long Ashton.
An inscription on the back of the lining canvas reads: “Loetitia Popham wife of James Sparrow Esq. Of Flaxbourton, Somerset”.
There is an old label at the bottom of the back of the frame which reads: “Laetitia Popham sister of Alexander m. James Sparrow of Flaxbourton”.
|Provenance: By descent in the family of the sitter.|
|Item Condition:||The artist did not use any experimental media on this painting and there is no evidence of the condition problems sometimes found in his work caused by the incorporation of bitumen or accelerated drying agents. The painting is in generally good condition. There are no old tears in the canvas. The painted oval around the sitter is original. The paint retains its good original colouring. There is a normal amount of craquelure due to age but this is only apparent on close inspection and is not intrusive. The painting was lined in the first half of the 20th century and has been cleaned recently to remove discoloured varnish. There are small retouchings in parts.|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||BADA Auction : 413 Lots : July 14,2016 : 10AM EST|
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|Guarantee:||All items are guaranteed to be as described.|
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