195

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FAMILY COLLECTION

Francis Cotes, R.A.
PORTRAIT OF HENRY COPE, 'THE GREEN MAN', HALF-LENGTH, WEARING GREEN AND HOLDING A RING IN HIS LEFT HAND
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 25,000 GBP (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
JUMP TO LOT
195

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FAMILY COLLECTION

Francis Cotes, R.A.
PORTRAIT OF HENRY COPE, 'THE GREEN MAN', HALF-LENGTH, WEARING GREEN AND HOLDING A RING IN HIS LEFT HAND
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 25,000 GBP (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Day Sale

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London

Francis Cotes, R.A.
LONDON 1726 - 1770
PORTRAIT OF HENRY COPE, 'THE GREEN MAN', HALF-LENGTH, WEARING GREEN AND HOLDING A RING IN HIS LEFT HAND

Provenance

Doyne C. Bell, secretary to H.M. Privy Purse, Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, by 1876;
His posthumous sale, London, Christie's, 5 February 1889, lot 154, for £6.16s.6d., to Colnaghi;
William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916), Aubrey House, London, by 1906;
Thence by family descent.

Exhibited

London, Royal Academy, Winter Exhibition, 1876, no. 5;
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Spring Exhibition. Illustrating Georgian England, 1906, no. 69.

Literature

E. Mead Johnson, Francis Cotes. Complete edition, London 1976, p. 79, cat. no. 185.

Catalogue Note

Henry Cope was known as 'The Green Man of Brighton.' His choice of coat in this portrait reflects his sartorial predilection for dressing entirely in green, an obsession that extended to his diet and his furnishings, as described in The Globe, 8 October 1806: 'He ate nothing but greens, fruit and vegetables; had his rooms painted green, furnished with green sofa, chairs, tables, bed and curtains. His gig, livery, portmanteau, gloves and whip were all green.'1 The ring he holds here perhaps suggests that the painting was intended to commemorate the sitter's marriage, though no record of this exists. Mead Johnson dates the painting to between 1765 and 1770, due to the manner of Cope's hairstyle, popular in the late 1760s, and the stylistic similarity of the execution to Cotes' refined, smoothly painted portraits of these years. Cope's family owned Bramshill, a Jacobean mansion in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, now the National Police Library. It is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in England, with the ghost of 'The Green Man' resident among its other phantoms.

1. See J.P. Cope, Bramshill. The Memoirs of Joan Penelope Cope, Bungay 1938, p. 17.

Old Masters Day Sale

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London