L11037

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Lot 222
  • 222

Gerrit van Honthorst

Estimate
20,000 - 30,000 GBP
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Description

  • Gerrit van Honthorst
  • Portrait of a gentleman, probably Sir Thomas Aston (1600-1646) in a white lace collar and a fringed sash
  • indistinctly signed or inscribed upper left
  • oil on oak panel

Provenance

Probably Sir Thomas Aston (1600-46) of Aston Hall, Cheshire;
By direct family descent to Sir Arthur Ingram Aston, G.C.B. (1798-1859) of Aston Hall, Cheshire; 
His Sale, Messrs. Churton, 6 August 1862, lot 58, where sold (as by an unknown artist, and Portrait of Fran├žois de L'Aubespine) for 7 guineas;
With Henry Graves, Pall Mall, London;
Acquired from the above by Studley Martin;
From whom acquired in 1889 by Henry Neville Custance (1835-1923) of Weston Hall, Norfolk;
Thence by direct family descent. 

Condition

The panel support is flat and uncradeled and bevelled on all four edges. An old split or join on the left hand side is held by old batons affixed to the reverse but is beginning to open very slightly. The painting is now dirty but the paint surface appears to be in good overall condition with only some slight wear in the background and a small surface scratch beside the sitters chin. Examination under UV light reveals only minor additional intervention for example some spot retouching to the top of the collar and the periphery. This lot is offered with a modern veneered wood frame with gilt sight edge in good condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

Sir Thomas Aston was made first baronet by Charles I in 1628, the same year that Gerrit van Honthorst visited Britain. True to his family's long history of service to the crown, Thomas was a courtier, and furthermore fought for the Royalists in the Civil War, eventually dying from his wounds following the Battle of Bridgnorth in 1645 in the parliamentarian prison in Stafford. During his lifetime, Sir Thomas also served as High Sheriff of Chester in 1635, as MP for Cheshire, and was perhaps most renowned for his petitions against Presbyterianism in the early 1640s.

The striking resemblance of the sitter in this painting to the documented  Portrait of Sir Thomas Aston at the Deathbed of his Wife by John Souch, now in Manchester Art Gallery, is very apparent however, Sir Thomas is not recorded as sitting for Honthorst on his brief visit to London from April to December 1628, nor is Sir Thomas documented as having travelled to Holland.