Lot 55
  • 55

Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A.

150,000 - 200,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A.
  • Portrait of Richard Crofts of West Harling, Norfolk (circa 1740-1783)
  • oil on canvas
  • 51 by 45 in.; 130 by 114 cm.


Sir John Saunders Sebright, 7th Baronet (the sitter's son-in-law);
Thence by descent to Sir Hugo Giles Sebright, 14th Baronet;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 25 March 1966, lot 59, for 1400 Guineas, to Leger;
The Duke of Hamilton and Brandon;
By whom sold London, Sotheby's, 6 July 1977, lot 159;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 24 April 1987, lot 94;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 16 November 1988, lot 69.


London, Royal Academy, Winter Exhibition, 1908, no. 152.


G. Waagen, Galleries & Cabinets of Art in Great Britain, (supplement to 1854 edition), London 1857, p. 330;
A. Graves and W.V. Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A., London 1899, vol. I, p. 213;
Sir W. Armstrong, Sir Joshua Reynolds, London 1900, p. 201;
E.K. Waterhouse, Reynolds, London 1941, pp. 65 and 113;
M. Cormack, "The Ledgers of Sir Joshua Reynolds," in Walpole Society, XLII, 1970, p. 148;
Sir R. Strong, The British Portrait 1660-1960, Woodbridge 1991, p. 216, reproduced plate 216;
D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds. A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, New Haven 2002, Text vol. p. 155, cat. no. 454. Plates vol., p. 450, reproduced fig. 1134.

Catalogue Note

Richard Crofts of West Harling Hall, Norfolk, was the first son of William Croftes of Saxham and his wife, Mary, daughter of Sir Mathew Decker, Bt., a London merchant. In 1773, Richard married Harriet, daughter of John Darrell, banker of York Street, St. James’s, London.  Their daughter, Harriet, married John Sebright, Member of Parliament for Hertford, who succeeded to the baronetcy in March 1794, becoming 7th Baronet. 

Crofts is shown standing amongst trees, wearing a red coat and breeches and a pale brown, striped waistcoat.  He and his wife must have sat for Reynolds in 1775, as payments were made in November of that year and April of 1776. The companion portrait of Harriet Darrell Crofts is in the collection of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee.

1.  Reynold’s Pocket Books, which list sitters and their appointments, are missing for 1774 and 1775 (see Mannings, under Literature).