Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), Margam Castle, Port Talbot, Glamorganshire;
By inheritance to his daughter, Miss Emily Charlotte Talbot, Margam Castle (1840–1918);
By inheritance in Trust to her nephew Captain Andrew Fletcher, until Margam Castle was sold in 1941;
Margam Castle Sale (by order of the Trustees of the Will of Miss Emily Charlotte Talbot), Port Talbot, Christie's, 29th October 1941, lot 360, for guineas 27. 6s to Knoedler;
Sir Chester Beatty;
Mrs David Mathias;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 8 December 1976, lot 75, for £6,800 to Jeegers;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 16 July 1980, lot 103, for £15,000 to Noortman;
With Kunsthandel Rob Kattenburg, Aerdenhout, 1981;
Stiftung Henri Nannen, Emden, by 1985;
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Christie's, 10 November 1992, lot 170, unsold;
With K & V Waterman Kunsthandel, Amsterdam and Mireille Mosler, Amsterdam;
From whom acquired by the present collector.
Emden, Ostfrisisches Landesmuseum, 1985.
H. Nannen, Ludolf Backhuysen, exhibition catalogue, Emden 1985, pp. 11–12, reproduced, and reproduced on title page.
This gentle coastal marine is undated, but is consistent with paintings by Backhuysen from the late 1670s and around 1680, when the artist starts to simplify his cloudscapes, as the influence of Willem van de Velde the Younger on his work, who had left for London several years earlier, recedes.
Much later, in a painting of 1697 and a related etching of 1701, Backhuysen shows how a fishing pink was launched into the wind from just such a beach. As the crew and shore-based helpers push the boat into the breakers, the mainsail is hauled up and the rudder fixed to its pintles.1
Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot rebuilt Margam Castle in the 1830s in the newly fashionable Tudor Gothic style where it became a setting for the display and enjoyment of his collection. He was a keen yachtsman, owning a yacht, the Galatea, and he later became Vice-Commodore of the Royal Yacht Club (later the Royal Yacht Squadron) from 1851–61. Not surprisingly, his most active period as a collector was in the decade that spanned the rebuilding of Margam. He bought heavily, for example, in the Charles O'Neil sale in July 1935, his acquisitions included paintings by Van Dyck, Rubens, Konninck, Jacob van Ruisadel, William Van de Velde the Younger, Karel Dujardin, Terborch, Cuyp, Nicholas Berchem and Salvator Rosa, as well as a magnificent Samuel Scott of the Thames at Wapping, sold in these Rooms on 9 December 2009, lot 48 (fig. 1), and another work by Backhuysen, sold in these Rooms on 4 December 2013, lot 21 (fig. 2). He acquired the present picture, later to hang in the Dining Room at Margam Castle (where it can be seen in an old photograph immediately to the right of the fireplace), in the dispersal of the renowned collection of the shipbuilder William Wells (1767–1847), who had bought the Redleaf estate near Penshurst in Kent in about 1806, thereafter completely rebuilding the house, and amassing a significant collection of predominantly Dutch Old Masters.
We are most grateful to Thomas Methuen Campbell for his help in elucidating the Margam Castle provenance.
1. See G. de Beer, Ludolf Backhuysen, Zwolle 2002, p. 173, reproduced figs 226 and 225 respectively. It doesn't look easy, and it certainly wasn't.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale