Lot 4
  • 4

Studio of Allan Ramsay

5,000 - 7,000 GBP
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  • Allan Ramsay
  • Portrait of Mary Stuart (d. 1739), half-length, wearing a pink dress and a blue cloak
  • inscribed on the reverse with the identity of the sitter
  • oil on canvas, in a painted oval


List of Portraits at Fettercairn House, 1924, p. 12 (Long Passage).


The following condition report is provided by Hamish Dewar Ltd who are external specialists and not employees of Sotheby's: Structural Condition The canvas has been lined and this is providing a secure and stable structural support. There is an inscription on the reverse of the lining canvas and on the vertical cross baton. The canvas is attached to a keyed wooden stretcher. There is an overall pattern of historic drying craquelure and craquelure corresponding to the stretcher bars. The craquelure pattern is slightly raised in parts but entirely stable. There is a rectangular shaped protrusion in the upper left of the background which measures approximately 3.5 x 2.5 cm. Paint Surface The paint surface has an uneven varnish layer and there is a tiny paint loss on the extreme right vertical framing edge, 14 cm below the lower horizontal framing edge, and one paint loss on the right side of the sitter's neck. Inspection under ultraviolet light shows discoloured varnish layers and also shows some retouchings, some of which are visible under natural light. The most notable of the retouchings are: 1) on and around the rectangular protrusion mentioned above, 2) further retouchings on the sitter's neck, chin and chest, 3) a retouching on the sitter's shoulder, and 4) a few thin vertical lines in the background to the left of the composition. There are other small scattered retouchings, most of which appear to have been very carefully applied. There may be further retouchings which are not visible under ultraviolet light beneath the discoloured varnish layers. Summary The painting would therefore appear to be in good and stable condition. Some of the retouchings that are visible in natural light could be improved by careful inpainting and the paint surface evenly revarnished. The painting is structurally sound.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Mary Stuart of Castlemilk married John Belsches of Invermay (1710-53), eldest son of Alexander Belsches who acquired the estate of Invermay in Perthshire. She was the daughter of Daniel Stuart (1670-1708), ancestor of the Stuarts of Fettercairn. Her daughter Emilia (1730-1807) (see lot 321) married William Belsches of Tofts (1717-53).