Anonymous sale ("The Property of a Gentleman"), London, Christie's, 28 June 1963, lot 61 (as Thomas Hudson).
The painting appears to be an early portrait by Allan Ramsay possibly done at the end of the 1730s. The sitter holds a music notation that reads 'Francesco Maria Vericini', an Italian composer who wrote operas in London at the time this painting was made. We are grateful to Dr. Brian Allen for endorsing the attribution to Allan Ramsay on the basis of photographs.
The canvas is lined. Under a dull varnish there is good retention of paint detail, which presents a lovely image that reads well. There is some discoloration at the bottom right corner of the gown that may be spots of retouching visible to the naked eye, but it is hard to tell. As seen in the catalogue image, there are some losses and paint lifting in the central left and top of the curtain. Some minor paint lifting is also visible above her hair. The canvas could have some old retouches of paint, but they are difficult to read under UV light possibly due to the old varnish. This painting has not been attended to in a long time and would benefit from sensitive restoration. The lifting of the paint should be stabilized. This painting presents an attractive image in an off white and gilt frame with a loss on the left corner and a few scatter nicks throughout. 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.