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Details & Cataloguing

The Pohl-Ströher Collection of Portrait Miniatures Part I

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London

John Smart
LONDON 1741 - 1811
PORTRAIT OF LADY OAKELEY, NÉE HELENA BEATSON (1762-1839)
Watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, gold frame, with diamond border;
signed with the artist's monogram and dated lower left: J.S. / 1786 / I.
62 by 45 mm.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

By descent in the sitter's family until,
W.H. Wodehouse;
sale, London, Christie's, 6 December 1899, lot 78 (together with the previous lot in this sale);
Edward M. Hodgkins, London;
John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York, 1906;
sale, London, Christie's, 24 June 1935, lot 443;
Walter, 2nd Viscount Bearsted (1882-1948),
by descent to his son Marcus, 3rd Viscount Bearsted (1909-1986);
sale, London, Christie's, 27 March 1984, lot 290 (together with the previous lot in this sale)

Exhibited

Paris, 1906, no. 14;
Edinburgh,1965, no. 232

Literature

Williamson, 1906-1908, vol. II, no. 232, pl. LXXIV;
Williamson, May 1907, p. 4, no. LII, illust.;
Williamson, 1921, p. 140, pl. XXV, no. 1;
Dodwell, London, 1926, p. 171;
Long, 1929, p. 408;
Foster, 1930-1931, p. 69;
Schidlof, 1964, vol. II, p. 763, as 'excellent';
Foskett, 1964, pp. xxi, 19, 29, 36 (as 'attractive and graceful'), 71, pl. XVIII, no. 67;
Archer, 1972, pl. 17;
Archer, 1979, pp. 120, 121 & 391, illust. p. 392, no. 296

Catalogue Note

Helena Beatson was the only daughter of Robert Beatson of Killerie, Fife, Scotland. She grew up to be artistically talented, charming and admired by her contemporaries. The novelist Fanny Burney (1752-1840) recalled, for example, that ‘she is not absolutely handsome yet infinitely attractive... She is sensible, smart, quick and comical…a most astonishing genius though never taught. She groups figures of children in the most ingenious, playful and beautiful sanity of attitudes and employment …'

In 1775, she sailed to India with her aunt, the pastel painter Katherine Read (1723-1778) and in 1777 she married Charles Oakeley of the East India Company (see the previous lot).

The Pohl-Ströher Collection of Portrait Miniatures Part I

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London