SIR WILLIAM BLAKE RICHMOND, R.A.
Portrait of Edith Liddell
28 by 23cm., 11 by 9in.
The paper has been laid down on a board which is providing a stable and flat structural support. The paper has darkened except for the outer edge where the original oval mount was present - the darkening is even through the part of the drawing visible in the catalogue illustration. There are a few areas of minor staining visible upon close inspection.
The drawing is contained in a simple wooden frame and under glass - it requires a new oval mount.
"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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Ralph Holland, his sale, London, Sotheby's, 5 July 2013, lot 372 where purchased by Stan Battat
Edith Liddell (1854-1874) was the daughter of Henry Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford and younger sister of Alice Liddell, immortalised by Lewis Carroll (Charles Ludwig Dodgson). Edith and her older sisters Lorina and Alice were told the story of Alice in Wonderland during a boat trip on 4 July 1862 when they pick-nicked at Godstow and Alice asked Dodgson to tell them a story. It has been suggested that Edith, and not Alice, was the model for Dodgson's illustrations to the original manuscript version of the story given to Alice in 1864. In 1864 Richmond painted a beautiful group portrait of Edith, Alice and Lorina (private collection) at their country house Penforfa near Llandudno - the present sketch was made as a study for the portrait. Richmond wrote of the girls' forbearance during the sittings; 'I was a most strict taskmaster, often beginning work before seven in the morning, but never a complaint fell from them during the long hours of sitting, for it was my custom to work eight and ten hours a day, and never to do a touch without the victim in front of me'. Prince Leopold, youngest son of Queen Victoria was in love with Edith during his time at Christ Church. Tragically she died when she was only twenty-two on 26 June 1874 shortly before she was to be married to the cricketer Aubrey Harcourt; Prince Leopold was a pall-bearer at her funeral.