A superb early 18th Century English School antique oil on canvas portrait of a lady. Bearing an old label verso dating her to 1713 with a previous dealers label referring to renowned dealer Victor Needham and dated August 10th 1950.
Acquired directly from a private collection based in Germany.
The sitter is unknown. Stylistically, influenced and undertaken by a follower of Kneller. Needham’s attached noted verso also states this.
By “Follower of”, the definition means that we believe that the work was done in the manner of the named artist, during their lifetime or later.
Presented in a period gilt-gesso frame.
Condition – historically re-lined and cleaned. Please refer to the images. A further detailed condition report is available upon request. This is a good painting that displays incredibly well.
About Victor Needham:
Victor Needham was a dealer of the old school with the eye of a connoisseur and a straightforward honest approach to business, which earned him many friends in the world of antiques. He was a quiet and unassuming man with immense knowledge, which he was always pleased to share with other members of the trade and collectors, who came to him for advice. One of his pearls of wisdom was “buy with your eyes, not with your ears”. He served on the council of the BADA and counted a number of important collectors on both sides of the Atlantic as clients and friends.
He had a deep appreciation for early objects and furniture and he did so well that in 1927 he set off from Manchester for North America to open a branch of the business in New York. This was at the time of prohibition and, after the first two consignments, the last item to be packed was always a chest of drawers stuffed full of bottles of whisky to help “oil the wheels” of the Customs Office in Manhattan. The reputation of Needhams spread rapidly amongst the New York dealers and each time a consignment arrived a gang of them would gather outside the shop at 137½ East 56th Street. and buy items of furniture as they were unloaded onto the pavement. Every shipment included a couple of dozen butlers trays, which were much sought after at the time and the profit on these alone covered the cost of packing and shipping across the Atlantic.
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Depression, put an abrupt end to the booming business and Victor returned to the UK. During the early 1950’s he transferred the business to Bournemouth and his premises soon became a mecca for the London trade and collectors in the area. One of these customers was Sir Laurence Olivier, who purchased a very nice secretaire bookcase. This particular transaction resulted in him being invited to tea with the thespian’s wife, Vivien Leigh, a meeting he never forgot.
In 1961 Victor Needham was joined in the family business by his son-in-law, Brian Fox, who continued trading under the banner of Victor Needham Antiques.
About Sir Godfrey Kneller:
Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1st Baronet (8 August 1646 – 19 October 1723) was the leading portrait painter in England during the late 17th and early 18th centuries and was court painter to English and British monarchs from Charles II to George I. His major works include The Chinese Convert (1687; Royal Collection, London); a series of four portraits of Isaac Newton painted at various junctures of the latter’s life; a series of ten reigning European monarchs, including King Louis XIV of France; over 40 “Kit-cat portraits” of members of the Kit-Cat Club; and ten “beauties” of the court of William III.
Size: H 95.25 cm (37 1/2″) x W 81.3 cm (32″) including the frame
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We are a member of the following 3 Professional Institutions:
1. LAPADA (London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association) – LAPADA is the UK’s largest trade association for professional art & antique dealers (representing approximately 500 UK dealer members). All items are backed by our LAPADA guarantee.
2. CINOA – CINOA is the world association of Art & Antique dealer associations (representing 5000 dealers from 32 associations in 22 countries).
3. The Norfolk & Suffolk Antique Dealers Association.
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