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    Sale 5857

    Old Master & British Pictures

    23 April 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 34

    Circle of Cornelius Johnson (London 1593-1661 Utrecht)

    Portrait of a lady traditionally identified as Mary Cropper, bust-length, in a black dress with lace collar and cap

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Circle of Cornelius Johnson (London 1593-1661 Utrecht)
    Portrait of a lady traditionally identified as Mary Cropper, bust-length, in a black dress with lace collar and cap
    with inscription 'Mary Cropper Aetat. 36 1673' (to the reverse of the copper)
    oil on copper, oval
    4¼ x 3¾ in. (10.8 x 9.6 cm.)


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    The present portrait stylistically appears to date to the 1640s, and therefore the insription on the reverse identifying the sitter as Mary Cropper in 1673 is likely to have been added later. The Croppers were Quaker farmers in the parish of Ormskirk, Lancashire, and the aforementioned Mary, daughter of Hamlet Cropper, was baptised on 30 July 1637. Given the present portrait descended directly within the Cropper family until the 19th Century, it is likely that the sitter was indeed a member of the Cropper family, though presumably of the generation before the Mary recorded in the inscription. It is possible that the sitter was in fact Mary, daughter of Ferdinando Cropper, baptised 9 October 1607, or Mary, daughter of Peter Cropper, baptised 9 June 1608, both at Ormskirk.

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    Provenance

    By descent to Henry Smith Cropper, by 1881.