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    Sale 5431

    Old Master & British Pictures

    11 July 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 137

    English School, 18th Century

    Saint Paul and Saint Peter; and Saint John the Evangelist and an Apostle

    Price Realised  


    English School, 18th Century
    Saint Paul and Saint Peter; and Saint John the Evangelist and an Apostle
    oil on paper laid down on canvas
    19¼ x 15¼ in. (48.9 x 38.8 cm.)
    a pair (2)

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    Mrs. A. Lee, Hampstead.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 29 April 1955, lot 96, as 'Barry' (25 gns.).

    Pre-Lot Text

    The Property of St. Mary's University College, removed from Strawberry Hill, Twickenham (lots 133-138)

    In May 1747, Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (1717-1797) took lease of what he described as 'a little play-thing house', known in early deeds as 'Strawberry Hill', Twickenham. Between the years 1747 and 1790, Walpole set about making 'great additions and improvements' to the house, utilising a variety of original Gothic architectural features. His almost whimsical deployment of quatrefoil windows, ogee door and window detailing, pinnacles and battlements to the roof, and gothic tracery became a wholly new and innovative architectural idiom of international renown and influence. After Walpole's death in 1797, the house was left to Anne Seymour Damer, daughter of his cousin. A sculptress, Anne lived at Strawberry Hill with her mother, Lady Ailesbury whose embroidery Walpole had used for textiles throughout the house. The death of Lady Ailesbury in 1810 saw the house pass to Laura Countess of Waldegrave, Walpole's great niece.

    Over the following decades, the house fell into a state of disrepair and neglect, culminating in Walpole's Collection being dispersed to alleviate the debts of George, 7th Earl of Waldegrave. The great sale of 1842 lasted for thirty-two days and realised £33,000. George's wife, Frances Braham, daughter of the well known society singer, John Braham, had already been married to George's elder brother John who had died shortly after their marriage. It was Frances who revived the house after George's death and saw it enter a new phase of development and enrichment. She married twice more - in 1847 to Granville Vernon Harcourt, a liberal MP and in 1863 to Chichester Fortescue, an Irish Whig. Throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century, Frances had the house expanded to accommodate the lavish entertaining required by her husband's respective political careers. A ballroom, grand dining room, drawing room and billiard room formed a new wing to the house, linking the original Georgian structures of the Round Tower and the New Office. Frances's death in 1883 saw the estate broken up and Strawberry Hill sold to Baron de Stern, a member of a banking family. Left to his son, Lord Michelam, Strawberry Hill remained in their hands until it was sold in 1923 to The Catholic Education Council for use by St. Mary's Teacher Training College.

    St Mary's University College, which was established in Hammersmith in 1850, relocated to Strawberry Hill in 1923. Until 1992 Walpole House was lived in by Vincentian priests who administered and taught at St Mary's University College. Since 1992 Walpole House has been open to the public as a historic building while becoming increasingly less suitable for modern day teaching purposes or as residential accommodation.

    All of the items that are being sold were part of the furnishings of Walpole House over the seventy-five years that it was in the hands of St Mary's University College. The University College has agreed a long term loan with the Strawberry Hill Trust of other items which the Strawberry Hill Trust will display when Walpole House re-opens, due for completion in 2010.