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    Sale 7743

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art Evening Sale

    7 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 46

    Nathaniel Dance, R.A. (London 1735-1811 Winchester)

    Group portrait of Sir James and Lady Hodges and their family, gathered around a table in an interior

    Price Realised  

    Nathaniel Dance, R.A. (London 1735-1811 Winchester)
    Group portrait of Sir James and Lady Hodges and their family, gathered around a table in an interior
    oil on canvas
    56¼ x 61¼ in. (143 x 155.5 cm.)


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    Sir James Hodges (d. 1774), who was the son of John Hodges, a Barber Surgeon, was described as a Stationer of St. Magnus by London Bridge when he married Mary Bullock (d. 1787) of Stanwell, at Iver, Buckinghamshire, in 1736. He was knighted in 1759 and died at Bath in 1774; his obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine recorded that he was also Town Clerk of the City of London. Sir James and his wife are shown to the left of this family group portrait, with their five children gathered beside them. Their eldest son, John, who is referred to in the will of his brother the Rev. Henry Hodges, dated 1810, as 'the late Colonel Hodges', is shown seated to the right of the composition in uniform with a baton in his right hand. He was to marry Frances, daughter of Sir Robert Deane, 5th Bt., and sister of 1st Baron Muskerry. His younger brother James (d. 1794), who followed a career in the Madras civil service at Masulpatam, and whose daughter Mary Anne married Lord William Murray (1762-1796), a younger son of the 4th Duke of Atholl, is seated beside him. The youngest of the three brothers was Henry, who is shown standing at the centre of the composition gazing lovingly at his mother. He matriculated at Merton College Oxford and became Rector of Embleton in Northumberland, and in 1798 married Sophia Alexander, daughter of Charles Crickitt (1736-1803), who was Member of Parliament for Ipswich. Sir James Hodges' two daughters stand between their brothers.

    This family portrait, which was mentioned by Lady Mary Hodges in her will as a bequest to her daughter Elizabeth, was later in the collection of the Nugent family. This was presumably through the marriage of the Rev. Henry Hodges' daughter Mary (c. 1738-1831) to Peter Nugent, in May 1785, who succeeded his elder brother to the baronetcy and to the Nugent family house - Donore, in Co. Westmeath - in 1794. Sir James Hodges and his wife also sat to Reynolds for their portraits in 1765. While Reynolds' portrait of Lady Mary Hodges is untraced, his three-quarter-length portrait of Sir James is on long term loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum from Tate Britain (see D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, New Haven and London, 2000, p. 959, nos. 914 and 916, II, fig. 829).

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    Provenance

    Lady Mary Hodges, by whom bequeathed, in her will dated 26 July 1784 and proved on 6 August 1787, to her daughter,
    Elizabeth Hodges, and by inheritance to her niece,
    Mary Hodges, daughter of the Rev. Henry Hodges, who married secondly, in 1785, Sir Peter Nugent, subsequently 2nd Bt. (c. 1745-1799), of Donore, Co. Westmeath, and by descent to the present owner.


    Exhibited

    Dublin(?), World Refugee Year: Exhibition of Treasures, 1959-1960, no. 364 (lent by Sir Richard Nugent).