VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium
George Folliott (1801-1851), Vicars Cross, Chester, by 1847, and by descent to his grandson James Folliott Folinsby Walker; sale, [The Property of the Late George Folliott], Sotheby's, London, 14 May 1930, lot 51 'So far as can be traced this is an entirely unrecorded portrait by Rembrandt, painted according to the date inscribed on it during the very late period of his career so valued by collectors', (£18,500 to Asscher and Welker).
with Asscher and Welker, London, 1930.
with Howard Young Galleries, New York, 1931.
George Huntington Hartford II (1911-2008), by 1939, by whom presented in 1958 to
Columbia University, New York.
Sold in 1974 by Columbia University to
Harold Diamond, Inc., New York, from whom acquired by the present owner in the same year.
Please note that this painting has been requested for the exhibition, Rembrandt Paintings in America: Collecting and Connoisseurship, to take place in Raleigh, Cleveland and Minneapolis, beginning in late 2011.
We are grateful to Burton Fredericksen for the following earlier provenance:
Daniel Daulby (d. 1797), Liverpool; (+), T. Vernon, Liverpool, 27 August 1798, lot 70, as 'A LARGE PORTRAIT, Rembrandt, 3' 6" [by] 2' 9", N. B. This last picture is universally acknowledged by some of the finest judges in this kingdom, to be a genuine and very capital picture of the above master, and is in high preservation'.
William Clarke (d. 1805), banker, Everton, Lancs.; (+), Winstanley, Liverpool, 8 July 1806 [=2nd day of sale], lot 139, as 'Rembrandt. A Portrait, from the Collection of the late Daniel Daulby, Esq. in finest manner of Rembrandt' (sold £39.18).
William Earle, shipper, Everton, Lancs.; (+), Winstanley, Liverpool, 17 April 1839 [=1st day of sale], lot 61, as 'Rembrandt. The Portrait of a Dutch Admiral. He wears a rich Dress and Beret Cap; his right hand rests upon his side. Painted with a bold free pencil and powerful effect', 3' 5" x 2' 9" (57 gns.; probably acquired by George Folliott).
Daniel Daulby was celebrated in his own lifetime as perhaps the greatest British collector of Rembrandt etchings, and the author of 'one of the first English catalogues of Rembrandt's work', A Descriptive catalogue of the works of Rembrandt ... compiled from original etchings, Liverpool, 1796. (X. Brooke, Mantegna to Rubens: The Weld-Blundell Drawings Collection, London, 1998, p. 8). When his collection of etchings was offered for sale in 1799, those by Rembrandt were described as 'the most complete School of Rembrandt now existing in this kingdom' (T. Vernon, Liverpool, 19 August 1799 [=7th day of sale]). His close friendship with his brother-in-law, William Roscoe, stimulated that collector's passion for prints and printmaking, and Old Master drawings, the greatest testament to which is the Weld-Blundell Collection in Liverpool (Brooke, loc. cit. and passim). William Clarke, who seems to have acquired the portrait at Daulby's sale, was a great friend of Roscoe's and perhaps also of Daulby's, and his collection of Old Masters and modern British pictures, including works by Rubens and Wright of Derby, fetched high prices when it was auctioned in 1806.
The shipper William Earle spent much of his life in Italy, probably at Livorno and Genoa. Some of his paintings were almost certainly acquired in Italy, and the number of works by Ribera in his collection suggests that they may have come from Naples or Spain. Two of these Riberas, Saint Peter and Jacob, may have been purchased by George Folliott at the same time as the Rembrandt portrait in Earle's 1839 sale, and lent by Folliott to the 1848 exhibition at the British Institution.
THE PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné, etc., VI, London, 1916, p. 381, no. 827a, as 'A Dutch Admiral'.
T. Borenius, 'The New Rembrandt', The Burlington Magazine, LVII, no. 32, August 1930, pp. 55-9, illustrated.
A.M. Frankfurter, ed. The Antiquarian, XV, November 1930, no. 5, p. 76, and cover illustration.
W.R. Valentiner, 'Rediscovered Rembrandt Paintings', The Burlington Magazine, LVII, no. 33, December 1930, p. 260.
W.R. Valentiner, Rembrandt Paintings in America, New York, 1931, pl. 138.
A. Bredius, The Paintings of Rembrandt, Vienna, 1935, p. 12, pl. 290.
W.R. Valentiner, catalogue of the exhibition, European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300-1800; Masterpieces of Art, New York, 1939, p. 148, no. 304
W.R. Valentiner, catalogue of the exhibition, Rembrandt and his Pupils, Raleigh, 1956, p. 22, no. 29, where suggested that the sitter might be the lawyer Louis Craeyers.
'A little known Rembrandt on view', The New York Times, 23 August 1964.
K. Bauch, Rembrandt Gemälde, Berlin, 1966, p. 22, no. 421, illustrated.
H. Gerson, Rembrandt Paintings, New York, 1968, pp. 406, 501, no. 342.
A. Bredius, Rembrandt: The Complete Edition of Paintings, revised by H. Gerson, Vienna, 1969, p. 222, no. 290, illustrated, pp. 572, 632.
G. Arpino, L'opera pittorica completa di Rembrandt, Milan, 1969, p. 119, no. 367, illustrated.
'A Portrait by Rembrandt Quietly Sold by Columbia', The New York Times, 4 January 1975.
J. Bolten and H. Bolten-Rempt, The Hidden Rembrandt, Chicago, 1977, p. 199, no. 483, illustrated.
C. Brown, Rembrandt: Every Painting, New York, 1980, II, p. 66, no. 333, p. 68, illustrated.
C. Tümpel, Rembrandt - All paintings in colour, Antwerp, 1993, p. 432, no. A93, illustrated, as 'Rembrandt Circle'.
London, British Institution, 1847, no. 45, as 'A Dutch Admiral'.
New York, Masterpieces of Art, May-October 1939, no. 304.
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, 18 November-31 December 1947, no. XXVIII.
Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, Rembrandt and his Pupils, 16 November-30 December 1956, no. 29.
Wisconsin, Milwaukee Art Institute, An Inaugural Exhibition, 12 September-20 October 1957, no. 17.
New York, Gallery of Modern Art (Huntington Hartford Museum), 23 August-9 September 1964.
Chicago, The Art Institute; Minnesota, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Detroit, The Detroit Institute of Arts; Rembrandt after Three Hundred Years - An Exhibition of Rembrandt and His Followers, 25 October 1969-5 April 1970, no. 13.