• Centuries of Style: Silver, Eu auction at Christies

    Sale 7800

    Centuries of Style: Silver, European Ceramics, Portrait Miniatures and Gold Boxes

    17 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 334

    RICHARD COSWAY, R.A. (BRITISH, 1742-1821)

    Price Realised  


    RICHARD COSWAY, R.A. (BRITISH, 1742-1821)
    Lady Georgiana Charlotte Bertie (1764-1838), Countess of Cholmondeley, in white satin dress with double-frilled 'van dyck' collar, double-strand of pearls encircling her décolleté, coral necklace, upswept powdered hair dressed with pearls
    on ivory
    oval, 2 5/8 in. (67 mm.) high, modern gilt-metal frame

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    Lady Georgiana Charlotte Bertie married Sir George James Cholmondeley, 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley (1749-1827), on 25 April 1791. As a result of this union, she was styled Countess of Cholmondeley in 1791 and Marchioness of Cholmondeley in 1815. Lady Georgiana Charlotte Bertie was the daughter of General Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven (1714-1778). Her marriage to Sir George James Cholmondeley granted the hereditary honour of one moiety part of the ancient office of Lord Great Chamberlain to the Cholmondeley family. She was succeeded by a daughter and two sons, including George Horatio Cholmondeley, 2nd Marquess of Cholmondeley (1792-1870).
    The relationship between Richard Cosway and the Dukes of Ancaster is documented through a number of known miniatures. Lady Georgina Charlotte's brother, Robert Bertie, 4th Duke of Ancaster (1756-1779), was painted by Cosway circa 1778. Following the young Duke's death in 1779, the family was left without an heir and Cosway was commissioned to paint a double portrait miniature of Lady Georgiana Charlotte and her sister Lady Priscilla Barbara (1761-1828), who became Lady Willoughby de Eresby, as two of the three Graces or followers of the goddess Flora. This double portrait is now in the Grimsthorpe and Drummond Castle Trust (S. Lloyd, Richard & Maria Cosway, Regency Artists of Taste and Fashion, Edinburgh, 1995, p. 117, no. 47, pl. 22 a, b and c). Both of these Ancaster family miniatures appear to have been set in patch-boxes for the Dowager Duchess, Mary Panton (1725-1793), to commemorate the recently deceased Duke and act as tangible reminders of the supportive love shared by the grieving family (S. Lloyd, 'Intimate Viewing: The Private Face and Public Display of Portraits in Miniature and on Paper', in S. Lloyd and K. Sloan, exhibition catalogue The Intimate Portrait, Edinburgh, The National Galleries of Scotland, 2008-2009 and London, The British Museum, 2009, p. 17). The present miniature is an interesting addition to this known group of family portraits painted by Cosway.

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    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.