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    Sale 7610

    Important Old Master & British Pictures Day Sale Including Property From The Collection Of The Princely House Of Liechtenstein

    9 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 221

    Sir Godfrey Kneller (Lubeck 1646-1723 London) and studio

    Portrait of Isabella, Duchess of Grafton (c. 1688-1723) and her son Charles Fitzroy, later 2nd Duke of Grafton (1683-1757), full-length, a landscape beyond

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Sir Godfrey Kneller (Lubeck 1646-1723 London) and studio
    Portrait of Isabella, Duchess of Grafton (c. 1688-1723) and her son Charles Fitzroy, later 2nd Duke of Grafton (1683-1757), full-length, a landscape beyond
    with identifying inscription 'ISABELLA 1.ST DUTCHESS & CHARLES 2.ND DUKE OF GRAFTON. PAINTED BY SIR G. KNELLER.' (upper left)
    oil on canvas
    94 x 57¼ in. (238.8 x 145.4 cm.)


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    Lady Isabella Bennet (1667-1723), only daughter and sole heir of Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington, was pre-contracted in marriage to Henry Fitzroy, Earl of Euston, later 1st Duke of Grafton, K.G. (1683-1690), the second illegitimate son of King Charles II, by Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine, in 1672, when five years old. The marriage took place on 6 November 1679 and was witnessed by the diarist John Evelyn who commented that 'the sweetest, hopefulest, most beautiful child, & most virtuous too , was sacrific'd to a boy that had been rudely bred' although he added that he was 'exceedingly handsome, by far surpassing any of the King's other naturall issue' (Evelyn, 4. 184-5). The Duchess of Grafton is shown in this portrait with their eldest son Charles, later 2nd Duke of Grafton, K.G. (1683-1757). What is likely to be the prototype of this portrait type, which is signed and dated 1692, is recorded in the collection of the Duke of Grafton (for which see J. Douglas Stewart, Sir Godfrey Kneller and the English Baroque Portrait, Oxford , 1983, p. 107, no. 315).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 19 December 1975, lot 144, as Sir. G. Kneller (sold for 480 gns.).