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    Sale 7448

    Old Master and British Pictures

    7 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 229

    Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. (Edinburgh 1756-1823)

    Portrait of William Law of Elvingston (1714-1806), Advocate, Sheriff of Haddingtonshire, half-length, in a grey coat

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. (Edinburgh 1756-1823)
    Portrait of William Law of Elvingston (1714-1806), Advocate, Sheriff of Haddingtonshire, half-length, in a grey coat
    inscribed 'AET: 81' (upper right)
    oil on canvas
    30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm.)
    in a mid-18th century carved and gilded frame


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    William Law of Elvingston (1714-1806) was an Advocate and Sheriff of the County of Haddington. Mackie records several autograph versions of this portrait type of him; in the Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna (Mackie, op. cit., 461.a.1), the present picture, which was lent by the Gibson-Craig family to the Edinburgh Exhibition in 1876, and a version that was with Newhouse Gallery, in New York, at an unknown date. The latter picture, like the present picture, had an inscription on the upper right hand corner 'Aet: 81' which may mean that it is the same picture, another apparent version was sold at Christie's on 25 July 1952, as lot 95 for £126. The inscription indicates a date of 1795 for the portrait which is supported by its similarities to Raeburn's portrait of Baillie William Galloway which is documented to 1798 (Mackie op. cit., no.314). Raeburn also executed another portrait of William Law, showing him half-length in legal robes now east Lothian District Council) which was engraved by George Dawe. David Mackie does not consider the present portrait to be the primary version, but an autograph secondary version. Raeburn is also recorded as having painted portraits of the sitter's son James Law of Elvingston and also his daughter-in-law.

    We are grateful to David Mackie, University of Cambridge, for his assistance with this catalogue entry.

    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

    Bought by James Ogilvy Fairlie of Myres Castle, Fife, in 1887 at the Gibson-Craig sale, and by inheritance


    Literature

    (Possibly) W. Armstrong, Sir Henry Raeburn, London, 1901, p. 106.
    (Possibly) E. Pinnington, Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A., London, 1904, p. 237.
    (Possibly) J. Greig, Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A., His Life and Works with a Catalogue of his Pictures, London, 1911, p. 50.
    D. Mackie, Raeburn Complete Catalogue, Life and Art, unpublished PHD thesis, University of Edinburgh and Yale, III, pp. 586-7, no. 461.


    Exhibited

    Edinburgh, Raeburn, 1876, no. 5, lent by the Gibson-Craig family.