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    Sale 7561

    Simon Sainsbury The Creation of an English Arcadia

    18 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 182

    A GEORGE III PAINTED LEAD MODEL OF A DOG

    ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN CHEERE, CIRCA 1760

    Price Realised  

    A GEORGE III PAINTED LEAD MODEL OF A DOG
    ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN CHEERE, CIRCA 1760
    Probably Hogarth's dog Trump, depicted seated, naturalistically painted and on a rectangular stone plinth
    25 in. (64 cm.) high; 20 in. (51 cm.) wide


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    It is said that of the three dogs Hogarth owned, Trump was his favourite: 'It had been jocularly observed by him (Hogarth) that there was a close resemblance betwixt his own countenance and that of his favourite dog, who was his faithful friend and companion for many years and for whom he conceived a greater share of attachment than is normally bestowed on these domestic animals' (Samuel Ireland, 1799). Trump was immortalised by Louis François Roubiliac, a member of the circle of artists at St. Martin's Lane Academy and Old Slaughter's Coffee House with whom Hogarth was connected, in a now lost terracotta model that was listed in the effects of Hogarth's widow in 1789. This model and the well-known bust of Hogarth can be identified by the first plate found in Samuel Ireland's, Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth, published May 1, 1799. Trump is also generally accepted to be the dog in one of Hogarth's best known works, The Painter and his Pug, 1745 (Tate Gallery). Roubiliac's terracotta model is thought to be the inspiration for the five known porcelain versions of Trump, modelled by the Chelsea factory.

    The identification of the present model as Trump is based on two key points. The first is Hogarth's connection with Sir Francis Dashwood and West Wycombe. Hogarth painted Dashwood and would have known him well. Both were members of the Prince of Wales's party, and both would have known Charles Churchill and John Wilkes, whom Hogarth fell out with in 1762 over the artists hostile caricature of William Pitt. As a result Hogarth made them both into objects of satire, and in an engraving of 1763 he depicted Churchill as a surly bear, clutching a pot of porter, while Hogarth's dog, Trump, 'pisses' on a copy of Wilkes's pamphlet 'The North Briton'. The engraving is an adaptation of the 1745 self-portrait now in the Tate. Another Hogarth engraving of the Cheere workshop at Hyde Park corner in 1753 entitled 'The Analysis of Beauty' illustrates further the links between Hogarth and Dashwood, as accounts dating from 1751, 1776 and 1778 show John and Henry Cheere working at West Wycombe. Unfortunately the nature of their work is not specified. The other basis for which the present lot can be identified as Trump is, quite simply, the similarities in features with the other contemporary depictions of the dog. When compared to Trump in the self-portrait in the Tate, the position of the dog, the shape of the head, positioning of the eyes, the loose folds on its back and the thick fur around the neck bear a striking, if not uncanny, resemblance. The only significant differences are the ears, which could be put down to a younger age and a heightened state of alert when shown in the self-portrait.

    SIR FRANCIS DASHWOOD

    Sir Francis Dashwood, 2nd Bt., 11th Baron le Despencer (1708-1781), was one of the most infamous libertines of the 18th Century. Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1762-3, he was described by Horace Walpole for having 'a European reputation for pranks and adventures' and as someone 'who roamed from court to court in search of notoriety.' Founder of the legendary Hellfire Club, Dashwood was the subject in one of Hogarth's more scandalous pictures of the 1750s, Sir Francis Dashwood at his Devotions. In the picture Hogarth parodies the devout Renaissance image of St Francis praying alone; in contrast, Dashwood is depicted staring devotedly at the mirage of a nude female figure lying seductively in front of his eyes. In spite of his reputation Dashwood was a highly successful politician and a man of great intelligence and discriminating taste. Perhaps nothing more exemplifies this than the work carried out at West Wycombe during his lifetime that transformed the simple house that he inherited into the classical edifice that exists today.

    THE CHEERE WORKSHOP

    John and Henry Cheere are known to have worked at West Wycombe Park between 1751-1778, with significant payments recorded in 1751 (£118), 1776 (£104) and 1776 (£97). John Cheere specialized in producing lead busts for the decoration of libraries and staircases. In 1739 he acquired a workshop at Hyde Park Corner that is believed to have had associations with the van Nost family of sculptors. He completed a gilt equestrian statue of William III for St James' Square, London in 1739, and in 1751 produced a marble statue of George II for the market place, St Helier, Jersey. The Portuguese minister in London purchased 98 lead statues from him for the Royal palace of Queluz, near Lisbon in 1756. David Garrick, the actor, commissioned a life-size lead figure of William Shakespeare for Stratford-upon-Avon and in 1774, Cheere supplied Wedgwood with plaster busts of Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle and Homer for reproduction in black basalt.

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    Provenance

    Sir Francis Dashwood, 2nd Bt., 11th Baron Le Despencer (1708-1781), West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire. Thence by descent at West Wycombe to Sir Francis Dashwood, Bt.; sold Sotheby's London, 7 April 1987, lot 174.


    Literature

    Inventory of Sir Francis Dashwood's effects at West Wycombe Park, 1 January 1782, Room number 16, Gallery, 'a lead figure of a dog'.
    Heirloom Inventory, 19 July 1862, 'A marble cast of a....bull mastiff sejant (lead cast).