Madame Wilmina Maclean de Norman, née Clephane was one of three daughters of Major-General Douglas Maclean Clephane of Torloisk on Mull. The three sisters were protegées of Sir Walter Scott. It is recorded that 'among his most regular guests were, Mrs Maclean Clephane of Torloisk, (with whom he agreed cordially on all subjects, except the authenticity of Ossian) and her daughters, whose guardian he had become at their choice', (Lockhart, Life of Scott, 1832, chapter 9).
Wilmina was born in December, 1803. She married Baron de Norman on the 28 September, 1831 but he died of scarlet fever in April 1832. Her son William was posthumously born in August 1832. Subsequently, he became a British citizen but was killed in China in 1860.
Wilmina was an accomplished artist and there are a few of her sepia drawings at Castle Ashby.
Christie's are grateful to Peter MacKay, archivist at Castle Ashby for his help in preparing the above catalogue entry.