John Faed R.S.A. (1820-1902)
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John Faed R.S.A. (1820-1902)

Portrait of Lucy Ashton

John Faed R.S.A. (1820-1902)
Portrait of Lucy Ashton
oil on board
18 x 13¾ in. (46.7 x 35 cm.)
Painted in 1856
M. McKerrow, The Faeds, Edinburgh, 1982, p. 146.
Special notice
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis. Notice to Buyers Resident in Scotland Payment and collections may be made immediately following the end of the sale until 7.00pm. Collections may be made on Friday, 27 October 2000 from 9.00 am until 1.00 pm, after which all lots purchased by Scottish residents will be transported free of charge to either our Glasgow office, tel 44(0)141 332 8134 or to our Edinburgh office, tel 44(0)131 225 4756 where they will be available from 9.00 am on Monday, 30 October. Notice to Buyers outside Scotland Purchases made by buyers with addresses outside Scotland will be transferred to Christie's, 8 King Street, London SW1, for collection from noon on Monday, 30 October 2000. Purchases are only insured for a period of seven working days following the sale.
Sale room notice
Please note that Lucy Ashton is the heroine of Walter Scott's tragedy The Bride of Lammermoor. She is the daughter of Sir William Ashton, a clever upstart lawyer who has attained the office of Lord Keeper after the Civil War. Sir William Ashton has created an enemy in the form of Lord Ravenswood by cleverly engineering, through complex legal methods, that for his part played in the Civil War of 1689 Lord Ravenswood, already stripped of his title, was dispossessed of his estate in East Lothian.

When Lord Ravenswood died in a fit of fury against the man whom he regards as the author of his ruin, his son, the Master of Ravenswood, inherits a sole possession of the ruinous tower of Wolf's Crag. By chance, he saves the lives of Sir William and his daughter and subsequently Lucy and the Master of Ravenswood fall in love. Ravenswood's status rises due to political changes and the timid Sir William thinks it advisable to conciliate him. This is so effective that the Master's desire for vengeance disappears and he becomes secretly bethrothed to Lucy Ashton.

Lady Ashton, Lucy's violet and domineering mother, has been away during these events and on her return contemptuously dismisses Ravenswood who proceeds on a foreign mission, renewing his pledge to Lucy before his departure. Lady Ashton now sets about breaking her daughter's sprit and obliging her to marry a husband of her own choice, the Laird of Bucklaw, by a course of cruel oppression. Eventually, Lucy agreed to this only stipulating that she wanted to write to Ravenswood to obtain his release from her pledge. The letter is intercepted by her mother, and Lucy, in despair that her lover has abandoned her, agrees to set the wedding date. Immediately after the ceremony, finally informed of what had happened Ravenswood challenges Lucy's brother and her husband to duels the following morning. That night, however, Lucy stabs her husband and is found insane and shortly dies. Ravenswood, galloping furiously towards the shore to meet his opponents the following morning, is swallowed up by the quicksands.

Lot Essay

In John Faed's 'List of some oil pictures' (reproduced in The Faeds, op cit, p. 146) the artist lists the present work as having a price of £120 and as being painted in 1856. He does not record the purchaser.
We are grateful to Mary McKerrow for her help in cataloguing this painting.


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