RICHARD COSWAY, R.A. (BRITISH, 1742-1821)
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
RICHARD COSWAY, R.A. (BRITISH, 1742-1821)

Details
RICHARD COSWAY, R.A. (BRITISH, 1742-1821)
Major-General James Stuart (d. 1793), in scarlet uniform with blue facings and gold brocade, large gilt buttons, wearing a frilled white shirt and black stock, powdered hair en queue
signed and dated on the backing card 'R:d<\sup>u<\sup>s<\sup> Cosway / R. A / Primarius Pictor / Serenissimi Walliae / Principis / Pinxit / 1789'
on ivory
oval, 2.1/8 in. (54 mm.) high, gilt-metal bracelet clasp frame
Provenance
The Stuart family.
Sotheby's, London, 30 June 1980, lot 145.
Christie's, London, 18 December 1990, lot 127.
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

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Katharine Cooke
Katharine Cooke

Lot Essay

Major-General James Stuart (d. 1793) of White Craigs first saw active service at the siege of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia in 1756, rising swiftly through the ranks after battles at Belle île, Martinique and Havana. In 1763 he returned home to marry Lady Margaret Hume. She died two years later without children. In 1775 he arrived in Madras as Colonel in the service of the East India Company and, after witnessing disagreements between the governor, Lord Pigot, and the council of the Madras presidency, Stuart arrested Pigot in 1776, and allowed the dissident councillors to assume power in Madras. When news reached Britain, Pigot was released but recalled, and Stuart suspended. He was honorably acquitted in 1780. In 1781 he returned to Madras, distinguishing himself at the battle of Porto Novo, and losing a leg at the battle of Polilur. After being promoted to the rank of Major-General, he disobeyed orders from the governor Lord Macartney and was subsequently suspended, confined and shipped back to Britain. In response, Stuart challenged Macartney to a duel, in which he severely wounded him. In 1792, he was appointed Colonel of the 31st Foot. He died a year later on 2 February 1793 at Castlemilk, Scotland.

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