JOHN SMART (BRITISH, 1742/43-1811)
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
JOHN SMART (BRITISH, 1742/43-1811)

JOHN SMART (BRITISH, 1742/43-1811)
James Charles Stuart Strange (1753-1840), in brown coat with gilt button, white shirt and frilled cravat, powdered hair
signed with initials and dated 'JS / 1789 / I' for India (lower right)
on ivory
oval, 2.1/8 in. (54 mm.) high, gold frame
Presumably by direct family descent.
The Wolfe Murray family.
Shapes Auction House, Edinburgh, 3 August 2013, lot 692 (as an unknown gentleman).
D. Foskett, John Smart, The Man and his Miniatures, London, 1964, pp. 19 and 74.
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.

Lot Essay

The sitter was the son of Isabella Lumisden and Robert Strange, an engraver who fought under Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender. His godfather was James, the Old Pretender and he is presumably named after him. After working as a trader in Madras, James Strange, together with David Scott (a merchant in the China trade) planned a trade expedition to China and the north-west coast of North America and Canada. The two ships, Captain Cook and Experiment left India in late 1785, but due to bad timing and poor management, the expedition was a financial disaster, although Strange did publish an account of his journey entitled James Strange's journal and narrative of the commercial expedition from Bombay to the north-west coast ofAmerica, together with a chart showing the tract of the expedition. Back in India, he re-entered the Madras Service, but left the East India Company in 1795, returning to England to become M. P. for East Grinstead, Sussex. At around this time, his first wife, Margaret Durham (b. 1760) died. They had one child together, Isabella Katherine (d. 1847), who later married James Wolfe Murray, Lord Cringletie, through whose family the miniature later descended. In 1798, Strange married Anne Dundas. He was ruined once more in 1804, but returned to India to make another fortune, finally retiring to Scotland in 1815.
A miniature of the sitter's first wife, Margaret Durham, painted by Smart in India in 1787, was sold Shapes Auction House, Edinburgh, 3 August 2013, lot 691 (as an unknown lady).

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