Myles Birket Foster, R.W.S. (1825-1899)
Property from the Estate of the Late Ian Fry (Lots 122, 126, 137, 148-151, 154, 161-166)
Myles Birket Foster, R.W.S. (1825-1899)

The Old Curiosity Shop

Details
Myles Birket Foster, R.W.S. (1825-1899)
The Old Curiosity Shop
signed with monogram (lower left)
pencil and watercolour heightened with white, on paper
22 x 30 ½ in. (55.9 x 77.5 cm.)
Provenance
with J. & W. Vokins, London.
Sold to benefit Cromer Hospital; Christie's, London, 28 November 2000, lot 56.
with Haynes Fine Art, Broadway, where purchased by Ian Fry, and by descent.
Exhibited
London, J. & W. Vokins Gallery, Myles Birket Foster Loan Exhibition, 1882, probably no. 74, as 'The Crockery Seller'.

Brought to you by

Clare Keiller
Clare Keiller

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Lot Essay

The present watercolour is a rare interior view offering a personal record of what was a magnificent collection of furniture and porcelain put together by the artist. Although the interior is not recognisable as The Hill, Birket Foster’s house in Witley, he has used several features from it, notably the stained glass panel, designed by Ford Madox Brown as part of a series illustrating King Rene’s Honeymoon, 1862 (now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London). This pane represents ‘architecture’, the others were designed by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. The chest on which the connoisseur is seated is thought to be a Spanish Treasure chest, known as ‘the Armada chest’ which was part of the sale of the contents of The Hill, sold in these Rooms on 30 April 1894 (lot 117). Foster was also a collector of porcelain and his interest in blue and white china was partly inspired by Foster’s friendship with Rossetti.

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