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William Powell Frith, R.A. (1819-1909)
William Powell Frith, R.A. (1819-1909)

The Glove seller: A scene from Sterne's 'Sentimental Journey'

William Powell Frith, R.A. (1819-1909)
The Glove seller: A scene from Sterne's 'Sentimental Journey'
signed and dated 'WP Frith 1845' (lower right)
oil on canvas, feigned arch
24 ¾ x 20 7/8 in. (62.9 x 53 cm.)
Commissioned by John Gibbons, and by descent in the family until
The Contents of Elm Hill, Worcestershire; Phillips, Knowle, 10 January 2001, lot 261.
M. Bills and V. Knight (eds.), William Powell Frith: Painting the Victorian Age, New Haven and London, 2006, pp. 157-8, pl. 145.
London, British Institution, 1845, no. 442.
London, Guildhall Art Gallery; and Harrogate, Mercer Art Gallery, William Powell Frith: Painting the Victorian Age, November 2006 - July 2007.

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Lot Essay

Frith met John Gibbons in 1843 admiring his paintings, The Vicar of Wakefield and a scene from Sterne's Sentimental Journey, at an exhibition in Birmingham. Gibbons wrote to the artist 'Sir, There is a picture of yours in the Birmingham Exhibition that pleased me exceedingly, and I should have purchased it at once had I not been anticipated by a more fortunate man. I allude to the scene from the 'Vicar of Wakefield'...Could you hit upon another subject from the same delightful tale that would serve as a companion? Have you anything of a similar character in hand?', and then '...If so, you may set about one for me - something like the scene from the 'Sentimental Journey' will do' (W.P. Frith, Further Reminiscences, London, 1888, pp. 197-8). Gibbons acquired four works by Frith for his collection including the present painting. Another smaller version of the painting is in the collection of the Laurence Sterne Trust (1853, oil on canvas, 8 ½ x 6 ¾ in.).

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