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Charles Spencelayh (1865-1958)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Charles Spencelayh (1865-1958)

She stoops to conquer

Charles Spencelayh (1865-1958)
She stoops to conquer
signed 'C. SPENCELAYH' (lower right)
oil on canvas
25¼ x 30¼ in. (64 x 77 cm.)
Bernard Gabe; Christie's, London, 22 March 1963, lot 109 (£945 to Stevens).
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 23 November 1982, lot 180.
with MacConnal Mason, London.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 13 March 1992, lot 172.
A. Noakes, Charles Spencelayh, 1978, p. 175, pl. 57.
Paris, Salon, 1931.
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

The present painting displays what the Times admired as 'the skill with which [Spencelayh] coordinates the detail' as well as 'character and salty humour' (6 April 1957).

Well respected by the public, his Why War? (Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston) was voted 'Picture of the Year' at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1939. As with the present painting, he appreciated the value of a good title; part of his income came from reproduction of his works on calendars, greetings cards, and so on, and he once altered the title of a picture (showing a man reading a bank statement) from Overdrawn at the Bank to A Good Balance, changing it from a non-seller to one that he said 'went like hot cakes'.

Spencelayh's title is taken from Oliver Goldsmith's play of the same name, in which the hero, Charles Marlow, fails to be attracted by his social peers.

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