Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
William Larkin (London c. 1585-1619)
Property of a Gentleman
William Larkin (London c. 1585-1619)

Portrait of a lady, bust-length, in a black dress with a reticella lace neckline and a cartwheel ruff, with a pearl necklace and earrings, in a feigned oval

Details
William Larkin (London c. 1585-1619)
Portrait of a lady, bust-length, in a black dress with a reticella lace neckline and a cartwheel ruff, with a pearl necklace and earrings, in a feigned oval
oil on panel
22 5/8 x 17 ½ in. (57.5 x 44.4 cm.)
Provenance
The Hon. Mrs. Daphne Lakin (1918-2015), daughter of 2nd Viscount Cowdray, and by descent to the present owner.

Lot Essay

Larkin, who remains a largely enigmatic figure, is celebrated for his iconic portraits of members of the court of James I of England, which are particularly notable for their exquisite rendering of costume. This elegant portrait compares closely stylistically to the celebrated series of nine full-length portraits, of which seven are of women, originally in the collection of the Earls of Suffolk, which Sir Roy Strong first identified with the work of William Larkin in his ground-breaking book The English Icon (London, 1969). This portrait is likely to date to before 1613, when the large cartwheel ruff fell from fashion. The sitter’s heavily embroidered black dress is cut very low, a typical feature of high Jacobean fashion. While her identity has been lost, the lavish costume, in particular the beautifully depicted lacework, indicates her wealth and status.

More from Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale

View All
View All