Erroneously identified as Gunn's second wife Pauline in a previous sale due to a Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition label attached to the frame, this picture has been confirmed to portray Mrs Francine Clore née Halphen. Francine, a relation of the Sassoons and the Rothschilds, was a war heroine who was awarded the Croix de Guerre for her part in the French Resistance. She married the millionaire entrepreneur turned philanthropist Sir Charles Clore who, from a modest start in London's East End, built up the Sears empire with assets that included Selfridges and Mappin & Webb. They had two children, Vivien and Alan, and their marriage was dissolved in 1957.
We are grateful to Paul Gunn and Chloe Gunn Blackburn for their assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.