This magnificent pair of Chinese reverse mirror paintings was commissioned by Mr. Lennox of Lennox Castle, Stirlingshire to accompany a third of himself. According to family tradition, Lennox was so enamoured of the young Elizabeth Graham (1764-1820), that when he returned to work in China he took miniatures of both her and her twin sister, Christian (1764-1847) and commissioned the three paintings. To symbolise his love for Elizabeth, he had the rare Silver Pheasant painted beside her, while the more common Golden Pheasant was portrayed beside Christian. Although Mr. Lennox never married Elizabeth, the paintings hung at Lennox Castle until their sale circa 1922, when they passed into the present owner's family who are descended from Elizabeth and Christian's sister, Mary. Elizabeth Graham married John Dundas of Ochtertyre in 1794, so the paintings must date from before then. The three sisters were the daughters of William Graham of Airth, Stirlingshire.
A related frame embellished with 'India' heads, serpents and bells was formerly in the Joel collection at Childwick Bury, St. Albans, Hertfordshire and sold from Childwick Bury, Christie's house sale, 15 May 1978, lot 54.