A note provided by the vendor states that this lot was purchased as 'lot 38' in a Sothebys sale, 26th October, 1932, by Alwin Scheuer of NYC for their client, Calvin Bullock. The lot conisited of a fine 50 x 40in. portrait of Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy together with other relics belonging to Admiral Hardy including his telescope. The lot was described as Property of E.B. Thresher, Esq, Winfrith, Dorchester. A 1944 inventory-note mentions that the telescope was by Gilbert & Co.
The Hardys were a Dorset family and it is known that Admiral Hardy's sister married one John Thresher. When this Hardy portrait was sold in the Calvin Bullock Collection Sale of 8th May 1985 at Christie's King Street (lot 127), the catalogue provenance details referred to E.B. Thresher, great-great-nephew of the sitter, and to the Sotheby's sale (mentioned above). It was thought to be the work of Richard Evans and it is noted that there is another version of this portrait in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.