Two other watercolour versions of this subject are known: the one in the Wallace Collection (P. 698), is entitled Old Man and Child, is signed and dated 'R.P. Bonington 1827', and measures 7½ x 5½ in. (19.1 x 13.9 cm.); see J. Ingamells, Richard Parkes Bonington, London, 1979, p. 41, pl. IX, illustrated in colour. The other known version, entitled Grandpapa, is neither signed nor dated but is exactly the same size and was included in the Haldimand sale; Christie's London, 18 March 1980, lot 206 (£11,550), illustrated in colour.
A slightly larger watercolour, with the same central figure, an additional female figure and a dog, but without the child, is also in the Wallace Collection (P. 682). It is entitled The Antiquary, measures 8.1/8 x 6¼ in. (26.6 x 16 cm.) and is neither signed nor dated; see J. Ingamells, op.cit., p. 52, fig. 22.
It is unprecedented for Bonington to execute so many versions of the same watercolour but the Haldimand version would have been available for collectors and artists to examine and might, therefore, have prompted a number of commissions.
We are grateful to Patrick Noon for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.