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FOR SALE
ITEM # 
SA908941

17th Century English School Oil On Canvas - Portrait Of A Lady Dated 1624.

Price

£42,000 | $49,922 USD | €48,199 EUR
Item Number: SA908941
Date of manufacture: 17th Century
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Period Portraits
This antique has been viewed 38 times in the past month with the most views from Singapore.

Description

A sumptuous and highly detailed 17th century Jacobean oil on canvas portrait of a lady of significant wealth and status. She wears her finery, reveals her most virtuous characteristics and gazes at us with an air of confidence befitting her 46 years. A latin inscription gives us her age and the date (1624) and conveys with it the notion that the sitter is well read, and both her clothing and deportment tell us that she is well-bred.
The fashionable silhouette that she exhibits is consistent with the 1620’s – namely a hairstyle that is broad rather than high, with little straggles of hair – called ‘lovelocks’ spilling onto her ruff. The ruff is full and closed – i.e. not open at the front – and is raised up at the back. This would be supported by a stiffened pasteboard collar called a ‘pickadil’ or ‘underpropper’ or perhaps a wired contraption (a ‘supportasse’) that would keep the starched linen elevated.
Her natural/high waistline is consistent with this period, as is the amount of wrist showing and the fullness of the sleeves. By the late 1620’s to 1630 sleeves would be full and would have shrunk to reveal the forearm, thus giving poets another area of the body to praise in poetry, and for moralists to condemn as sinfully and shamelessly displayed.
The use of polychrome embroidery - adorning her waistcoat and petticoat - is typical of the Jacobean era (the age of James I (1603-1625). The fashionable silhouette that she exhibits is consistent with the 1620’s – namely a hairstyle that is broad rather than high, with little straggles of hair – called ‘lovelocks’ spilling onto her ruff. The ruff is full and closed – i.e. not open at the front – and is raised up at the back. This would be supported by a stiffened pasteboard collar called a ‘pickadil’ or ‘underpropper’ or perhaps a wired contraption (a ‘supportasse’) that would keep the starched linen elevated.
The most striking feature of the sitters costume is undoubtedly the wealth of embroidery on display . This could have been the work of a professional embroiderer or created by the lady of the house herself as a demonstration of her skills.The polychrome patterns that adorn her high-necked waistcoat had been in fashion since the end of the Elizabethan era. There is a beautifully worked linen waistcoat from the Burrell Collection, Glasgow which exhibits a very similar scrolling pattern of gold, enclosing strawberry flowers and oak leaves. It can also be seen in the remarkable portrait by Marcus Gheerearts the Younger of Margaret Layton in the V&A - where the real jacket worn in the portrait also survives.
The embroidery in this portrait is more stylised than in the examples cited, but the motifs of oak leaves, acorns, strawberry leaves and flowers are clearly identifiable. Strawberries had been a popular motif since Virginia strawberries had been brought back from the ‘new world’ in the late C16th.The mini-beasts, butterflies and bugs that creep and crawl over her petticoat would have been worked with a needle (rather than woven into the fabric). We can tell that because they are so individualised. Ideas for these motifs would have been gleaned from pattern books We know that the original and exquisite drawings by the talented Huguenot draughtsman Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues from the 1570’s had been turned into commercially-produced embroidery pattern books by the 17th century.
Our sitter would be wearing a T-shaped garment of washable linen next to the skin (a smock), and she also appears to wearing such a linen waistcoat (which we would call jacket) as it has sleeves. On top of the waistcoat/jacket a gown of black silk fabric is worn, adorned with a bold floral pattern that has been woven into the fabric. This gown has a tight bodice and open front, with seams embellished with black braid, and discreet rosettes centre-front and shoulder.
Surviving garment
Internal Ref: PP000210



Declaration

This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 17th Century.


Seller Details

Period Portraits
North Yorkshire
United Kingdom
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