Tennants Auctioneers’ Spring Fine Sale on 19th March is set to include pictures from three private estates, comprising The Contents of The Laithes, Penrith from the Estate of Ian Stephenson, Property Removed from a Private House, to be sold on behalf of the 7th Earl of Durham, and The Selected Contents of a Private House, St Judes, Isle of Man. Highlights from the estates include “The Fortune Teller” by William Powell Frith (1819-1909) (estimate: £7,000-10,000 plus buyer’s premium), “Cordelia” by Thomas Francis Dicksee (1819-1895) (estimate: £7,000-10,000), and “Autumn” by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1829-1908) (estimate: £5,000-8,000).
From other vendors in the sale come such highlights as “Pilgrims Hall, Essex” by Rex John Whistler (1905-1944) (estimate: £5,000-7,000). The picture was commissioned in 1936 by J.F.N. Lawrence, whose family lived at the Essex house between 1913 and 1968, and it has passed by descent in the same family. According to accompanying documents, Whistler “a pale, dark-haired young man, friendly but evidently shy” captured the house in preparatory drawings on a cold June day. However, he filled the finished picture with warmth and golden light. Whistler was a key figure amongst the Bright Young Things and British high society between the wars. Known for his inciteful portraits and playful murals, he was killed at the age of 39 in the Second World War.
An interesting collection of 18th century Italian and Continental pictures consigned from a private collection in Scotland are also on offer in the sale. Highlights include ‘Figures at Classical ruins with an extensive river landscape beyond’ by the circle of Adriaen van Diest (1655-1704) (estimate: £3,000-5,000), ‘Figures before a port at sunset’ by the Circle of Francesco Fidenza (1747-1819) (estimate: £1,500-2,500), and ‘Pastoral scene with shepherds and other rustics’ by a Follower of Francesco Zucarelli (1702-1788) (estimate: £1,200-1,800). Also of note in the collection is a circa 1700 French School painting of ‘Christ displaying his wounds to his disciples’ (estimate: £2,000-4,000).
Further highlights in the sale include “Bathers, Walberswick” by William Kay Blacklock (1872-1922) (estimate: £1,200-1,800), a selection of landscapes by Herbert Royle (1870-1958) such as “In the Evening Light” (estimate: £1,500-2,500), and a good selection of portraits from private collections. Examples include a Portrait of a Young Lady attributed to Irish artist Charles Jervas (1675-1739) (estimate: £1,200-1,800), a Portrait of a Gentleman, thought to be Arnold Joost van Keppel, first Earl of Albemarle (1669-1718) by the Circle of Michael Dahl (1659-1743) (estimate: £800-1,200), and a Portrait of a Gentleman wearing a mauve silk waistcoat attributed to Robert Edge Pine (1727-1788) (estimate: £1,000-1,500).