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2024 Winter Fine Art, Antiques & Jewelry (Day 1)

Sat, Jan 27, 2024 09:00AM EST
Lot 99

William Beechey, RA, Oil Portrait of Elizabeth Thicknesse Woodington Dickenson, c. 1814

Estimate: $4,000 - $4,400

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Sir William Beechey RA (English, 1753-1839) oil on canvas half-length portrait of Miss Elizabeth Thicknesse Woodington Dickensen of London, England, standing in an ambiguous interior setting. Her ornate red robe is partially removed and she wears a red coral necklace as she gazes toward the viewer. Likely a portrait commissioned on the occasion of her engagement as she wears no ring on her prominently displayed left hand. With 1991 conservator's label affixed to backing. Housed in an ornate gilt wood frame with nameplate. Canvas: 36 1/4" H x 28 3/8" W. Frame: 45" H x 36 3/4" W.

This lot also includes an archive of accompanying information: two (2) sepia photographs, one of the present painting and one of the painting "Lady Stanhope'' by Martin Archer Shee, with art historical information written en verso by William Roberts, London, and dated 1934 and 1935, respectively; one (1) green, leatherbound volume with case entitled "Miss Elizabeth Thickness Woodington (Afterwards Mrs. Dickenson) by Sir William Beechey, R. A.," which contains a transcription of the art historical analysis en verso of the photograph of the present painting, along with transcriptions of the inscriptions to painting's verso, privately printed by The Alexander Press, New York; one (1) typed letter addressed to Jonathan H. Cheek of Franklin, TN, and signed by Bertram M. Newhouse of the Ehrich Newhouse Galleries, New York, which addresses the sale of the painting and the earlier William Roberts analysis, dated April 6, 1936; one (1) May 1936 Ehrich Newhouse Galleries, New York, catalog featuring a reproduction of the painting; and four (4) black and white photographs of the work relating to its 1991 treatment and recording various stages in this process, one stapled to an envelope addressed to Mrs. John Cheek, Nashville, TN.

Biographical note: Elizabeth Thicknesse Woodington was the eldest daughter of Colonel Thicknesse Woodington of the East India Company Service. On November 1,1814, likely shortly after this painting's creation, she married Edward Wingfield Dickenson (1779-1847). Miss Woodington's husband was the eldest son of Edward Dickenson of Drayton Manor and Dosthill House, near the Warwickshire and Staffordshire border, and Maria, daughter of merchant Wingfield Wildman (1728-1792). Dickenson graduated from Christ Church, Oxford in 1800 and in 1812 was Lieutenant Colonel in the Warwickshire Militia. He and Elizabeth had several children including Maria Elizabeth Hutton, through whom the present painting descended before entering the collection of her nephew, Mr. M. Dickenson, by 1909. Inscriptions by both Maria Elizabeth Hutton and M. Dickenson were visible en verso before treatment and are transcribed by William Roberts. (Source: "Dickenson, Edward Wingfield, 1779-1847" in Online Catalogue for Westminster School's Archive & Collections, GB-2014-WSA-06138). It was acquired by Jonathan Cheek of Middle Tennessee in the 1930s.

Artist William Beechey (1753-1839) was interested in painting from an early age and was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools in 1772. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1793, the same year he painted a full length portrait of Queen Charlotte, who appointed him her official portrait painter. Subjects after that point included Lord Nelson and Sarah Siddons. In 1798 he painted George III and the Prince of Wales Reviewing the Troops, a large scale composition that earned him the honor of Knighthood and election as a full member of the Royal Academy. That painting was among those destroyed in 1992 during the fire at Windsor Castle.

Condition

Overall very good condition, with fine craqueluere throughout. Canvas has been relined. Scattered inpainting including to areas of left arm and gown in lower right quadrant and to left eye and hair, visible under U/V light. Frame with abrasions and gilt loss.

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The Estate of Dr. & Mrs. John H Cheek, Nashville, TN.