Hon. Jane Anne Cuthbert
Letitia Louisa Kerr, 1858
Seated by a window with a splendid view of water and rolling hills with birds, Lady Jane Anne Cuthbert is playing the piano to entertain her friends during a gathering whilst one of her guests, Letitia Louisa (Lou) Kerr, cut this silhouette of her.
Born in 1805, Jane Anne was the eldest daughter of Lord Thomas Graves and Mary Paget. Lord Thomas was a Lord of the Bedchamber and Comptroller of the Household to HRH the Duke of Cumberland. In December 1829 Jane married Capt. James William Cuthbert of the 2nd Life Guards, equerry to HRH the Duke of Cambridge. Not long after Jane’s marriage, her father committed suicide having heard rumours that his estranged wife was having an affair with the Duke of Cumberland. Jane and her husband were clearly well-heeled with several addresses including a Mayfair town house, a country estate in Middlesex and a Scottish retreat in the Borders. They had no family despite Jane herself having been one of twelve children. Jane died at her home in Grosvenor Street, London in 1881, aged 75, her husband having pre-deceased her whilst visiting Cannes.
The silhouette has been cut from black paper and laid on pre-painted card. It is signed under the piano ‘LLK fecit / 1858’ and is housed behind old glass in a period bird’s eye maple frame with a gilt slip. The frame has old losses to the veneer mostly confined to the corners, and some chips to the slip. There is a partial label on the backing board with an indistinct pencil inscription giving details of the sitter.
The eldest daughter of Charlotte, Countess of Antrim and Vice-Admiral Lord Mark-Robert Kerr, Letitia Louisa was an amateur artist who painted portrait miniatures and cut profiles of her family and wide circle of friends. Her talent and skill is unquestionable and her silhouettes are much prized. She remained single most of her life but in 1871, aged over seventy, she married a childhood friend, Cortlandt-George Macgregor, a retired captain from the 1st Dragoon Guards. The couple settled on the Isle of Wight. When Macgregor died a few years later, Letitia Louisa was left totally bereft.
Item Ref. 5170
Size: framed, 417 x 314mm (16¼ x 12¼")