Nina Louisa Kay Shuttleworth
Captured here in 1882 at the age of three, Nina Louisa was the second daughter of Sir Ughtred James Kay-Shuttleworth and Blanche Marion Parish. Sir Ughtred inherited substantial estates from his mother and was a prominent Liberal politician in Gladstone’s government and a member of the Privy Council. His wife Marion was the daughter of a British diplomat. Nina Louisa grew up in the splendid surroundings of Gawthorpe Hall, an Elizabethan manor house in Lancashire that is now managed by the National Trust.
In 1910 at the age of 31, Nina Louisa married County Court Judge Eustace Gilbert Hills. Hills already had two daughters from a previous marriage and then with Nina Louisa had four sons. Living in Chelsea, the family enjoyed an affluent and glamorous life style with a trip to Boston in 1907 and to Philadelphia in 1913. The National Portrait Gallery have in their collection a society photograph of Nina taken in 1925. Nina was also a published author having written a biographical account of her maternal grandfather, Sir Woodbine Parish. Nina Louisa died in 1948 at the age of 69.
The portrait is in fine condition and is set with a gilt metal mount within a substantial gilt-metal frame with an aperture on the reverse that holds a lock of Nina Louisa’s hair. The frame is engraved on the reverse – ‘Nina Louisa / born 31 March 1879 / daughter of Sir Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth Bart / Reginald Easton fecit 1882’. The portrait comes with its original morocco leather folding display case lined with maroon velvet. The velvet shows some wear and the tape securing the easel stand is broken.
Reginald Easton (1807-1893) was a fashionable society artist patronised by royalty and the aristocracy. He used strong colours in his portraits and favoured garden and landscape backdrops that added both appeal and depth. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1835 and 1887.
Item Ref. 6752
Size: framed, 102 x 90mm
Provenance: By family descent