Oh, Susanna!

Edward Nash, 1796


Born in Tewkesbury in 1771, Susannah was the youngest of William Buckle and Ann Turberville’s seven children. Her father was a barrister and Justice of the Peace but he died when Susannah was just thirteen years old. At the age of nineteen she married Benjamin Price Withers and they had twin boys. One boy died young whilst the other emigrated to Australia. Susannah was widowed around 1820 and subsequently married Charles Pearce, a distant cousin who also lived in Tewkesbury. She died in 1833, aged 62.

Painted in 1796, Susannah is shown wearing a décolleté white dress tied on the high waistline with a narrow blue ribbon and accessorized with pearl drop earrings and a turban style cap over her powdered hair. The portrait is understood to be signed reverse – ‘S.W. / by / Mr Nash / 1796 / Miss / Susan Buckle /Mrs Withers / Mrs Pearce / Died 20 Sep / 1833’.

The portrait is set in a gold fausse-montre frame, the back with foiled blue glass with a central aperture of plaited light brown hair within a seed pearl surround.

The artist Edward Nash (1778-1821) was born into a wealthy Midlands family and was said to have been a hunchback. He worked alongside his good friend Samuel Shelley in London before travelling to India in 1801 where he worked for over nine years before returning home. He was clearly also a musician as amongst his personal effects auctioned off after his death in 1821 were various flutes.

Item Ref. 9104

Size: framed, 66 x 54mm + bail