The Duchess

Oil on copper


This aristocratic lady looks regal in her ivory silk dress with ruched sleeves and low neckline adorned with a fresh pink rose to tone with her shawl. Her powdered hair falls in a long tress over one shoulder.

The sitter bears resemblance to portraits of Anne Russell, Duchess of Bedford (1705-1762). Anne was the daughter of Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgewater by his first wife; she went on to marry her stepmother’s brother. The marriage was not a happy one but it only lasted seven years as her husband died in Spain at the early age of 24. Anne then married William Villiers, 3rd Earl of Jersey, and with him had two sons. She was an active supporter of the Foundling Hospital in London.

Oil on copper painted in the manner of an old master portrait, it is in excellent condition and resides in the original turned wood frame and a gilded inner rim. The frame has some old filled-in worm holes to the top edge.

Reputedly this portrait was purchased by the previous owner at auction in 1953 and subsequently wrapped in tissue paper and stored away unseen for seventy years. She is now ready to light up an appreciative new home.

Item Ref. 7452

Size: framed, 162 x 138mm

Provenance: Puttick & Simpson Ltd., 1953 ; Private collection