The Pearl Choker

Thomas Worlidge


The son of a lawyer, Thomas Worlidge was born in Peterborough in 1700. He studied art under the Genoese artist Maria Grimaldi and later married her daughter, Arabella. The marriage took place in 1725 in Fleet Prison, not because either them was imprisoned there but because the Fleet was outside the jurisdiction of the church so a marriage licence was not required. Worlidge worked in Bath and then in London painting both miniature and larger-scale pastel portraits. He was said to be a corpulent and hot-tempered man who ate and drank to excess. And yet he could paint with a surprisingly light hand! Worlidge died at his country house in Hammersmith in 1766.

Item Ref. 7376

Provenance: Sir Leonard Twiston Davies ; Sotheby's July 1981 ; Gordon Collection, Christie's Nov. 2007