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  • Posts Tagged ‘John Singleton Copley’


    Saturday, January 14th, 2023
    Silk, parchment cabinet by Achille Savagni 

    What has been described as the joyous return of the leading antiques and fine art fair in the US will bring together 68 global exhibitors from Europe, South America and the US.
    Global experts in fine and decorative arts will assemble for The Winter Show, which gets underway at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan ON January 20 and continues until January 29. 
    Time and tastes are changing and the eclectic mix at the Armory show is less rigorous in terms of antique timelines than would once have been the case.  Alongside old favourites like a George II Chinese red lacquer bureau and stand (Ronald Phillips), an 1812 Parisian inkstand (Koopman Rare Art), The Judgement of Paris by Lucas Cranach the elder (Robert Simon Fine Art) and a favrile glass lava vase by Tiffany (Lillian Nassau LLC) there is furniture from 1969 and even 2019. Everything on offer, from Rodin to Tiffany to Frank Lloyd Wright, is vetted for authenticity and quality.

    An 1804 portrait by John Singleton Copley of Mary Montagu and Robert Copley, her brother.

    Maison Gerard of New York will exhibit a cabinet by Achille Salvagni created in Italy in 2019. Made of parchment covered wood and cast bronze, with gold plated bronze details this deeply layered piece bears all the characteristics of Salvragni’s work with material richness and craftsmanship. An avowed Modernist his work, with its emphasis on creating sophisticated residential and yacht interiors, draws on the architectural legacies of the 1920’s and ’30’s.In complete contrast is a sculptural, natural sandstone formation from France. Robert Simon Fine Art of New York will exhibit this piece which is around 30 million years old and weighs just over 97 lbs. Traditionalists will undoubtedly value a double portrait by the American born Anglo Irish artist John Singleton Copley (1737-1815) of Mary Montagu and her brother Robert Copley. Hirschl and Adler Galleries will exhibit this work, once in the collection of former New York Governor and Democratic politician Averell Harriman.

    A 1969 free edged conoid table in Persian walnut by George Nakashima.

    A 1969 free edged conoid table of Persian walnut and ten chairs by George Nakashima will be shown by Geoffrey Diner of Washington.  The selection ranges from Victorian jewellery to African carving, Japanese folding screens and a unique late medieval/early Renaissance astronomical calendar at Daniel Crouch Rare Books.

    If you love fairs and all this New York style sounds a bit beyond your league – and much of it is beyond the league of most of us – then console yourself.  The two day National Antique, Art and Vintage Fair, billed as Ireland’s biggest, takes place at Limerick Racecourse on January 21 and 22.   With ample space and easy parking the new venue for the fair at Limerick Racecourse has already proved to be hugely popular.  Fairs are scheduled to take place there four times this year, in January, March, September and November.


    Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

    The story of a fractured relationship between a portrait artist and his client lies behind the Knatchbull family portrait. Painted by John Singleton Copley in 1800 it was commissioned by Tory politician Sir Edward Knatchbull, who wanted a portrait of his second wife and ten children.  His first wife was to be included so Copley depicted her as one of a group of angels. When his second wife died two years later Knatchbull married again and wanted her included. Then his pregnant wife’s child had to be added. When after three years the portrait was finally unveiled he was mortified when people laughed openly at the spectacle of past and present wives in the same painting. He had it taken down and ordered Copley to paint over the angels. The fee was to be cut too, forcing a legal dispute which the artist won.  The oil sketch from the collection of Patricia Mountbatten sold at Sotheby’s for £88,200. Singleton Copley was an Irish American whose father was from Limerick and whose mother was from Clare.

    John Singleton Copley – The Knatchbull Family Portrait


    Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

    John Singleton Copley, The Fountaine Family, 1776 – Accepted under the Cultural Gifts Scheme by HM Government from David W Posnett OBE and allocated to Tate 2016

    Born in Boston of Irish parents John Singleton Copley is considered the greatest of American 18th century artists. His father was from Limerick, his mother was a Singleton from Co. Clare. Active in Boston from 1753 to 1774 he moved to England in 1775 and was elected at Royal Academcian. A Loyalist he never returned to the US after the American Declaration of Independence in 1776.

    His portrait of The Fountaine Family has just been acquired by The Tate through Arts Council England’s Cultural Gift Scheme, introduced in 2013 to encourage life time giving to UK public collections. It shows the family, wealthy members of the Norfolk gentry, standing in an elegant drawing room at Narford Hall, their ancestral home.
    The work complements three Copleys in the Tate Collection, Portrait of Mrs. Gill c177071, painted in America and The Death of Major Peirson (1781) and The Collapse of the Earl of Chatham (1779-80), both painted in Britain.