Wednesday 22 November 2023

Lot 294

Philip Alexius de László, PRBA, Hungarian / British 1869-1937-  Portrait of Paul Leonardo de...

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Lot 294

Philip Alexius de László, PRBA, 
Hungarian / British 1869-1937- 
Portrait of Paul Leonardo de...

Price Realised: £9,184

Estimate: £8,000 - £12,000

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (31.2% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 294


Philip Alexius de László, PRBA, 
Hungarian / British 1869-1937- 

Portrait of Paul Leonardo de László, the artist's son; 

oil on canvas, signed, inscribed, and dated 'To Stephen / de László / 1932' (lower left), 77.8 x 62.2 cm. 

Stephen de László, son of the artist. 

By descent; 
Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 12 December 2013, lot 27. 
Private Collection, Spain. 

The de László Archive Trust, 'The Catalogue Raisonné of Works by Philip de László (1869-1937) [online]', no.8354. 

Paul Leonardo de László (1906-1982) was born in Vienna, the third son of Philip de László and his wife Lucy, née Guinness. His second Christian name was given to him in honour of Leonardo da Vinci, (1452-1519) whom his father much admired. The family moved to England in 1907 and Paul was educated at Twyford School, near Winchester, Rugby (where he was known for his debating skills) and Balliol College, Oxford. At Oxford he was a keen boxer, and very much involved in the Oxford Union Debating Society. After graduating from Oxford he taught history at Eton for a term, and was asked to join the permanent staff.  He declined the offer and spent a year (1927-1928) in New York working in the bank of Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. Philip de László was extremely proud when his son was called to the bar in 1929 and painted a number of portraits of him in his wig and gown. The sitter joined solicitors Gregory Rowcliffe & Co. in London, who would later act as executors of Philip de László’s estate after his death in 1937. In June 1933 Paul married Josephine Vavasour McConnell. They had three children, Christopher (born 1936), Ann (born 1938) and Jane (born 1942) and lived in Tite Street and later, Southcote Lodge, Camberley. 

During the war Paul served as a Lieutenant Commander Royal Naval Volunteer based at Bletchley Park. He served in North Africa, inspected Naval Radio stations and worked in the special section of the Admiralty. He was awarded an OBE. He was a close friend of General Montgomery’s Chief of Staff, Freddie de Guingand. After the war he joined 'English Electric' as personal assistant and legal advisor to the chairman, Sir George Nelson. He became a director of the company. He retired in 1969. 

His interests included photography, cine-photography, woodwork, clocks and watches, and natural history. During his schooldays he knew Harry Abrahams and they shared a job collecting films to be developed. At the age of 14 he became a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. He took many of the photographs in John Ramsbottom’s book 'Mushrooms and Toadstools'. A keen amateur conjurer, he was very skilled with his hands. During the war, when he was at home and had the time, he taught carpentry to his son Christopher and his contemporaries in his workshop.  He enjoyed designing and building electrical gadgets. Visitors to Orchards, Godalming (where he moved in 1946) were fascinated by the movie screen which was hidden behind the panelling in the hall, and which would appear at the press of a button as the lights dimmed. He took a great interest in his family which included many cousins with whom he remained in touch until he died. He was referred to as 'The Rock of the Family' and took great pleasure in his eight grandchildren. He lived at Orchards until 1974 when he moved to Haslemere, Surrey.  He died in December 1983, twenty two months after his wife Josephine. 

In this highly engaging portrait study, the sitter is shown half-length, seated and to the left at a table, wearing a barrister's black gown, wing collar and a grey wig. His left elbow rests on the table with his hand raised, his right forearm across a group of papers. The portrait is inscribed to Stephen, the elder brother of the sitter. 

We are grateful to Katherine Field for writing the catalogue entry for this portrait, which is included in the Philip de László catalogue raisonné, currently presented in progress online: (no.8354). 

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over €1,000 as follows:
0 to €50,000 - 4%, €50,000.01 to €200,000 - 3%
€200,000.01 to €350,000 - 1%,
€350,000.01 to €500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding €500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at €12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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