Wednesday 22 November 2023

Lot 140

Augustus Leopold Egg, RA, British 1816-1863- Portrait of William Powell Frith;  oil on panel,...

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Lot 140

Augustus Leopold Egg, RA, 
British 1816-1863- 
Portrait of William Powell Frith; 
oil on panel,...

Price Realised: £6,560

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

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

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Lot 140


Augustus Leopold Egg, RA, 
British 1816-1863- 

Portrait of William Powell Frith; 

oil on panel, painted oval, bears inscription in the sitter's hand 'I give this picture to my daughter / ?. Oppenheim / June 9th 1901 / W.P. Frith' verso, 30.6 x 24.8 cm. 

The sitter; 
By whom gifted to his daughter Isabella Oppenheim, 9th June 1901; 
Thence by descent to the present owner. 

London, Guildhall Art Gallery; and Harrogate, Mercer Art Gallery, 'William Powell Frith: Painting the Victorian Age', November 2006 - July 2007, no.7, as by Augustus Egg, 'Portrait of the Artist'. 

F. O'Donoghue, 'Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum 1908–22', London, 1908, II, p.261, no.3. 
C. Wood, 'William Powell Frith,' London, 2006, p.17, illustrated. 
M. Bills and V. Knight (ed.), 'William Powell Frith: Painting the Victorian Age', New Haven and London, 2006, p.1, no,1, illustrated, as by William Powell Frith. 

Engraved by F. Babbage in 'Crazes in Art', Magazine of Art, 1888, p.189, as by Augustus Egg, Frith aged thirty. 
Engraved by P. H. Naumann, 'Portraits of Celebrities at Different Times of their Lives,' The Strand Magazine, vol.3, 1892, p.598, as by Augustus Egg, age 36. 

This striking portrait of the artist William Powell Frith (1816-1863) was painted by his friend and student Augustus Leopold Egg in c.1849. The exact dating of the work is unclear due to two conflicting engravings that were published. The Strand Magazine published an engraving in 1888, as Frith aged 30, which accompanied an article written by Frith. It was then subsequently published as an engraving in 1892, as Frith aged 36. This dates the work between 1846-1852. 

Augustus Egg was a close friend of William Powell Frith and features extensively in Frith’s memoirs, 'A Victorian Canvas'. Frith also painted a portrait of Augustus Egg (Private Collection, on loan to Charles Dickens Museum, London), and this reciprocated sitting perhaps demonstrates the closeness in their relationship. By 1888, the portrait by Egg was in the possession of Frith, presumably a gift from an earlier date. The work was then gifted to Frith’s daughter Isabella Oppenheim on 9th June 1901, as per the inscription in Frith’s hand on the reverse of the panel. 

On occasion the work has been incorrectly attributed as a self-portrait by William Powell Frith, perhaps due to the dedication on the reverse in his hand. Indeed, it was fairly commonplace for Frith to produce multiple versions of works for his children. Therefore, it was mistakenly thought that this work may have been a replica of the original by Augustus Egg. 

We are grateful to Mark Bills for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry. Please note that this work will appear in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné and monograph of William Powell Frith. 

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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