Introducing Take 5 by 'In the English Style' and their five highlights from the upcoming

Old Master, British and European Pictures auction taking place on Tuesday 27 February.


In the English Style is a celebration of English interiors, exteriors, art, history, antiques and more. Our aim is to inspire, inform and entertain our followers with a blend of beautiful, fascinating and often serendipitous posts which weave together elements from our country’s rich social past. We sometimes add moments from our own homes, a manor house in Suffolk and a townhouse in Bath, to add a little freshness to the mix.

We are Katherine and Ella, a mother and daughter duo, who came up with the idea of sharing our passion for English Style during the pandemic lockdowns. We really missed visiting country houses, museums and galleries so we started looking back at photos and sharing them on Instagram. We were surprised and delighted by the immediate response from people around the world to our posts. We consider ourselves very fortunate to now have many, very knowledgeable followers who often add insightful comments to our daily thoughts. We have learnt that English Style is still very much admired around the globe and that it remains one of our most appreciated exports.

We are thrilled to have been asked to present our own ‘Take 5’ selection from Roseberys' upcoming Old Master, British and European pictures catalogue. There was so much to choose from and we had some lengthy debate about which five lots to single out. In the end, we decided to focus on pieces which we felt would work well in a traditional English Interior. These needed to look decorative but also allude to our social history in some way, adding a sense of time and elegance. English Interiors should look as though they come together gradually rather than having been put together in an afternoon. We hope you like our selection!



Lot 70: English School, early to mid 17th century -

Portrait of a gentleman


This fine, large portrait of a 17th century gentleman would look very imposing over a fireplace, console table or other focal point in a room. We love the inscription which gives the sitter’s age as 25 in 1636. We may never know who he was but if he was English, he would most likely have lived through one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history, the English Civil War (1642 to 1651). We find ourselves wondering, if this was indeed the case, was he on the side of Parliament or perhaps, the King? What impact did the conflict have on him and his family?

The sitter has chosen to be depicted with a book, suggesting perhaps he was a scholar or intellectual. His fine costume with its lace collar and cuffs indicate that he was also a man of means.

The accompanying black and gold frame is stunningly smart and in our view just perfect for this portrait. It looks ready to hang.

Lot 77: John Hoskins, Portrait of Dorothy Wheler


We could not resist this gem of a miniature by John Hoskins, which is painted on vellum. This portrait commemorates the marriage of twenty-two year old Dorothy Wheler (1626-1687) to Sir Charles Wheler, 2nd Baronet, a cavalry officer from Warwickshire.

Charles was a supporter of the Royalist course during the English Civil War and was known to have been given the task of conveying the gold and silver of Cambridge University to the King, to help finance the war effort. His loyalty to the crown was rewarded later when he became Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to King Charles II. He and Dorothy had five children together. In this likeness, we love Dorothy’s costume, jewels and the softness of her curls.

Miniatures can sometimes be tricky to display and we would suggest putting this in a case or box with a glass cover. This could be placed on a table to admire but should be kept out of direct daylight. If this was ours, we would look at her every day!


Lot 158: Thomas Barker of Bath, Hilly landscape with travelling figures


Thomas Barker of Bath is a favourite artist of ours and we think it's fair to say that not only did he have a following in his own lifetime but his fan base today is growing. There are six of his paintings in the Tate Gallery.

Here we have chosen a lovely pair of landscape paintings in pretty frames which would look fantastic in a sitting room or bedroom. We love the atmosphere of these scenes and feel that the loose brush work captures so much more than just the placement of figures against pastoral backgrounds. We can see the influence of Thomas Gainsborough in the skilful skies.

In the first picture, the movement of the figures coming down the slope suggests that they may be battling a strong wind. The man on the hill is struggling to control his donkey and the relief of the people once they get to the protection of the side of the slope seems to be palpable. This is the work of an accomplished artist.

In the second picture, all is calm. We do not know whether the man with the donkey has just arrived or is leaving but somehow we feel it is the latter. Where is he going and why? Who is the elderly figure on the right? There is a story here but we are being encouraged to fill in between the lines for ourselves.

We would love to view these canvases in a room that sees different lights as we think that daylight vs feature illumination would pull out different elements of the compositions. We think that they would be all the more enjoyable for that.



Lot 222: John Boultbee, Portraits of a roan mare and stallion

in expansive landscapes with buildings beyond


No classic English interior would be complete without a horse picture or two. Pairs of pictures are an interior designer’s dream as they are so versatile and can look wonderful side by side, one above the other, on opposite sides of a bed or in an alcove. We would argue, it's even better when they feature two elegant equine subjects who are facing each other. These would look stunning when hung together and as the lot details suggest, they could look akin to a married couple, which would draw the eye and maybe add a little humour.

John Boultbee and his twin brother Thomas were both well known painters of horses. John exhibited several times at The Royal Academy and enjoyed the patronage of prominent figures such as the Earl of Derby and Lord Spencer. We were interested to learn that the artist was highly regarded by King George III who commissioned a number of equine portraits from him and even granted him a residence in Windsor Great Park, as a mark of appreciation.

The frames may need a little restoration and the paintings might benefit from a light clean but this would be a worthwhile investment in these handsome pieces.


Lot 319: David Fulton, RSW,  Feeding the rabbits


Our final choice was so hard to make but in the end we picked a more recent piece to bring our English Interior collection more up to date. We should be upfront and explain that this charming piece is by a Scottish (not English) artist, David Fulton who was a member of the The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. He was a regular contributor to the annual exhibitions of the Royal Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy to name but a few.

This is an oil painting rather than watercolour and is not the only time he depicted children with rabbits, indeed it seems to have been a favourite subject of his. This example depicts a happy moment in childhood where all seems to be in harmony. We love the green watering can and the red poppies by the steps. It would be a very easy picture to live with and wouldn't it make the perfect gift for Easter?

There are many more great lots to look at in this catalogue but we hope you have enjoyed reading about our own personal picks.


Written by In the English Style