15th Jul, 2023 11:00 GMT/BST

British, European & Sporting Art

  Lot 1171


William Holman Hunt (1827-1910)
Portrait of George Waugh, head and shoulders
Indistinctly inscribed on label verso (partially obscured by The Stone Gallery label) oil on panel, 40cm by 32cm

Contained in an ebony and faux tortoiseshell frame

Provenance: Christie's stencil GSOM to reverse
Thomas Agnews and Sons Ltd., London
The Stone Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne

The Estate of the late Ian Stephenson of Laithes, Penrith, Cumbria

Literature: "My grandfather, his wives and loves" Diana Holman Hunt, Hamish Hamilton 1969 p. 23

George Waugh was the brother of William Holman Hunt's first wife Fanny. He was born in 1835; lived with his parents in their house in Queensbrorough Terrace, Bayswater; trained as a lawyer and was called to the bar, occupying chambers at 7 Lincoln's Inn. He died at the age of thirty-four having accidentally drowned in the sea off the Devon coast.

Information about George Waugh and the Waugh family more generally can be found in Diana Holman-Hunt's 1969 book My Grandfather - His Wives & Loves, p. 23. Information about the various Waugh family portraits comes from Judith Bonkhurst's William Holman Hunt - A Catalogue Raisonne, two volumes, 2006.

The portrait seems to have been done after the sitter's death and with the likeness taken from a carte-de-visite photograph (which perhaps explains its rather staged and self-conscious character). It can be dated to before 1874 because there was a falling out between the artist and his family-in-law early that year with a consequent breaking-off of contact.

The portrait remained in the artist's possession and passed down through the Hunt family to Diana Holman-Hunt. She sold it at Christie's in 1962, where it was bought by the writer Evelyn Waugh. After Waugh's death, the painting was sold at Sotheby's Belgravia by Evelyn Waugh's son, Auberon Waugh, and where it was bought by the Stone Gallery, prior to being purchased by the Stephensons of The Laithes, Penrith, Cumbria, on 15 November 1971.

William Holman Hunt's portrait of George Waugh's mother - Hunt's mother-in-law - Mary Waugh (1805-1886), is in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Ohio. It was painted in 1868 at the Waugh home in Bayswater and shown at the 1869 RA. In addition, there are two drawings by Hunt of his wife Fanny, sister of George Waugh, one in the Ashmolean and another ex Forbes Collection, NY. Hunt's oil portrait of Fanny, of 1867-8, is in the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Ohio.

We are grateful to Christopher Newall for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Sold for £8,500
Estimated at £2,000 - £4,000


Auction: British, European & Sporting Art, 15th Jul, 2023

The British, European and Sporting Art Sale at Tennants Auctioneers will see a fine equestrian portrait of ‘Lady Caroline Held by a Groom, Newmarket’ attributed to Thomas Spencer (1700-1763) go under the hammer. It will be joined by notable lots from the Estate of Martin & Felicity Mackintosh of Harrogate, including a rich and plentiful still life of game, fruit and flowers by Hendrik Reekers (1815-1854), and further works by the likes of Ford Madox Brown and William Holman Hunt from the Estate of the late Ian Stephenson of Laithes, Penrith, Cumbria. Other notable lots include Montague Dawson's “HMS Amethyst running the Yangtse Gauntlet, 30th July 1949”. 


Sunday 9 July to Friday 14 July 11am-4pm and morning of sale from 8am

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