Irish School (c.1816), William Winter and his family
Estimate: £4,000 - £6,000
ca. US$5,344 - US$8,016
Price realised: £15,500
Irish School (c.1816) William Winter and his family Pen, ink and watercolour Inscribed Oh pary accept this trifling gift/This token I am far from you/Yet I shall love you still/Though cruel fate has parted me/From my dear friends and loves/Yet may I soon return again/No more from you to roam, to the lower edge 18.5 x 30cm (7¼ x 11¾ in.) Provenance: Robert Young Antiques, London Purchased from the above by the present owner in 2000 Literature: Young, R. Folk Art, London, 1999. P.94-5 (illustrated) and also illustrated on the back cover. This portrait of Private William Winter and his family was most probably painted by a professional letter-writer while he was garrisoned in Dublin in February 1816 with the 1st battalion, 48th Regiment of Foot. As the inscription along the lower edge implies he commissioned it as a token of his affection for his family in Gloucestershire and he sent it to them with a letter, dated the 15th January 1816, which accompanies the lot. `Dear Father Worthy' he begins and goes on `I hope you are in receipt of this small gift that I have sent you a Rep(resent)ation of the whole of our family which I ha-got drawn by a friend of mine in Dublin and I hope it will please you all'. Concerned that the picture has been creased in the post he suggests `You must take a warm **** to **** the crumples out of the paper when you open the letter'. Although the letter is indistinct in places it identifies several of the figures including his mother and father and three of his siblings as John, James and Mary. In the letter he regrets `...you could not send me that gift of money, it should have been very(acceptable)'. Intriguingly on the 17th June that year, just over six months after he wrote to his family, he deserted his regiment and by the 12th of July had been detained and committed to imprisonment at Chester. The regiment was soon after commissioned to serve in Sydney, New South Wales. Did he intend to use the money to buy himself out of the army? When it was not forthcoming, was the thought of being on the other side of the world too much for this homesick and affectionate son to bear. Was he left with no option but to desert? The Pinkers Collection of British, American and European Folk Art This charming collection of folk art takes its name from a diminutive 17th Century cottage on the Kent coast where it has hung and grown in size over the last twenty years. It includes watercolours and oil paintings from the 17th to the early 20th Century. Many are in their original frames and in remarkably fresh condition. Despite its rural location and the provincial subject matter of the works it is a truly international collection and many of the lots have come from some of the most important collectors and dealers in folk art on both sides of the Atlantic including Robert Young Denzil Grant and Charles Plante in England and David Wheatcroft, Joan Brownstein and Austin Miller in America. Folk Art has been described as 'the unselfconscious creativity of academically untrained artists' (Robert Young Folk Art, 1999) and it is this quality that gives many of the works an immediacy and playfulness that has chimed with generations of collectors. Some of the pictures, by journeymen artists, artisans or amateurs are provincial reinterpretations of more sophisticated works, such as the early 18th Century Yate family portraits (lot 122). Others have a joyful disregard of accepted ideas of scale, perspective and colouring, giving them a timeless quality which draws parallels with 20th Century artists including Alfred Wallis and John Nash such as View from La Moinerie (lot 120) and the American School Portrait of a girl (lot 103) has an Outsider Art quality reminiscent of the Art Brut movement founded by Jean Dubuffet Regardless of their origins this unique and varied collection is the manifestation of the vision and passion of a true collector. Condition Report: The sheet has been laid down although it is starting to become unst
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