Marcus Gheeraerts portrait
Among the lots being sold from the Harlech collection at Bonhams is this previously unattributed painting by Queen Elizabeth I’s portraitist, Marcus Gheeraerts. Bonhams researched the painting and believed it to be by Gheeraerts, and the attribution has now been confirmed by the National Portrait Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. The 1597 portrait of Ellin Maurice (1578-1626), an heiress and ancestor of Ormsby Gore, is one of 35 Old Master paintings to be offered at the March auction. It carries an estimate of £60,000-80,000.
Items from the Ormsby Gore family library will be included in the sale. The family had a friendship with the Kennedys for many years which began in the 1930s when John F Kennedy’s father Joseph was US Ambassador to Britain. Jasset Ormsby Gore’s grandfather William David, became a close friend of president JFK when he was ambassador in Washington. Lots from the library include this volume of Shelley’s poetry which was a personal copy of JFK’s which he kept by his bed. Jackie Kennedy sent the book following JFK’s assassination, accompanied by a note written to accept it ‘with all her love’. Items from the library and related Kennedy items are still being catalogued by Bonhams' specialists.
George III armchairs
These George III armchairs are part of a sale of 400 items from Glyn Cywarch, Lord Harlech's family house in Gwynedd, Wales. In the manner of Robert Adam with 18th century gros and petit point needlework, the upholstered backs, arms and seats each illustrate a different Aesop fable. They carry an estimate of £50,000-80,000.
The Godolphin Arabian
This painting of The Godolphin Arabian – one of the three horses that fathered the UK's modern thoroughbred bloodstock siring about 80 foals – is by Daniel Quigley (fl.1750–1788). It is extensively inscribed with the history of the stallion and its offspring and carries an estimate of £15,000-20,000.