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Now I have kind fairies who dump things on the back doorstep or kitchen and I found a marvellous collection of Antiques Trade Gazettes waiting for me, and BINGO, in the one of December 21, 2019, I found a portrait of a child which came from Queen’s University, Belfast.

The floor was what first caught my eye. Also, it looks from the picture to have been cut from a much larger picture and seems to have had a lot of work on the face – almost a ‘Bride of Wildenstein’ make-over?

There are similarities to a picture I have. I am sorry about the quality of my photograph but as I am on my own and 81 I am unable to lift things off the mantelpiece or for that matter take the painting down.

Family source

My picture was given to me by my father at the time of my marriage. It had hung in our house in Scotland and he always said it was James VI of Scotland by George Jameson(e) [Scotland’s first eminent portrait-painter].

He knew very little about art and used to point to a very Victorian picture of roses bought in Paris by my grandparents and tell visitors it was Renoir!

But as Jameson was hardly known in the 1950s, except in the art world, I think this must be family history and he must have been told this. Furthermore, the dates don’t fit and this would be more likely to be Jameson’s tutor Adrian Vanson [court portrait painter to James VI].

The picture was very dirty and had no frame so I had it cleaned, relined and bought a frame for it. As I look at it most days, I am sure it has been cut down from a much bigger picture as the balustrade is totally out of keeping.

For some time I wondered if it could have been James VI/I’s daughter, the Winter Queen of Bohemia, but it actually it looks quite like the portraits of James when grown up. His lawn apron with lace border is very fine and as there was no money in Scotland then it would have been worn only by someone with dosh.

I would be intrigued to know if any ATG readers could throw any light on it.

Name supplied

ATG replies: many thanks for the information. The original article appeared in ATG No 2422 as part of our occasional Art Detective feature to help identfiy unattributed artworks in public collections, run in conjunction with the Art UK charity. An update on that article also appeared in ATG No 2426. We will forward this information on to Art UK but if any readers are also able to assist we would be happy to print further letters.