The eclectic country house collection was amassed by two Scottish lowland families – the Crum Ewings and the Hamiltons – and the subject of the portrait was a member of the latter family.
John Hamilton of Northpark (1754-1829) was three times Lord Provost of Glasgow and a portrait of his wife by Raeburn is now in the collection of the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Art Gallery.
The 2ft 6in x 2ft 1in (75 x 63cm) oil on canvas had been relined and had some re-touching to top and lower left edges as well as some bitumen applied to the certain areas including the sitter’s collar, right shoulder, coat and parts of the head.
With these condition issues, the estimate was set at £4000-6000, a relatively low level for a Raeburn portrait. But a number of bidders clearly felt that the picture was a well-painted and spirited characterisation of the sitter. After a decent competition, it was eventually knocked down at £10,000 to a private Scottish collector.