With spring quickly turning into a hot summer in London, Philip Mould & Co. took a selection of our most significant works to Chelsea for the annual Masterpiece Fair. At our stand this year we exhibited an eclectic display of paintings, sculptures and portrait miniatures that encapsulated 500 years of great British art. Some of our key highlights included a recently uncovered Jacobean portrait of a noblewoman wearing a decorative red and white floral dress.
In July Philip Mould & Co. discovered and sold a remarkable discovery; one of the earliest known examples of a 16th century portrait depicting the young Queen Elizabeth I. The panel represents a type of Tudor portraiture used to disseminate the image of the new Queen but before Elizabeth I began censoring the stylistic treatment of her public image.
In August the seventh series of Fake or Fortune? returned to BBC One on Sunday evenings with one of the show’s most thrilling re-attributions to-date. A work held in the collection of Scone Palace in Scotland, depicting Dido Belle, the mixed-race 18th century daughter of an African slave, and her cousin, Lady Murray, was the subject of the most popular programmes from this series. The work was previously thought to be by Johann Zoffany, but research carried out by the Fake or Fortune? team ended up proving that in fact the painting is the work of Anstruther-born artist David Martin.
In October, work began on our mystery exhibition ‘Charles Dickens: The Lost Portrait’ with our first venture into the realm of podcast making. On hand we had Portrait Miniature Specialist, Emma Rutherford, Director or the Charles Dickens Museum, Dr Cindy Sughrue, Curator of the Museum, Louisa Price and Charles Dickens’ Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley. The podcast, which is still available to listen to on the Entale podcasting app, i-tunes and Google podcasting app Stitcher, launched on 21st November and offers a further insight into this remarkable find.
November and December 2018 were two especially exciting months for Philip Mould & Co. due to the miraculous discovery of a long-lost portrait of Charles Dickens by the professional female artist Margaret Gillies. The portrait, which has gained a significant amount of national and international press, was painted in 1843 by Gillies, over the course of 6-7 sitting, whilst Dickens was penning his festive masterpiece A Christmas Carol. The portrait has not been seen in public since it was displayed as part of the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in 1844 and was found in 2017 in a box of trinkets in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.