Lot 426: Stone (Sarah, circa 1760-1844). A rose-breasted grosbeak, 1785, watercolour, showing a bird perching on a branch, signed and dated to lower margin, toned, 38 x 29cm (15 x 11.5ins), framed and glazed, with remains of old framer's label on backboard from earlier frame. Sarah Stone's father was a fan painter, and it was from him that she learnt her technique. When she was about 17 she visited the Leverian Museum at Leicester House in London. This vast and important collection of natural objects, including live animals, consisted of around 27,000 items. Its owner, Sir Ashton Lever, commissioned Sarah Stone to paint many of the specimens housed in the vast sixteen room mansion. Her artwork is considered of great importance as a record of some of the species collected by explorers and housed in the long-since defunct museum, some of which are now extinct or have endangered populations. The museum was put up as a lottery prize in 1786, with tickets priced at one guinea. The collection was eventually dispersed in 1806, selling at auctions over a period of sixty-five days. The library at the Natural History Museum has a large collection of Sarah Stone's watercolours. (1)
Dominic Winter's Antiques & Fine Art Auction October 2015
Thursday, 15th October 2015
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