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Mather Brown
A portrait of Nathaniel Chauncey (1717-1790), sitting at a table

circa 1786


Half-length portrait of Nathaniel Chauncey, 1717-1790, sitting at a small table on which rest a leather-bound book, two sheets of drawings and a “black basalt-ware” figure of the Muse of sacred poetry, Polyhymnia Provenance: By descent from the sitter to Miss Katherine Chauncey who bequeathed it to Colonel Chaunc(e)y; thence to his daughters the Misses Chaunc(e)y of 23 Bennett Street, Bath; Their sale, Christies, London, 17 June 1921 (lot 98), as by Sir Joshua Reynolds (sic) and as a portrait of Dr Charles Chauncey FSA (Nathaniel's elder brother) and painted in 1758, to E.Parsons & Sons, art dealers, on behalf of A.J.V. Radford Esq. of Malvern, His sale Sothebys, 1957 (not traced) where acquired by Capt. F. Gordon Troup of Haslemere, and thence by descent to his son Donald Troup until 2010. Literature: Graves and Cronin History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1898) p.1280 as a portrait of Charles Chauncey MD FSA, who sat for his portrait in 1758, and paid for it before 1760; Sir Ellis Waterhouse Reynolds (1941) p.75 as the portrait of Nathaniel Chauncey exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1784 (no.16). The picture is listed as untraced and engraved and the size given as 76 x 63 cm (30 x 25 inches: the present painting is a “KitKat”, ie 36 x 28 inches) and illustrated as plate 159; David Mannings Sir Joshua Reynolds, A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, (2000) Volume I, page 130 sub. Catalogue number 352, (“Nathaniel Chauncey 1717-1790”) where he notes that “The portrait of Nathaniel Chauncey repr(oduced) in W(aterhouse) (pl.159) was subsequently attributed by Waterhouse himself to “Mather Brown”


  • Artist
    Mather Brown (1761 - 1831, American)
  • Creation year
    circa 1786
  • Condition
  • Gallery location
    London, GB
  • Reference number
  • Seller reference number

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