A Framed Mezzotint By John Faber Jr (c.1684-1756); The Most Illustrious Princess Elizabeth Crown'd Queen of England 1742

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Object Description

The beautiful mezzotint engraving of Elizabeth I (?), Queen of England showing her whole length with curled hair pearl ropes, jewelled headdress, open collar, pearl necklace, embroidered gown with lace edges, jewelled bodice and hooped skirt, standing with her right hand raised, forefinger on lips and with a small bird on left hand with a view of an interior in the background with a turkey work carpet and having an inscription on scroll below, including the publisher’s address; Publish’d by J. Gattliffe, according to Act of Parliament April 1742’; the whole housed in an ebonised and glazed frame with gilded slip.

Object History

Unknown.

Object Literature

The lettering of the inscription appears to be somewhat misleading as this figure does not particularly resemble Elizabeth I, nor could Holbein (d. 1543) have painted the original in 1551. The painting does not appear in Rowlands’ 1985 catalogue of Holbein’s works. A pencil annotation in the departmental copy of Chaloner Smith states that this is an emblematical figure of ‘The Perfect Wife’; and Bromley doubts whether or not this is indeed a portrait of Elizabeth I.

John Faber Jr. (1684 – 2 May 1756) was a Dutch portrait engraver active in London. Faber concentrated on mezzotints and was prolific. He was commissioned by Sir Godfrey Kneller and Peter Lely to reproduce their works such as of the 48-images for the Kit-Kat Club, Hampton Court. Among his early works were portraits of Charles I of England (1717), Charles XII of Sweden (1718), Sir George Byng (1718), Eustace Budgell (1720), and this example. Faber presents the transitional period from Kneller to that of Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. More than 400 of his portraits survive.

Somewhat curious; this is scarce, beautifully sleepy and wonderfully quintessentially English country house.

Object Condition

The mezzotint has faded wear and some damages; please refer to the photographs for a full visual reference. The good quality frame is certainly nineteenth century with the glass also being thick and old with bubble imperfections.

Object Details

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The Onion Barn
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Blunham
Bedfordshire
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