Photo credit: Norfolk Museums Service
We have discovered that Evelyn De Morgan (who was related to Elizabeth Buxton) made a copy of this painting. It was sold at auction after the death of Margaret Fraser Spencer Stanhope (Evelyn’s mother was a Spencer Stanhope) in 1965. The information was found in the sales catalogue for Banks Hall, Cawthorne, Barnsley: ‘E. de Morgan, after Hurlstone. Charming conversation piece. Elizabeth Julia Spencer Stanhope and Sir Robert Buxton 1834, as children, 34 x 43 in.’.
Barnsley Museums and Archives and The De Morgan Foundation were excited to learn about this new and (to us) previously unknown painting by Evelyn and we would like to know its current whereabouts and its journey after the sale. I have had no success tracking down the auctioneer’s records and hope that Art Detective could help.
I suggest you advertise in the Antiques Trade Gazette (or write a letter to the editor) and locally, if you do net a response to this. Also letter to Country Life.
Gillian, can we take it that you identified the name of the auctioneers from the catalogue, but that they are either no longer in business (or their records for the period no longer exist)? Also, have you tried to get in touch with Margaret Fraser Spencer-Stanhope's grandson, Alistair Fraser (b. 1963), who lives (or lived) locally? See https://bit.ly/2Qi0L7e. It's a long shot, but just possible he has something relevant, e.g. a catalogue marked up with buyers' names.
Other than that I will see if there's anything in the Heinz Archive / Library (NPG) when I can get there, perhaps next week.
I have done a lot of looking for the auctioneers records with no success I am afraid. They were taken over by Phillips and they were taken over by Bonhams, I have spoken to some who worked for Phillip’s and he doesn’t recall seeing any records from Henry Spencer.
I have seen one catalogue with prices marked but no names. I know of Alistair and I am in touch with other members of the family, I haven’t contacted them yet but I think I will do so soon.
Thank you for your offer to look in the Heinz Archive it’s is much appreciated.
Thank you Peter
They are good suggestions and I will follow up on them.