Photo credit: Carmarthenshire Museums Service Collection
This is signed with a monogram with a prominent A. The Buckley family's house was Parc Howard, which was sold to Llanelli Council in 1912.
An image of the monogram (lower left) is attached.
Comments from the collection, with research on the sitter:
‘William Joseph (1851–1905) was a member of the Buckley brewing dynasty of Llanelli. Other members of the family are here on Art UK, too.
William was active in Carmarthenshire society: Sheriff, county councillor, chair of the family business and with commercial interests in local industries and agricultural improvement. He was prominent in the local hunts, which explains his garb. The final link below is to an obituary which is perhaps the most informative source.
Forgive the indulgence, but I have provided some links below. Searches on "William Joseph Buckley" / "William J Buckley", with either followed by "J.P." seemed to yield the best results, should anyone like to take it further. https://bit.ly/37K0uaA
CHILD AND BUCKLEY / Maria, daughter of Mr. Child first mentioned, married the Rev James Buckley (of good English stock), who died Aug., 1839. Amongst other issue the Rev. James Buckley had James Buckley (m. a daughter of Thomas Wedge, Penyfai ; d. 1883), a townsman of culture, integrity and influence. He had issue sons and daughters of whom James Buckley (Bryncaerau), Henry Child Buckley (Bradbury Hall) and William James Buckley (Penyfai and Castle Gorfod) are amongst our most popular and respected citizens.
'12th February 1876: Appointment of William James Buckley, J.P., M.F.H. as Treasurer and Lord High Executioner of the Ancient and Honourable Order of United Boozers. Paper Seal. Brandy bottle statant guardant over a Schweppes flask flanked sinister by a whisky tumbler.' And references to hunting.
1889: A tin-plate works for Burry Port. https://bit.ly/3wan3i5
1889: Carmarthenshire Hunt Club. https://bit.ly/3L3xUhL
1890: Entire Horse Show at Carmarthen. https://bit.ly/3PeLK4h
1895: Mr W.J.Buckley MFC. https://bit.ly/3l5ib7t
1896: Burry Port & Gwendraeth Railway Company. https://bit.ly/39XGIsQ
1905: Death of Mr. W.J. Buckley Penyfai. https://bit.ly/3M8CI71
However, we are no further forward in revealing the mysterious artist A. Would anyone have suggestions how to progress this?’
The picture may be after a photograph.
I cannot really make out the monogram. Here is an article about a portrait of W.J. Buckley by A.C. Davies of London that was to be after a photograph.
Arthur Davies (1856–1929)? My composite is based on his work ‘Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener (1850–1916), 1st Earl Kitchener’. https://tinyurl.com/46nrznvy
I doubt it, Marcie, at least based on your composite. The portrait of Kitchener is by a better hand.
The sitter's face is especially suggestive of a photographic source. I believe there were firms which provided painted portraits after photographs. Could the monogram be that of such a firm, as opposed to that of an individual painter?
While the March 18, 1927, will of W.J. Buckley's wife Muriel Buckley (née Howell) (abt. 1870–May 16, 1928) mentions many items, it does not itemize her pictures. They were bequeathed to her eldest son William Howell Buckley (February 7, 1896–April 5, 1981). I have ordered his will as well as W.J. Buckley’s will.
Those wills weren’t of help – they don’t mention specific works of art.
An article from 1895 includes an image of W.J. Buckley in his hunting clothes.
Having seen a notice from 1890 advertising his services, I’m wondering if the monogram might belong to Anthony Tregerthen Thomas (birth reg. 1838 – death reg. 1926) of Llanelli.
Anthony was the son of James Thomas and his wife Mary Thomas (née Tregerthen) who were married at St. Elli's church, Llanelli, on August 9, 1835.
He was a portrait painter in Llanelli for many years. While he signed his Census form in 1911, obviously it’s a signature not a monogram. Perhaps someone has one of his works that can be compared to this one.
That is intriguing, Marcie. Any extant works by A. T. Thomas would virtually certainly be in the Llanelli area, though probably in private hands. However, the prominence of the "A" in the monogram would seem to suggest it is the first initial of the surname.
I thought that there might be two very decorative “T”s below the “A”. It's a shame the image of the monogram isn't better.
Other portrait painters mentioned in BNA articles in the local press for Llanelli in the late 19th/early 20th century were: Mr. Henshall (1873), Mr. John Collier (1884), Mr. J. Ernest Breun (1889), Mr. H. A. Chaplin (1890), Henry Alfred Chapman (1893), the Marquis Nerli (1904), Cush (1905), and J. Caledfryn Williams (1905). No-one with a surname that begins with an “A”.
I found this https://bit.ly/3vzS79N concerning Thomas in a Llanelli Facebook group.