Introducing Merrick ‘Merry’ the Marvellous

Yes, we have a new cat.  He was a stray we adopted from the local Cat and Dog home, and he is roughly 7 years old.  He also has a slight jaw deformity which gives him extra character, not that he needs any!

Merry has the purr of an overactive tractor, and the cuddliness of the best of teddy bears.  I present him here:

All together now…

Oh, and before I forget, today is Bert the Basset’s 5th Birthday – Happy Birthday Bad Bertie!

Have You Seen This Man?

(Or Woman).  As many of you know a hobby of sorts of mine is tracking down lost and missing paintings.  Hey, this art historian in training does not have an off button…

In particular at the moment I am looking at copies of Raeburns the originals of which I know were sold at the beginning of the 20th Century, and I’d love to know if any of you have seen them anywhere.  If the information is private, you are welcome to email me – I would not make this information public, it would only be noted.  Otherwise, please give me a shout if you have seen any of them in public collections anywhere!

The most prominent one I am looking for handily has a photograph on the web – Lt Gen Alexander Mackenzie Fraser.  Now, this is the photograph of the copy that was sold at Christie’s in 2001, and the one I am interested in, of course, is the original.  This is rumoured to be on display in London.  I am aware of one copy allegedly being in Essen, and I know where the other one is!

Another where there is a photo of the copy (though you may need to squint) is that of Elyza Fraser, who poses more of a problem, as I can only find a record of her sitting for Raeburn in a 1908 book about the artist.  The NGS has no record of her at all, or of where the original may be.  Another is her sister Martha Mackenzie, nee Fraser.  I know this was sold, and I have record of this, but I am assuming this is in a private collection as it has not been sighted since before 1920 and may possibly be in the USA.  No picture of her, I’m afraid!  She does look similar to her sister Elyza however, and if you think you may have seen her, but are not sure if you can find me a picture I can confirm it either way.

Any information appreciated, so do let me know!

The (More Than) Six Month Book Haul

Two things I love – hunting for interesting things in junk/collectible/antique shops and finding history/art books.  So, in over six months, I have hunted down the following lovelies that I have been looking for for a while:

  • Mark Girouard, Life in the English Country House & The Victorian Country House
  • Stella Tillyard, Citizen Lord (First edition!)
  • Eugenie Fraser, The House by the Dvina & A Home by the Hooghly
  • Colin Thompson, Pictures for Scotland: National Gallery of Scotland and its Collection
  • Christy Bing, The Lairds of Arbuthnott
  • Richard Taylor, How to Read Churches
  • Alison Weir, Katherine Swynford
  • Ronald Pearsall, Table-Rappers: The Victorians and the Occult
  • Leonardo da Vinci 1989 Exhibition Catalogue
  • Margaret Whinney, English Sculpture 1720-1830
  • Jan Marsh, The Venetian Empire
  • Titian Exhibition Catalogue
  • Paintings from the Royal Collection
  • The Edwardian Country House
  • Plumb and Wheldon, Royal Heritage
  • Marghanita Laski, Jane Austen and Her World
  • Phyllis Bentley, The Brontes and Their World
  • Arthur Foss, Country House Treasures
  • Susan Lasdun, Victorians at Home
  • Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth the House

That’s without the novels of course!