Two New Auction Finds

Henry Watkinson

Henry Watkinson (1628-1712) was Chancellor of York in 1664.  I was certain I’d not heard of him before, but in an odd little twist, when I started researching him the search engine led me straight back to this blog! It seems I posted a picture of his wife, Elizabeth Jennings, two years ago, when she too turned up at auction (see blog entry Hidden Gems, 16th Apr 2016). Henry’s portrait is attributed only to a painter of the English School in the latter half of the 17th century.

 

royalist

This unidentified man is listed only as a Royalist officer of the Civil War, by a 17th century artist of the English School, and a follower of William Dobson.

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Pioneer Women of the 17th Century

Today is International Women’s Day, so it’s the perfect time to showcase two of the 17th century’s most memorable female pioneers.

Portraitist Mary Beale (1633-1699) was not only a talented painter, but she turned her skills into a successful business, becoming the family bread-winner and earning the praise of Richard Gibson and Sir Peter Lely.  She also turned her hand to writing, penning a manuscript called “Discourse on Friendship”,  four poems, and even an instructional guide to painting apricots.

Beale, Mary, 1633-1699; Self Portrait
Self-Portrait, c.1675. © St Edmundsbury Museum

Margaret Lucas (1623?-1674) was the sister of Civil War royalist officers John and Charles Lucas of Colchester, and married William Cavendish, the Duke of Newcastle. An intelligent and inquisitive woman, Margaret is today known as a poet, a philosopher, essayist, and playwright, turning her mind to topics such as gender, power, the sciences and romantic fiction. She is believed to be one of the first writers in what we would now call the science-fiction genre.

1665-margaret-duchess-of_med
Margaret Cavendish (nee Lucas), c.1665, by Sir Peter Lely

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