Thomas Gainsborough, R.A. (British, 1727-1788)
A Day in the Life of David Dallas, Old Master Specialist
Last spring, I went to value a collection of pictures, in which there was reputedly an early portrait by Gainsborough painted in Suffolk in the 1750s.
The client believed the work to be by Gainsborough as it was a family descendant and heirloom, however they had no provenance for the work to authenticate it and had been asked by their insurer for a valuation.
Was the work worth £800 or £80,000 was the question?
So, it was arranged for me to visit the client at his home to view the works. When I saw the painting, I immediately recognised it to be by Gainsborough, it was not only by him but also in a perfect state of preservation in its original carved and giltwood frame.
Happily, I know the current Gainsborough experts, Hugh Belsey and Sue Sloman, and arranged with the clients approval to tell Hugh of its whereabouts in time for him to photograph it and include it in his Catalogue Raisonne of the artists’ portraits.
Our client was delighted as this will enable future generations of his family to be able to confirm with authority that the work is in fact a work by Gainsborough and in the Catalogue Raisoone. This firmly establishes the painting in the current most authoritative work on the artist, adding lustre to its reputation, as an authentic Gainsborough and, therefore, enhancing its value.
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