November 17, 2020 Early Arms & Militaria: Age of Exploration, Empire & Revolution
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2020
"The Palermo Artist" (Italian School, fl. 1804-1815). "A Royal Navy Lieutenant, circa 1806." Oil on canvas, 30" x 25", within custom reproduction, carved and gilded frame. It is often forgotten that during the Napoleonic Wars, the island of Sicily was continuously occupied by British naval and military forces from 1806 to 1815. Its capital city and principal seaport of Palermo was of critical importance to British naval control of the Mediterranean, providing a well-protected anchorage for both British warships and transports, as well as commercial vessels. While ashore, a number of Royal Navy and Marine officers sat for their portraits with a talented Italian artist whose name has been lost to us over time. He has been dubbed "the Palermo artist", by virtue of a portrait now in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, England in which the sitter, Royal Navy purser Sam Crowley, holds a letter addressed to him at Palermo and dated 1807. His style of painting is quite distinctive and this painting of an unidentified Royal Navy lieutenant is clearly one of his works, closely matching other known "Palermo artist" portraits of naval and marine officers in museum and private collections. The handsome, young officer is painted in the undress uniform coat of a lieutenant, all-blue with white piping to the facings and bearing the fouled anchor buttons worn by Royal Navy officers, both adopted in 1795 and in use until 1812. However, by its cut, his coat certainly dates no earlier than 1805 or 1806. He has his naval "cocked hat" of chapeau bras form, trimmed with gold lace binding and bullion tassels, tucked under his left arms, while a narrow black leather belt with lion-head fittings for a sword or dirk is worn around his waist. CONDITION: The portrait has an old relining and scattered, light inpainting; it was cleaned and revarnished within the past 15 years by a professional conservator. JLK

This is not a standard shippable item and will require 3rd party shipping or pickup arrangements to be made.

Item Dimensions: 35 x 30"
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $5,100.00
Estimate: $3,000 - $6,000
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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