An Interesting Late 17thC English School Oil on Oak Panel Portrait of a Gentleman

Origin: English
Period: Charles II/James II/William & Mary
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1660-1690
Height: 31.25”
Width: 22.25”

The rather large and early English school oil on oak panel depicting a bearded gentleman or nobleman in typical period attire, head and shoulders wearing a fur-trimmed cloak and crested gold signet ring, his fixed gaze stern and authoritative, the work in as found order, with a fragmented inscription upper left, and surviving from seventeenth century England.

The condition of the painting is stable and we have left him as we found him save a very light clean. Although the painting has obvious issues, with losses, and some restoration, there is enough left of the original work to see that it is by an accomplished hand. It is frustrating that the left margin has been erased obscuring most of the inscription. Albeit, he proves very decorative and there is a lovely craquelure to much of the paintings surface. The reverse shows the joints holding the planks together, the oak roughly hewn cut. One could try to restore the work but we feel that in this instance it is probably not the best route. Please see the photographs for visual reference of the picture.

The pictures composition is typical of this period as is the inscription we see top left. The deciphering of this inscription and the identification of the armorial to the signet ring both proves irresistible clues going forward. Thus, there is enough here to work with for further exploration, which we feel is very exciting indeed.

There’s much to enjoy here already, though, also much to explore and intrigue going forward too.