Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction - Session II

Sat, Mar 26, 2022 09:00AM EDT
Lot 916

John Singleton Copley

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

(Massachusetts/British, 1737-1815)

Portrait of Henry Belasyse, Second Earl of Fauconberg, in uniform in a landscape (P. 591), circa 1792 or before 1794, oil on canvas, 31 x 26 in.; modern silver frame, 33-1/8 x 28 in.

Note: Reference: Prown, Jules David. John Singleton Copley: In England 1774-1815. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Univ. Press, 1966. ill. fig. 591, pg.286n. Fauconberg appears in the Death of Chatham, pg. 299n., "The site of Copley's house, now occupied by the Caxton Publishing Company, was directly across the street from the still-standing residence of Earl Fauconberg, whose portrait Copley painted.", pg. 349n.

A stipple engraving and etching by Anthony Fogg was made after this portrait. (see:

Exhibited: Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard College, 1934-5; M.S. Rau, New Orleans, Louisiana (label verso)

Christies's essay states "Henry Belasyse (1743-1802), son of Sir Thomas and Catherine Betham Belasyse, succeeded his father in 1774 as the 2nd Earl Fauconberg of Newborough, York. Copley depicts him in the red coat of the North Riding Militia, with silver epaulets. A curtain behind him is drawn to reveal a distant landscape, and the family coat of arms is shown in the upper left corner of the canvas.

Fauconberg was Member of Parliament for Peterborough (1768-74), a Lord of the Bedchamber (1777-1802), Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire from 1777 until his death, and Colonel of a 'Regiment of Foot' called 'Fauconberg's' in 1779. He married twice: to Charlotte Lamb (d.1790), daughter of Sir Matthew Lamb, 1st Bt, and sister of Peniston, 1st Viscount Melbourne, in 1776, and then to Jane Cheshire, of Bennington, Hertfordshire, in 1791, a year after his first wife's death. He died in 1802 of a 'sudden apoplexy' and the earldom became extinct.

In a letter to her daughter Mrs Greene, dated 18 March 1802, Copley's wife commented that 'We have lost our old neighbour Lord Fauconberg - his death was awfully sudden, he went out to walk and was brought back in a hearse dead', (recorded on a label on the reverse of the picture). Copley and Lord Fauconberg both lived in George Street, Leicester Square, at the time that the portrait was painted. The portrait was probably painted in the early 1790s and was engraved by A. Fogg in 1794."

Provenance: Bequeathed to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston by the artist's great granddaughter, Susan Greene Dexter, in memory of Charles and Martha Babcock Amory, in 1925; Christie's London, June 11, 2004, lot 20, sold for $36,864


19th century lining, restretched on old stretcher, tacking edge trimmed, two periods of retouch which is throughout but limited in face, abrasions below middle right, abrasions at edges