Regency Country House & Garden
19th Century English Naïve School Watercolour
In its original water gilded frame
15.2 cm high x 22.2 cm wide (image)
23.0 cm high x 39.7 cm wide (framed)
Miss Betty Hanley (Elizabeth Clare "Betty" Hanley), 'The Ring', Audley End, Essex.
A delightful, naïve image of a John Nash style Regency white-stucco country house with an semi-circular bay window with a copper-roof porch, set within a landscaped garden. Beautifully presented in its original water gilded frame with a "watch-top" hanger. An ink label to the back seems to include some biographical details about the picture but, sadly, these are indecipherable.
An absolutely charming 19th Century amateur painting of a house with some delightful details, including a wheelbarrow and broom and a Jane Austen-like female figure in a bonnet and cape, sitting in the shade reading.
This work was previously in the collection of Betty Hanley, an Anglo-American interior designer who, in the 1970's, lived in and restored The Ring Cottage on the Audley End Estate (a 'cottage orné' at Audley End which was originally designed as a menagerie by Robert Adam). Miss Hanley was a graduate of the Parsons New York School of Art and was the niece to the heiress Fern Bedaux, owner of The Château de Candé (where HRH the Duke of Windsor married Mrs Wallis Simpson). In the late 1940's Betty Hanley founded Clare House Ltd at 35 Elizabeth Street in London, which specialised in lampshades, fine silks and chintzes. (Anthony Armstrong-Jones (the future Lord Snowdon and husband of Princess Margaret) lived above the shop). In due course Clare House Ltd became a Royal Warrantholder in providing decorative items to HM the Queen. Other clients of Betty Hanley included Sir Cecil Beaton, whom she described as a "marvellous client, with a great sense of colour and who paid his bills on time!"
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