A TRANQUIL Victorian oil painting with a fascinating Sheffield link is for sale from a West End art dealer – priced at more than £150,000.
The 14x9 inch moonlit view is of Yew Court, which in the early 1900s was home to retired watchmaker and jeweller William Tingle Brown.
Tingle Brown was so well-off he retired in his early 30s, having spent his 20s helping to run his family’s watchmaking and jewellery business in High Street, Sheffield, with younger brother Edward and sisters Charlotte and Ann.
By 1881, when he was 35, Tingle Brown described himself as a ‘retired jeweller’ living in a house called Oaklands – possibly on Collegiate Crescent, off Ecclesall Road – in Sheffield, with wife Jane, 39, and daughter Edith, one. His sister Fanny, 21, and two live-in servants – Emily and Alice Tudbury, 19 and 25 – lived with them.
Sadly, between 1881 and 1891, Jane died – and by the next Census in 1901 Tingle Brown had remarried. Still ‘living on own means’ he was then 53 and second wife, Clara, was 38. He, Clara, and Edith, by then 21, had moved to Yew Court in Scalby, near Scarborough, with three live-in servants.
The picture of their home had been produced some time in the 1870s by artist John Atkinson Grimshaw, who painted at least three pictures of the property. One is owned by Scarborough Art Gallery.
The picture for sale is offered by London dealers MacConnal-Mason, whose chairman David Mason is a former Antiques Roadshow expert and a close friend of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lord Lloyd Webber is known to own 14 paintings by Grimshaw, who specialised in moonlit views.
A spokesman for the dealers said: “Grimshaw portrays the house and high street by the bright silvery moonlight of a full moon as a mother and child make their way home.
“It is a beautifully observed scene, the mother tilting her head towards the child as they converse holding hands.
“The light from the unseen moon gleams on the windows and bathes the road and garden walls. It is a particularly serene and tranquil scene, characterised by Grimshaw’s extraordinarily detailed technique, unique quality of light and acute observation.”