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A Rare portrait of Anne Gordon (b. 29 Feb 1772, d. 26 Feb 1841)., nee Biddulph


She wears a white dress with frilled collar, a band of pearls on her arm and a fancy black and white bonnet trimmed with white ostrich plumes

Anne was a lady of wealth and fashion judging by her attire.

Skirving He exhibited at the Royal Academy from a London address in 1778. After studying both in Rome and London, Skirving settled in Edinburgh 1796, where he obtained some fame as a portrait-painter. On his return journey from Rome he was captured by the French and imprisoned for a year. His imprisonment caused him to suffer from a serious eye condition called unocular elipopia, which necessitated his giving up miniature painting - which is why his miniatures are very rare today. He seems to have liked to paint his female sitters with feather or large bows in their hair, wearing elaborately trimmed dresses against a cloud and sky background as is evident in this portrait.

Anne Biddulph was the youngest daughter of Michael Biddulph and Penelope Dandridge, daughter of John Dandridge. He lived at Cofton Hall and was father to Thomas Biddulph, Robert Myddelton Biddulph, Michael Frances Biddulph, John Biddulph, Penelope Biddulph, Mary Ann Biddulph, and Anne Biddulph. Skirving also painted a portrait of Anne's sister, Mary Anne Biddulph, the second daughter of Michael Biddulph of Ledbury. (Cf. Daphne Foskett, Collecting Miniatures, 1979, illustrated colour plate 27).

Anne married David Gordon of Lime Street. Their marriage was announced not only in The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 65, 1789, but also in The European Magazine and London Review of 1789 - indicating the importance of the sitter in the social circles of her time. This miniature is likely to have been commissioned to celebrate such marriage.
More Information
Year                 circa 1789
Provenance                 Robert Bayne Collection, C.B
European Lady: Christie's, London, 21st April, 1988, lot 111
Literature                 The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures, (Dublin, privately published, 2009) pp 10, 48 (#196) 68 (sitter # 52) .
Exhibition                 Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009
Condition                 Minor spots of white mould at 6 o'clock and noon.
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