William Larkin (London circa 1580-1619) Portrait of Thomas Pope, later 3rd Earl of Downe, bust-length, in a white tunic embroidered with gold and a yellow lace collar
Lot 45
William Larkin
(London circa 1580-1619)
Portrait of Thomas Pope, later 3rd Earl of Downe, bust-length, in a white tunic embroidered with gold and a yellow lace collar
Sold for £449,000 (US$ 605,913) inc. premium

Lot Details
William Larkin (London circa 1580-1619)
Portrait of Thomas Pope, later 3rd Earl of Downe, bust-length, in a white tunic embroidered with gold and a yellow lace collar
oil on panel
56.8 x 43.7cm (22 3/8 x 17 3/16in).


  • Provenance
    The sitter, Thomas Pope, 3rd Earl of Downe (1598-1668), by descent to
    Thomas Pope, 4th Earl of Downe, upon whose death in May 1668 the picture passed by inheritance to
    His sister, Frances Pope, who married Francis North (1637-1685), later 1st Baron Guilford, and settled at Wroxton Abbey, by descent to their son
    Francis North, 2nd Baron Guilford (1673-1729), by descent to his son
    Francis North, 3rd Baron Guilford and 1st Earl of Guilford (1704-1790), by descent to his son,
    Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (1732-1792), who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain, from 1770 to 1782, by descent to his son
    George Augustus North, 3rd Earl of Guilford (1757-1802), who died without male issue, by inheritance, at Wroxton, to his second daughter
    Susan North (1797-1884), who married John Doyle, later North, and was created 10th Baroness North in 1841, by descent to their son
    William North, 11th Baron North (1836-1932)
    Sold by order of Lord North's Trustees, Wroxton Abbey sale, on the premises, 24 May 1933, lot 685, ill. (as by Isaac Oliver), where purchased by the present owner's family

    G.Vertue, 'Notebook IV', in Walpole Society, vol. XXIV, London, 1936, p. 191
    R. Strong, William Larkin; Icons of Splendour, Milan, 1995, pp. 72-3, cat. no. 11 (location unknown)

    The present portrait which has recently resurfaced is one of four portraits from Wroxton Abbey, near Banbury in Warwickshire, which are the subject of a forthcoming article, The Wroxton Larkins by Catharine MacLeod and Sir John Guinness. The others, all on panel and of similar dimensions, represent: the sitter's elder brother, Sir William Pope (1596-1624), 2nd Earl of Downe (by William Larkin, present whereabouts unknown); his cousin, Grey Brydges (1578/9), 5th Baron Chandos (by William Larkin, sale, Sotheby's London, 5 July 2012, lot 204); and Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Chandos (probably by Marcus Gheeraerdts the Younger, private collection). Further portraits of Sir William Pope and Grey Brysdges, also on panel and of the same dimensions, are now in the Paul Mellon Collection, The Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven Connecticut. These were mistakenly purported by Sir Roy Strong to have come from Wroxton.

    Portraits of these four sitters were listed at Wroxton as far back as 1741, when the antiquarian, George Vertue listed them as by Isaac Oliver. While Vertue's attribution to Oliver has since the Wroxton sale been superseded, there seems to be no reason to question the longstanding traditional identification of the sitters since the ages of the men concerned appear to correspond to the believed dating of these portraits to 1615.

    Thomas Pope (1598-1667/68) was the second son of William Pope, 1st Earl Downe and Anne Hopton (1561–1625), widow of Henry, Lord Wentworth and daughter of Sir Owen Hopton. Thomas matriculated at Oxford in 1614 and was knighted at Woodstock in 1625. On 30 April 1636 he married Beata, daughter of Sir Henry Poole of Sapperton, Gloucestershire. The Royalists imprisoned him at Oxford for six weeks during the Civil War and he was held in 1656 on suspicion of complicity in the 'Cavalier Plot'. He succeeded his nephew, Thomas to the Earldom and the estate of Wroxton Abbey near Banbury, Oxfordshire in 1660. He died on 11 January 1668 and was buried at Wroxton. His only son, also Thomas, was born in 1630.

    Larkin's origins remain relatively obscure. His father was a close neighbour of Robert Peake and it has been suggested that it could have been Peake who introduced him to painting. It may be more likely, judging from his earliest known portraits, such as the 1609-10 portrait of Edward, 1st Lord Herbert of Cherbury, that his initial influence came from Isaac Oliver, another artist in the circle of Henry Prince of Wales at the time.
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  1. Poppy Harvey-Jones
    Specialist - Old Master Paintings
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
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