Portrait of Nicholas Sprimont and His Family
Oil on canvas
30 x 25 inches (76.2 x 63.5 cm); the outside of the frame 35 1/4 x 30 inches (89.5 x 76.2 cm)
Messrs. Christie's, Catalogue of 8 April 1932, as Zoffany /67 A Gentleman, seated at a table holding scales, looking at a lady who holds a vase; a lady in the back
Purchased by Sir Henry Hughes-Stanton, Operman (38 guineas) by descent
Purchased by E & H Manners Antiques, London, 1994.
Courtauld Institute, Witt Library, Johann Zoffany box (photographic image of the present lot, noted as in the possession of H. Hughes Stanton, Co. London
Robert Dunthorpe & Sons Ltd., at the Rembrandt Gallery, Vigo Street, London, W.1, in June 1935 (as Zoffany, R.A. (1733-1810) / Captain Wynn, Connoisseur)
E & H Manners Antiques stand, International Ceramics Fair, Park Lane Hotel, London, 1994.
Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, October 2004 - January 2021.
Seated at a table holding a scale in his left hand is Nicholas Sprimont (Liege 1716-1771 London), famed Huguenot silversmith and proprietor of the Chelsea Porcelain Factory. His wife Ann (nee Protin) stands behind him, while his sister-in-law Susanna Protin presents a completed porcelain vase for his inspection. Sprimont is surrounded not only by his family, but by five additional Chelsea gold anchor vases in varying degrees of completion. See lots 59, 60, 61, and 62.
For an extensive article on the rediscovery and reattribution of this work, see J.V.G. Mallet, "Chelsea Gold Anchor Vases, Part I: The Forms," English Ceramic Circle Transactions, Vol. 17, pp. 126-161 and J.V.G. Mallet, "A Painting of Nicholas Sprimont, His Family and His Chelsea Vases," Les Cahiers de Mariemont, Hommage a Mireille Jottrand, Vol. 24.24, 1993/1994, pp. 76-95.
With the assistance of Errol Manners and numerous experts, Mallet carefully unravels, dates and relocates the forms depicted in what is now believed to be the only known portrait of Nicholas Sprimont. In the same spirit, the following four lots of Chelsea gold anchor vases were carefully selected and correspond directly with those illustrated at Nicholas Sprimont's left. As a fitting tribute, a vase corresponding to the pot-pourri presented by Susanna Protin can be found at the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, noted as a Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Margaret and Price Zimmermann in honor of Sarah Belk-Gambrell. 2013.20a-b. Also located at the Mint is an important resource archive for the study of ceramics, The Delhom-Gambrell Library, named to honor both M. Mellanay Delhom and Mrs. Gambrell.
C Estate of Sarah Belk Gambrell
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