Disputed Elizabeth I  painting leads Christie's Cowdray Park auction
Christie's will present a three day country house auction at Cowdray Park, West Sussex, on September 13, 14 and 15, 2011.

The sale will offer approximately 1,200 lots from both Cowdray Park, home of Lord Cowdray and from Dunecht House, the Scottish home of Lord Cowdray's brother, the Hon. Charles Pearson.

Estimates range from £50 to £500,000 and the auction is expected to realise in the region of £5 million.

The auction follows sales at Christie's in London in July when a selection of nine works from Cowdray Park were sold for a collective total of £10,974,000, led by Thomas Gainsborough's full-length portrait of Mrs William Villebois which sold for £6,537,250, a world record price for the artist at auction.

The pictures that are to be offered in the sale range from works from the Elizabethan and Jacobean era through to the 20th century.

Elizabeth I English school Catherine Carey
Elizabeth I (or Countess Catherine Carey playing dress-up)

Highlights include a magnificent early 17th century portrait of a lady identified as Queen Elizabeth I but more probably Catherine Carey, Countess of Nottingham, full-length in an extraordinarily richly embroidered dress (estimate: £250,000 to £350,000, or up to $577,000).

Then there is Portrait of Anne, Viscountess Pollington, later Countess of Mexborough (d. 1870), with her son, John Charles (1810-99), later 4th Earl of Mexborough by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A (1769-1830) (estimate: £300,000 to £500,000).

One more intriguing work is: Self-portrait: hand and gloves resting on cane, by the celebrated Irish artist Sir William Orpen, R.A., R.H.A. (1878-1931) will be offered with an estimate of £150,000 to £250,000. It was purchased directly from the artist by Mrs Gertrude Kinnell as a gift for her sister Annie, 1st Viscountess Cowdray, 1927.


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