This painting was purchased in 1907 as a work from the ‘Dutch school’ titled ‘Portrait of Sir Dudley Carleton, Ambassador to Holland’. However, the inscription at the top left indicates that it was painted in 1599 and shows a 38 year old sitter. Dudley Carleton, Viscount Dorchester (1574-1632), HM Ambassador to the Netherlands, was 25 in 1599. The Dutch inscription on the envelope in the sitter’s hand has since been translated and reads:
The honourable, most pure
Philips de Sadeleer
This work was apparently formerly in the collection of William Rome (c.1842-1907) of Creeksea Place, Essex. Rome, a collector of Roman antiquities and a fellow of the Society of Antiquities, was also the proprietor of the chain of ‘Sweetings’ fish restaurants, in the City of London. Rome was strongly involved in loan exhibitions of paintings, held at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London, and owned a substantial collection of art. However, when the painting passed through Christie’s, London, on 21 December 1907 (Lot 84) it was noted that the work was ‘sold by William Rome, on behalf of Last’. The identity of Last has yet to be established.
tl: Ano. Dom. 1599- / AEtatis- 38- ; on letter: Eersame [suversten?] / Philips de Sadeleer / Coopman wonende / in Luxenberch (translates as 'the honourable [most pure?] / Philips de Sadeleer / Merchant living in Luxembourg)
Collection of ‘Last’; sold by William Rome (c.1842-1907), proprietor of the chain of ‘Sweetings’ fish restaurants, in the City, of Creeksea Place, Essex, on behalf of ‘Last’, through Christie’s, London, on 21 December 1907 (Lot 71); from which sale purchased by Gooden & Fox on behalf of the Office of Works
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