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Old 25th July 2021, 02:09 AM   #1
JeffS
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Default Oil painting sword

We found this oil painting in my sister's basement. I'm curious if the attire and weapons are indicative of a specific period and location.
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Old 25th July 2021, 02:54 AM   #2
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No expert here, but some thoughts. Based on the style of the basket and what little we can see of the pistol, the period represented would be perhaps 1700-1800. The all-steel pistol is local/Scottish type, while the thin bars on the basket hilt indicate it's of the Stirling school. The lack of any red lines in his tartan (aside from the blanket) indicates he was a 'low-lander' vs Highlands, possibly of aristocratic background (most 'common' men didn't have a sporran, nor the gold hat badge!) The Lowland Scots were often affiliated with nobility and land ownership. They sided with the Hanoveran King George as opposed to their Highland brethren, who supported the Bonnie Prince (Jacobites). Very beautifully done, but not sure the painting itself is particularly old.
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Old 25th July 2021, 01:31 PM   #3
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I'm no expert either, but reckon the portrait was painted mid-19th century with the customer dressed up in the fashion promoted by George IV's visit to Scotland and fomented by Sir Walter Scott's enthusiasm. Over elaborate but it was meant to look impressive.
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Old 25th July 2021, 08:29 PM   #4
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Very much in agreement with these comments. As Mark observes most likely a lowland noble represented in 18th century fashion. With the element of a degree of artistic 'license' (or lack of distinct detail) the weapons do resemble the Highland type silver pistol and the Stirling type hilt basket hilt sword.

As Neil has mentioned, when George IV visited Edinburgh in 1822, he rekindled interest in Highland dress, tartans. This became a sort of fad which was indeed helped along by the romantic writings of Sir Walter Scott.
In the late 1830s however, the so called 'Sobieski' brothers (their last name was Allan) created a monumentally fabricated ancestral scheme claiming they were legitimate heirs to the Stuart throne. This further fueled the Scottish Jacobite enthusiasm and fascination with Scottish fashion and ancestral lore.

While there had been actual preferences for certain 'tartan' patterns among certain clans (mostly based on preferences as well as dyes from locally prevalent vegetation), after Culloden in 1746, not only weapons, but wearing of tartans was outlawed.
Most records of the actual clan tartans that were used were lost, but in 1822 the interest reformed and the Sobieski matter recharged things into the development of presumed tartan patterns in the Victorian era.

That is likely the climate in which this painting was probably produced, as suggested by Neil. A very handsome painting reflecting the colorful history of Scotland, if original oil, probably mid to latter 19th century.
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Old 25th July 2021, 09:51 PM   #5
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And a beautiful pre-1900 frame to boot! You've got a great painting there!
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Old 25th July 2021, 10:52 PM   #6
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It is great (and fascinating) to put it into context. Thank you!
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Old 25th July 2021, 11:33 PM   #7
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Double post

Last edited by JeffS; 25th July 2021 at 11:33 PM. Reason: Double
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Old 26th July 2021, 02:02 AM   #8
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JeffS,
I see your location listed as 'Singapore'. You mention this painting was found in your sister's basement. Was it found in Singapore? If so, what were the circumstances that would bring a 19th century painting of a subject dressed in 18th century Scottish fashion to 21st century Singapore?
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Old 26th July 2021, 02:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78 View Post
JeffS,
I see your location listed as 'Singapore'. You mention this painting was found in your sister's basement. Was it found in Singapore? If so, what were the circumstances that would bring a 19th century painting of a subject dressed in 18th century Scottish fashion to 21st century Singapore?
Currently in Ohio! It is still a mystery though...
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Old 26th July 2021, 07:12 AM   #10
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And here is a painting of said ‘George IV’ by David Wilkie (1829), to highlight the great similarity in pose and regalia .
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