Humphry Repton drawings of Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire, sold to the National Trust
We are delighted to have sold two Repton drawings which we discovered in a sketchbook to the National Trust. The Trust is currently restoring the gardens at Woodchester and these drawings both prove that Repton worked at Woodchester and add significantly to what is known about the history of the garden which is barely documented.
A letter from Repton to his son William dated 1809 mentions that he carried out work there for Thomas, 1st Earl of Ducie, which these recently rediscovered, signed, drawings corroborate. The terraced gardens at Woodchester Park were created some time during the early nineteenth century and were associated with a Georgian mansion set within the grounds of Woodchester Park, which was later replaced by Woodchester Mansion.
Very little is known about the garden; documents dating from 1843 record terrace walks, a temple overlooking the view of the gardens below and ornamental fountains. Archaeological surveys of the area have also revealed the existence of gravel paths hidden underneath a build-up of soil, as well as a pond.
Lady Catherine Reynolds-Moreton (d. 1892) was the fifth and youngest daughter of the Lord Ducie of Woodchester Park. In 1841 she married John Raymond Barker of Fairford Park, Gloucestershire, as his second wife. He had two daughters from his first marriage to Harriet Bosanquet (1798-1830), Augustua, b. 1827 and Leonora, b. 1829. The book, assembled by Augusta Raymond Barker, also contains drawings by the other sisters of Lady Catherine, Lady Emily Dundas, Lady Mary Denbigh, Lady Charlotte Berkeley and other interesting women with a Gloucestershire connection, including Lady Jane Ellice (née Pleydell-Bouverie) bridesmaid to Queen Victoria and a campaigner for the temperance movement. The book also contained several interiors of the now demolished Fairford Park, showing rooms to which Sir John Soane made additions in 1789-90, and many other drawings of Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire houses.
The drawings are accompanied by two soft-ground etchings of Woodchester by Amelia Long, Lady Farnborough .
Two each signed verso; H. Repton Fecit and H. Repton Fec t, each inscribed on original mount by another hand (possibly that of Augusta Raymond-Barker): H. Repton, one further inscribed: Plans for altering Woodchester
Grey wash on card, with a grey wash line border
Each 6.5 x 9 cm
From an album belonging to Augusta Raymond-Barker of Fairford Park, Gloucestershire, by family descent until 2016
Slow Art Workshop – Sunday 3rd July 2017
Huon Mallalieu, art market correspondent of Country Life and the author of the Dictionary of British Watercolour Artists and Karen Taylor hosted a Slow Art Workshop at Illustrationcupboard Gallery, 22 Bury Street. Huon started with a mussel shell (for grinding colours and mixing paints) from his charming 19th century paint box and gave a masterly summary of the history of English watercolours. Karen then spoke about talented amateur artists with reference to the Fairford Park scrap book and an in-depth discussion about copying revealed an area which needs navigating with care.
A fruitful examination of some badly damaged watercolours and deliberate fakes and forgeries followed. A lively discussion of the pitfalls which can beset collectors was had, and the session was finished off with a delicious glass of bucks fizz.
Karen Taylor and Huon Mallalieu