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Reproduction of a Painting Thought to be a Portrait of Samuel Pepys, with a Manuscript Letter from King James II Mounted in the Back, with Separate Frame, 1925

Inventory Number: 11806
Object Type:
Persons: Samuel Pepys (Subject)
Date Created:
Accession Number: 1925-29
Brief Description: The picture is a painting of a man, resembling Pepys, seated at a desk with several scientific instruments, a guitar, and a globe. The letter mounted on the back, signed 'James R' at the top and 'JR' at the bottom, is a testimonial and letter of authorisation written on behalf of 'Mr. Pepys our Secretary for ye Affayres of our Admiralty of England', recommending that an outstanding financial claim by him be met by the Treasury. Framed, and glazed both sides. Both items are reproductions, mounted and framed together for presentation to the Museum about the time it opened in 1925. The donor Frederick William Pepys Cockerell (1876-1932), a grandson of the architect C. R. Cockerell (architect of the Taylor Institution and University Galleries, later the Ashmolean Museum), was a descendant of Pepys's heir and nephew John Jackson, from whom the family inherited many Pepys relics, including the original painting and letter.

The picture is a fine actual-size colour reproduction of an anonymous portrait thought to be Samuel Pepys, described as well-known in 1925, though some doubt was later cast on the subject's identity. The National Portrait Gallery examined and restored the painting in 1960-61, confirming its date as the later years of Pepys's life and noting several alterations, some of which were at that time reversed (copies of NPG correspondence and reports on file).

The letter is a very convincing facsimile, only the modern watermark, '[symbol] Superior Bath Vellum [symbol]', betraying that it is not an original 17th-century document. The immediate circumstances of the (original) letter are however authentic and well documented. It ends: 'Given at our Castle of Windsor this 17th. day of November 1688', which was in the middle of the revolution and invasion that deposed the king. Pepys accompanied James to Windsor Castle on that very day, and is known to have been given some form of payment authority for his claim for overdue salary. Under the circumstances it was to prove worthless. James set out the following day with a view to military engagement with William of Orange, who was already in England and about to advance on London; no military action occurred, and the king fled to France in December.

Wooden frame for print. Two sheets of glazing. Gold painted mount. Backing paper to reverse of frame. Metal hook and twisted metal cord for hanging.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Lieutenant-Colonel F. Pepys Cockerell in 1925.
Collection Group:
Material(s): Paper
Card
Wood
Glass
metal
paint
Dimensions:
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
400 365 33 mm

There are no associated narratives.

Image with multimedia irn 51952Image with multimedia irn 51953

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11806

Reproduction of a Painting Thought to be a Portrait of Samuel Pepys, with a Manuscript Letter from King James II Mounted in the Back, 1925

Inventory Number: 11806
Object Type:
Persons: Samuel Pepys (Subject)
Date Created:
Accession Number: 1925-29
Brief Description: The picture is a painting of a man, resembling Pepys, seated at a desk with several scientific instruments, a guitar, and a globe. The letter mounted on the back, signed 'James R' at the top and 'JR' at the bottom, is a testimonial and letter of authorisation written on behalf of 'Mr. Pepys our Secretary for ye Affayres of our Admiralty of England', recommending that an outstanding financial claim by him be met by the Treasury. Framed, and glazed both sides. Both items are reproductions, mounted and framed together for presentation to the Museum about the time it opened in 1925. The donor Frederick William Pepys Cockerell (1876-1932), a grandson of the architect C. R. Cockerell (architect of the Taylor Institution and University Galleries, later the Ashmolean Museum), was a descendant of Pepys's heir and nephew John Jackson, from whom the family inherited many Pepys relics, including the original painting and letter.
The picture is a fine actual-size colour reproduction of an anonymous portrait thought to be Samuel Pepys, described as well-known in 1925, though some doubt was later cast on the subject's identity. The National Portrait Gallery examined and restored the painting in 1960-61, confirming its date as the later years of Pepys's life and noting several alterations, some of which were at that time reversed (copies of NPG correspondence and reports on file).
The letter is a very convincing facsimile, only the modern watermark, '[symbol] Superior Bath Vellum [symbol]', betraying that it is not an original 17th-century document. The immediate circumstances of the (original) letter are however authentic and well documented. It ends: 'Given at our Castle of Windsor this 17th. day of November 1688', which was in the middle of the revolution and invasion that deposed the king. Pepys accompanied James to Windsor Castle on that very day, and is known to have been given some form of payment authority for his claim for overdue salary. Under the circumstances it was to prove worthless. James set out the following day with a view to military engagement with William of Orange, who was already in England and about to advance on London; no military action occurred, and the king fled to France in December.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Lieutenant-Colonel F. Pepys Cockerell in 1925.
Collection Group:
Material(s): Paper
Card
Wood
Glass
metal
paint
Dimensions:
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
400 365 33 mm

There are no associated narratives.

Image with multimedia irn 51952Image with multimedia irn 51953

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11806