John Wolfran Cornwall Collection
This impressive collection of pictures was once owned by John Wolfran Cornwall CIE (1870-1947) of the Cornwall family of Burford Lodge, Elstead, Surrey. John Wolfran Cornwall was born in Dehra, India and did his medical training at Trinity College, Cambridge, before pursuing a medical career in India, serving as Professor of Hygiene at Madras Medical College, Chennai, and director of the Pasteur Institute of India.
John Wolfran Cornwall was from an illustrious naval lineage, and many of the works in this collection are marine in subject. His father was Colonel William Wolfran Gardner Cornwall, who was educated at the Royal Naval School and Cheltenham College, and entered the Bengal Civil Service in 1861; his grandfather was Rear Admiral John Cornwall (1795-1870), by whom a number of the works in this collection appear to be; and his great-great grandfather was Admiral Alan Gardner, 1st Baron Gardner (1742-1809), regarded by some as one of the Georgian era's most dashing frigate captains.
As well as an outstanding watercolour by William Payne (1760-1830), the most fashionable drawing master in London of his day, and interesting marine drawings dating from the 1820s and 1830s, the collection also includes a group of hand-coloured aquatints dating from the first half of the 19th century depicting Swiss landscape subjects, and two exquisite Neapolitan gouaches. These works suggest a discerning interest in and appreciation of landscapes encountered on a European tour. In addition, the collection includes an interesting hand-coloured aquatint of Petersfield Sugar Plantation in Jamaica, reflecting historic family connections with Jamaica through Admiral Alan Gardner’s marriage to Susanna Hyde Gale, daughter and heiress of wealthy plantation owner Francis Gale. Admiral Alan Gardner went on to become Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy in Jamaica.