Ellis, Tomb Effigy with Cherubs -Original late 19th-century watercolour painting


An original late 19th-century watercolour painting, Ellis Tomb Effigy with Cherubs.

A pensive watercolour painting, with pen and ink underdrawing and white bodycolour, of a tomb effigy in a church depicting a sleeping women on a bed next to two cherubs. An inscription on a mount (not included) lists this as located in Peterborough Cathedral, but a monument resembling that depicted could not be found in that location. It is possible this is an artistic rendering based loosely on a Peterborough monument. 

Minor foxing and light age toning as shown. Glue, tape and paper around the periphery verso, due to previous historical mounting. Otherwise, in very good condition.
21.7cm x 17.2cm.

This work is one of a collection of exceptionally fine watercolours we have for sale, which were once in the possession of Sir Charles Robert Bignold. The watercolours are the work of a father and daughter by the name of Ellis (E. Ellis and A.A. Ellis) and span dramatic and picturesque locations across England, Wales and the Continent.

Whilst the identity of the Ellis artists is a mystery, an inscription accompanying the collection explains its origins: ‘from a series of sketches executed during a pedestrian tour by a father and his daughter, 1850-75’. The paintings are of consistently high quality and are a remarkable first-hand record of a father and daughter’s ambitious tour through some of Europe’s most picturesque scenery in the mid-19th century.

The paintings have a prestigious provenance, being formerly in the collection of Captain Sir Charles Robert Bignold (1892-1970), who belonged to the prosperous Bignold family of Norwich - his ancestor Thomas had established the Norwich Union Insurance Company in 1797. Charles Robert Bignold was a distinguished collector of fine books – his ‘picture book’ estate sale was held at Sotheby’s in 1971 – and the outstanding watercolours in this collection are a testament to Bignold’s fine connoisseurship.

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Product code: JH-802

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