from Ngaire Lowndes, NZ
Thought you might find this interesting. The painting is a 1959 copy of the 1729 original portrait of Mr. Secretary Lowndes, which hangs in the Bank of England somewhere. My father came by the copy when Noble Lowndes Insurance was taken over and the boardroom paintings were distributed.
A few close-ups – the coat of arms seems to have been painted on top of the varnished image, which is slightly odd and probably an addition by the copyist at a later date.
The initials and date are who painted the copy and when, and ‘aetat 67 1719’ was William’s age – 67 – and the year the original was painted – 1719 of course. Numbers are not my strongest point, but there you go.
When the painting was shipped over last year from New Zealand (break-up of contents of old family house to the four daughters), the removal men commented on the very strong likeness between William’s face and a photograph of my father, Roy Lowndes – one said, ‘I think the old boy looks better in his fancy dress!’ The copyist did actually know my father, so I think without having seen the original that there may have been a degree of flattery going on there.
Other pics are of the doorcase and north elevation of Winslow Hall, the beautiful house in Winslow that is attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, whom William would have known and worked with on the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire. This is the Lowndes house that the Blairs showed interest in acquiring.