Original watercolor signed M. F. Winner after Thomas Gainsborough's 1785 portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1757 – 1806). The signature corresponds to Margaret F. Winner (1866-1937), a Philadelphia portrait painter, miniaturist and illustrator who studied in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and was a student of the famous American illustrator Howard Pyle.
The Duchess portrayed was a well known beauty and socialite. She introduced her husband, the 5th Duke of Devonshire and member of the Cavendish family, to her friend, Elizabeth Foster, and lived in a triad with them for the next 25 years. Somehow, the original Gainsborough portrait disappeared from Chatsworth house, the home of the Cavendish family. It reappeared in the 1830's in the home of an elderly schoolmistress who later sold it to a dealer. After exchanging hands a couple more times in 1876 it was stolen from the William Agnew gallery by the notorious "Napoleon of Crime", Adam Worth who brought it to the U.S. The American detective agency, Pinkerton, located it 25 years later and negotiated its return to Agnew's son who put it up for sale. J. P. Morgan purchased it for $150.000 and it remained in his family until 1994 when it was sold at Sotheby's. This time the buyer was the 11th Duke of Devonshire who, after more than 200 years, returned it to the Chatsworth House collection.
In good used condition with minor imperfections to frame as shown. Shipped fully insured with tracking number.
Measurements: Frame: 15.25"" by 12.75"; Oval opening: 9.5"tall by 6.75" wide approximately.
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