Titolo: Charming But Poignant Autograph Signed ...
DESCRIPTION OF ITEM: A charming but touching letter in which the recently orphaned son of James Unwin (Gainsborough’s business partner) writes to his mother (Mrs Frances Unwin). The letter sees a young boy desperately trying to don the mantle of adulthood whilst away at Boarding school at Repton and with an overwhelming desire to make his mother proud. Apparently written after a visit from his mother, he writes ‘I received your kind letter which made me infinitely happy to hear you got safe home that night. I trust to your great kindness to forgive my neglect of not writing to you before.’ After requesting money to be sent from home, he writes, ‘I cannot enough acknowledge my gratefulness to you for your kindness in sending for which I shall endeavour to repay your kindness, as much as possible by my improvement.’ After sending his wishes to other family members, he signs off, ‘Believe me to be Dear Mamma your Dutiful Son - J W Unwin’. HISTORICAL CONTEXT: Having first become acquainted in the 1740’s, James Unwin (1717-1774) became Gainsborough’s banker and attorney and one of his closest personal friends. In 1763, Gainsborough began a portrait of his friend’s wife (Frances) but kept finding himself distracted from working upon it. Throughout the 1760’s Gainsborough repeatedly wrote to his friend with a whole raft of increasingly feeble excuses as to why the portrait was not yet completed. Finally, in 1771, Gainsborough went to visit the Unwins on their estate on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border to deliver the painting. Possibly due to the sheer time he had spent upon it, coupled with Frances Unwin’s renowned beauty and his close relationship with the family, the resultant picture 'Mrs James Unwin' is widely regarded as one of Gainsborough’s most tender and harmonious portraits and a marvellous example of his mature Bath style. However, only a few years later, in 1774, James Unwin died and it is shortly after this time that the letter is written. DETAILED CONDITION REPORT 16cm x 19cm 4pp. Original mailing folds. Some separation particularly on the second leaf with 5 tears with loss of paper and part of the last letter of his signature. ALL ITEMS SOLD BY ‘A PIECE OF HISTORY’ CARRY A LIFETIME GUARANTEE OF AUTHENTICITY. SHOULD ANY ITEM EVER BE FOUND NOT TO BE COMPLETELY GENUINE, IT MAY BE RETURNED FOR A FULL REFUND. Codice inventario libreria 000037
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Libreria AbeBooks dal: 19 dicembre 2008
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