Miniature Portrait of Susannah
Beckford (née Love)
Painted by the artist Gervase Spencer (1715?-1763)
Susannah Beckford (née Love) (d.1803), dressed à la Turque in a white costume sprigged with pink flowers and green leaves and piped with lilac ribbon, a loose matching robe over the top, yellow buttons down her bodice and a green sash tied in front, white tucker, a black ribbon around her right wrist, a strand of pearls tied with a black ribbon around her throat, her light brown hair plaited and upswept beneath a yellow headdress and veil. Enamel on gold, signed on the counter-enamel and dated G. Spencer pinxit/ 1755, gold frame. Oval, 52mm high. Provenance: By family descent. The sitter was the sole heiress to the immense wealth amassed by her father, Richard Love of Basing Park, Hampshire. In February 1755, she married as his second wife Francis Beckford, a son of the Governor of Jamaica, who had himself made a huge fortune from sugar and the slave trade. According to the London Magazine, Susannah's income at the time of her marriage was an incredible £20,000. Susannah was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1776, in honour of her marriage, the portrait is now in the collection of Tate Britain, London. See the following lot for the sitter's husband. Bonhams 20 May 2009, Lot 21.