Art Market: Rare Elizabethan doublet to join portrait in sale

AN elaborately embroidered Elizabethan doublet, one of the rarest costumes to come on to the market, is to be sold with a portrait of the original owner wearing it.

For such a costume to have survived from around 1610 complete and in superlative condition is rare enough; for it to have survived with a contemporary portrait is 'doubly rare', if not unique. Often there is no history behind a costume.

Susan Mayor, director of the costume and textiles department of Christie's South Kensington, said: 'It is as if we have a photograph of it . . . Whenever we have early pieces of costume, we are asked how it was worn. With this portrait, we can see exactly how the doublet was worn - with a ruff, cuffs, a loose gown over it, a gauzy apron.'

The doublet is estimated to fetch between pounds 115,000 and pounds 130,000, the portrait - attributed to Paul Van Somer (circa 1577-1622) - is expected to make between pounds 30,000 and pounds 50,000.

The design - in silk, silver-gilt thread and gold lace with motifs that include honeysuckle, carnations, butterflies and snails - has not been copied stitch for stitch by the portraitist. Ms Mayor says it is an artist's interpretation.

Rupert Burgess, head of British pictures at Christie's, said he was waiting for the painting to be delivered from the United States before further researching the picture's attribution, confirming it to Paul van Somer, the portrait-painter from Antwerp who settled in London in 1616.

He said paintings of this period were particularly problematic because until the mid-1620s artists in England rarely, if ever, signed their work. Any records are likely to have been destroyed in the Civil War. He intends to let the National Portrait Gallery 'see it in the flesh'.

The style of doublet was all the rage as an informal dress in the early 17th century.

The original owner was Margaret Layton, of Rawdon in Yorkshire, daughter of a wealthy grocer and prominent citizen of Elizabethan London; she married Francis Layton, a Yorkshireman who eventually became the Master of the Royal Jewels.

Both the portrait and doublet were handed down from one generation to another until 1929, when they were sold at Christie's.

They were bought then for some 4,200 guineas by the Hon Esmond Harmsworth, later 2nd Viscount Rothermere. On 21 June, they will be sold from the estate of Mary, Viscountess Rothermere.

Ms Mayor expects the pair to be purchased by either a museum or a serious collector. No one would dream of wearing the doublet, she said.

(Photographs omitted)

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
Extras
indybest
News
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Computer Futures

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures are currently...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style