• Portrait of a Family drinking Tea -
    Price on request

    Full-length seated at a table on a classical terrace

    Signed lower left: Tho.s Worlidge fecit 1737 Pencil on vellum with a drawn border 

    Sheet 30.8 by 37.8 cm., 12 by 14 ¾ in.

    Initially trained by the Genoese refugee Alessandro Grimaldi (1659-1732) and the printmaker Louis-Philippe Boitard (fl. 1733–1767), Worlidge established a multifaceted career as portrait painter, draughtsman and printmaker, living and working between London and Bath.

     

    As well as producing portraits in oils, Worlidge also created finished portrait drawings in pencil or chalk on paper or vellum. Only a handful of paintings and some drawings survive, many of which are in institutional collections including the Ashmolean Museum, British Museum, Royal Library, Windsor, Tate, Courtauld Gallery and Victoria Art Gallery, Bath.

    Highly finished drawings of this type are especially rare. A similar drawing `A Tea Party in a Pergola’, signed and dated 1736, is in the Royal Collection.

    The first advert for tea appeared as early as 1658, but it was the wife of Charles II, Catherine of Braganza who introduced it to court circles and made it a fashionable drink. By the mid-18th Century it was an important part of British Society and was served at concerts and balls, as well as at home during the day. The tea itself was kept under lock and key in special caddies and because of its cost was served by the hostess, often with some ceremony.

     

    An inscription on the backboard may identify the sitters in the present portrait but is difficult to decipher. It appears to read `Robert & Edward Harguzet’, which suggests Huguenot or French sitters.
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