Monday, May 9, 2011

Friendship Book of James Stanier Clarke to be sold!

The Friendship Book/Album of James Stanier Clarke containing, amongst many other items, a watercolour portrait believed to be a very rare depiction of Jane Austen, will be offered for sale at Christies, London, on Wednesday 8th June 2011!
I've always thought this a fascinating story, and I must admit the painting fits in with my idea of how Jane Austen looked. You can read all about the book's incredible history by  clicking here.


Katherine Cox said...

Thank you for the link, Jane. I hadn't heard about this portrait, how interesting!
There is a resemblance of the nose and mouth of this portrait to Cassandra's but the image is of a much more fashionable Austen.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you for your comment Katherine. Her face is super, I think, and fits in exactly with images we know of her. As for her dress, I've never read anything which suggested Jane wasn't interested in fashion. Her letters mention fabrics, trimmings, flowers and fruit for bonnets, and the making up of gowns. I also think if she was going to the palace as she did when she met James Stanier Clarke she would have put on her best clothes, or perhaps borrowed something from richer relations.
One of her descendants has a splendid coquelicot feather cockade which belonged to Jane, and I've seen a beautiful silk shawl and a silk pelisse in Jane Austen's house which are said to be hers- no evidence to suggest she wasn't interested in fashion-quite the reverse! Have another look at the letters, I think you'll be surprised!