Lady Frances Norcliffe (1654-1731), bust-length, in a pale blue dress with a pearl clasp by Sir Peter Lely (auctioned by Christie's)

Christie’s lot notes have a biographical paragraph:  "Frances Norcliffe was the daughter and heiress of Sir William Vavasour of Copmanthorpe, Yorkshire, 1st and last Baronet. She married Sir Thomas Norcliffe (1641-1684) of Langton, near Malton in North Yorkshire, in 1671. They had two children to survive infancy, Fairfax Norcliffe (1674-1721), a Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st Dragoons who was High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1700 and 1714, and Richard Norcliffe (1676-1697) a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. After the death of her husband in 1684, Frances married Moses Goodyear, an Aleppo Merchant. She died in December 1731 and was buried in Chelsea. After the death of Francis Best Norcliffe (1851-1912), who did not marry, Langton Hall passed first to his sister and then to his nephew, Cecil Elmslie Howard-Vyse (1901-1958), who was succeeded by his brother, Lieutenant-General Sir Edward Dacre Howard-Vyse (1905-1992), and in turn by his son, the late Richard Howard-Vyse.”

From the Christie’s Web site; size fixed at 50 cm high at 28.35 pixels/cm and exposure increased.

Lady Frances Norcliffe (1654-1731), bust-length, in a pale blue dress with a pearl clasp by Sir Peter Lely (auctioned by Christie's) From Christie's Web site size fixed at 50 cm high at 28.35 pixels/cm (see Christie's lot notes) inc. exp

Christie’s lot notes have this about the portrait, including an approximate date, "This charming bust-length portrait of Frances can be dated on stylistic grounds to the mid-1670s, and may have been painted in celebration of her marriage to Sir Thomas Norcliffe in 1671. It has been suggested that the drapery is partly unfinished and that this unfinished area may have been executed by an artist in Lely's Studio. Many successful artists during the 17th and 18th centuries chose to delegate the drapery and still-life elements of their portraiture to studio assistants, in order to meet the ever-growing demand for their work.

Lady Frances looks innocent and alluring in her casual portrait dress decorated with a frilly chemise and jeweled clasps.

Keywords:  Lely, Frances Vavasour, Frances Norcliffe, Vavasour family, Norcliffe family, British, curly coiffure, chemise, scoop neckline, frills, full under-sleeves, bodice, full over-sleeves, necklace, clasps, wrap

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