A truly rare ‘silkwork’ remounted in the Victorian period for Sir Percival Radcliffe, 3rd Baronet, of Rudding Park, Harrogate
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A truly rare, indeed unique piece. The silkwork figures are believed to be late Georgian and possibly from a larger earlier frieze. They appear to have been remounted in the 19th century and remain in the original 19th century frame. The truly unique piece is named to back Sir Percy Ratcliff (sic) Rudding Park, Harrogate. This refers to Sir J. Percival Pickford Radcliffe, 1824-1908, later 3rd Baronet.
Sir Joesph Percival Pickford Radcliffe, a Roman Catholic, was known as Percy, indeed he inscribed a copy of the Aeneid (now on sale for around 5,000 USD elsewhere) to his father in June 1848 ‘From Percy Radcliffe to his father, June 5th 1848’. His father was Sir Joseph Radcliffe, 2nd Baronet (1799-1872) of Rudding Park House, North Yorkshire.
He was born in Campsall, Yorkshire, England on 4 OCT 1824 to Sir Joseph Radcliffe and Jacobina Maria Macdonell. Sir Joseph Percival Pickford Radcliffe, 3rd Bt.of Milnesbridge House married Katharine Mary Doughtyand had 8 children. He passed away on 27 APR 1908 in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England.
Rudding Park was originally part of the Forest of Knaresborough and still retains some of the ancient oak trees. In the early 18th century Rudding was owned in turn by Messrs Williamson of Wetherby, Craddock, James Collins (who enlarged the house and planted avenues in the park) and Thomas Wilson. In 1788 Alexander Wedderburn, Lord Loughborough, the future Lord Chancellor, acquired the estate and called in the garden designer Humphrey Repton to remodel the landscape.
In 1805, the Rudding Park Estate estate was purchased by the Hon. William Gordon,who demolished the original house and commissioned the building of the present house in a new location. In 1824 the estate was sold to Sir Jospeh Radcliffe (Bt) ] with the new house still unfinished. He secured architect Robert Chantrell to oversee its completion. Once completed, the house consisted of two storeys, with no second floor or attic, and was made of ashlar with a Westmorland slate roof. London architect A.E. Purdie designed a Gothic Revival chapel which was built in 1874 for Sir Percival Radcliffe, the 3rd Baronet. The chapel is the size of a parish church and constructed from Aberdeen granite and alabaster.Several generations of the Radcliffe family then occupied the house for 150 years.
He also commissioned and paid for another chutch in 1863, by the architect Gilbert Blount in Staffordshire.
The Granada television series which screened in 1971 called Seasons of the Year was filmed here. This consisted of six plays involving the various occupants of the house over a 150-year period from the Napoleonic wars to the 1970s.
Overall the piece remains in very good condition wit some losses to the dress of the lady bottom right (kneeling) and also the priest (kneeling at the bottom). The two halves of the green felt are of different periods possibly connected with the remounting of an earlier work. We use the generic term silkwork, although a range of materials have been used.
The piece has been in a private collection and was acquired fresh to the market. At some point the previous owners had the backing tape replaced to the back as the original had perished.
The individual work on each figure is quite remarkable.
We were delighted to find this piece and it is extremely unlikely we will find anything similar in the future.
Glazed, original period frame.
Measuring: (69.5 cm x 65.cm)
Provenance: A private collection, Northamptonshire, originally collection of Sir Percival Radcliffe, Rudding Park Estate, North Yorkshire.